Jane Hammond and her husband Peter dream of bringing their farm back to its roots.
Before a teahouse restaurant becomes a reality, it needs a temporary commercial use permit, or TCUP.
The first time the Metchosin couple visited the farm, it was for afternoon tea. The Kalima teahouse opened in 1977 and operated until 1982 when the Hammonds purchased the property.
“We would come for afternoon tea and she would have scones, pies and other baked goods. It was also open for lunches, but there was only one thing on the menu so you had to have that,” Hammond said.
Now they would like to operate a restaurant offering lunch and afternoon tea out of their home.
“Metchosin doesn’t encourage commercial activities outside of the village core,” said Hammond. “The permit is a way we can introduce this to the community.”
Only two TCUP permits have been issued in Metchosin in the past 10 years. The most recent was granted two years ago to the Metchosin Arts and Cultural Centre operating out of the old Metchosin elementary school within the village core.
Another was granted to a boat repair company outside the village. The permit was renewed for an additional three years and has expired. The applicant never applied for rezoning.
When the permit was offered to the Ship Happens business, Mayor John Ranns said the idea was the business would operate at the location until the permit expired and if it was a success the business would move into a commercially zoned area.
Of the Glenrosa proposal, Ranns said, “It’s the first time for this type of situation. You can’t move the house or the property.”
The original teahouse at the farm operated prior to incorporation.
“Before I can make a decision one way or another on this I need to hear very clearly from the public. This is something I want the public to debate on,” Ranns said. “For nearly 30 years we have pursued a rural direction and we’ve proven the success of that.”
The farm is near Pedder Bay Marina, the Galloping Goose and Matheson Lake park. Currently the Hammonds operate a small bed and breakfast.
Even if the permit is granted it would take the couple several months before the project was off the ground.