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Lantzville sues property owner who uses fire truck to advertise cannabis dispensary

KATIE DeROSA Times Colonist The Lantzville man who has positioned a fire truck along the Island Highway to act as a giant cannabis dispensary advertisement is being sued by the district of Lantzville.
Stanley Pottie is using a fire truck to advertise a cannabis dispensary.
Stanley Pottie is using a fire truck to advertise a cannabis dispensary.

KATIE DeROSA

Times Colonist

The Lantzville man who has positioned a fire truck along the Island Highway to act as a giant cannabis dispensary advertisement is being sued by the district of Lantzville.

On his two-acre property at 7890 Clark Drive West, Stanley Pottie has set up a cannabis dispensary in a yellow modular home and rolled his fire truck to the edge of the property so that drivers heading south into Nanaimo can see banners touting “Country Buds Dispensary.”

That dispensary, a small trailer and two “deck structures” were erected without a building permit, the District of Lantzville says in a notice of claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court. The fire truck is breaking traffic bylaws by being on the highway right of way, the lawsuit says.

Pottie has allowed about a dozen Lantzville residents to park their mobile homes on his property for about $500 a month each. The district says he is breaking zoning bylaws by operating an unsanctioned recreational vehicle park.

Pottie said he’s not surprised by the lawsuit “because it’s been an ongoing war for a year now.” He intends to fight the lawsuit, which he said is “malicious.”

The property owner said he’s been visited by a Lantzville bylaw officer about 12 times in the past year. During three of those visits, the bylaw officer was accompanied by heavily armed RCMP officers, Pottie said.

Pottie, who is in the construction business, said he purchased the property three years ago. Shortly after, he was approached by a friend who needed a place to set down his mobile home. Then a woman living on disability payments approached him, saying she had nowhere else to go.

“It just sort of grew from there,” he said.

Pottie said he has fewer requirements than official trailer parks, which sometimes only accept newer mobile homes.

“I’m trying to help the ones who are the underdogs, you know.”

Pottie said he’s invested $100,000 to install a septic tank and to bring the electrical system up to code.

The dispensary was set up by one of his tenants who uses medical marijuana, and Pottie said it gets 30 to 50 customers a day.

As for the fire truck, Pottie bought it eight months ago at a government auction for $30,000. He decided to position it along the highway with signs to bring attention to the cannabis dispensary.

“The whole island thinks it’s funny,” he said. “It's been a good advertising tool.”

He plans to use that advertising tool when he runs for mayor in the municipal election this fall. Pottie has run for mayor unsuccessfully twice in the past.

kderosa@timescolonist.com