Letter: We need sensible regulations for sensible lifestyles

Monday, July 14 2014

When I first came to Gabriola it was 1981 and I was 30 years old. I had been searching and dreaming of a place to have land, a home and a family. After buying the land I still had no home and had little skill in building one. Long story short, I found an old log building in the Okanagan, bought it, dismantled it, and had it trucked to Gabriola. My dad and I saved every board and every decent nail from this building. With the materials I built a house, a home.

All materials recycled from a one-hundred-year-old building.

It is being lived in today by new owners and appears it will last another 100 years.

The process was overseen by the building code authorities and, with the exception of two logs, all materials and construction was passed on site as the building went ahead.

This scenario, due to today’s regulations, is not possible. There is no room and no provision for those with little funds and great need. Why has it been made so costly to build a home? To live in dignity, with integrity? 

The tide has turned. The systems no longer serve the needs of the people as much as the people are made to serve the needs of the system. Like so much else, we have become out of balance. As Thomas Harding said, “One size does not fit all.”

Today there are some fine examples of energetic, industrious, knowledgeable young people growing food and creating co-ops: building foundations of home and families. We need to make provision for sensible regulations so sensible people can create sensible lifestyles. We all need a roof over our heads, food to eat and share, wood to keep us warm and some money too.

Creating sensible, organic lifestyles begins with allowing them to exist in the first place.

~ Mickey Udal