Fish and chips restaurant declared public nuisance

Dick's Fish & Chips at 660 Island Highway in Campbell River. City council has declared the smell coming from the restaurant a public nuisance on Thursday, July 20, 2023 and has set out a number of orders. (Google Earth via Vista Radio)

The city is clamping down on a fish and chips restaurant over its cooking smell plaguing the neighbourhood for years.

City council declared Dick’s Fish & Chips at 660 Island Highway a public nuisance on Thursday (July 20) and had given the eatery a list of remedial action orders.

Those include changing charcoal filters weekly and replacing the fryer oil at least every three days. The city also wants the exhaust system to “undergo a full cleaning” once a month at minimum and keep a written record of all the maintenance.

“I hope this will result in an end to the issue that the neighbourhood has been dealing with, so, let’s just hope,” Coun. Ron Kerr said. “Yes,” replied Mayor Kermit Dahl.

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A city report says the smell was noticed during a site visit and it has reached “disturbing levels” at times.

Neighbours have been complaining for years about the smell coming from the exhaust vent at the back of the restaurant.

In 2016, Mike and Jan Sell, who live next door, wrote city council saying their property was “consumed with the toxic smell of the deep fryer almost every day (wind dependent).”

“It’s a health hazard and has devalued our property and our quality of life,” the Sells wrote, adding the neighbourhood was getting tired of the situation.

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The city is also in the midst to amending its public nuisance bylaw to include clauses to recognize nuisance odours on a scale in commercial and industrial settings and to include a fine of $500 for breaking the law. Those bylaw amendments have been given three readings.

The city says the owner was advised in writing about the remedial action and would be given the opportunity to speak to council. He did not appear at Thursday’s meeting.

Coun. Ben Lanyon did not participate in the council discussion, declaring a conflict “for business reasons.”