|Len Gratto in front of his home via the Abbotsford Times|
Grow-op bylaw programs, which are based on provincial legislation, allow municipal inspectors to enter homes with abnormally high hydro usage - about 93 kilowatts per day or more - and look for evidence of illegal marijuana grow-ops for public safety reasons. Inspectors don't have to find grow-ops, but if they find supposed residual evidence, such as high mould readings, they levy search fees and order repairs. If homeowners don't comply, homes are tagged under the bylaw and effectively condemned as unsafe, and unsellable.Grato is joining a class-action lawsuit attacking the municipality's grow-op bylaw inspections.
A number of citizens, led by Mission man Stacy Gowanlock, will allege their homes were illegally searched for pot grow-ops and they were slapped with fees and repair orders costing upward of $10,000 - all on questionable evidence.
So what does this mean for urban homesteaders? I know this happened in Canada, but we need to be aware of what happens in other countries because it could happen here next. We need to support gardeners everywhere. While the initial tip that caused these gardeners to be inspected might not have been due to a smart meter, it shows me that smart utility meters could be a potential disaster for the urban homesteader if miss used by local authorities like in Mission BC Canada.