Kitimat policy to address potential redevelopments of trailer parks

A new policy will provide assurances to residents of Kitimat's manufacture home parks.

For residents of Kitimat’s two manufactured home parks — Vista Village and Jed Stumps — a new policy of the District of Kitimat means better protection should the fate of their homes become blurred.

Residents had wanted a policy that gives assurances of the process of redevelopment of mobile home properties. Those assurances include the required timeframes for a park to be redeveloped, as well as established buy-out rates a park owner could offer to the tenants to assist with moving.

The move comes after a number of stories of concerned residents of local trailer parks worried about things such as if their manufactured home park will be closed by the owners, and if they’ll end up on the street in a housing market that’s significantly higher than in year’s past.

From the public discussion of the policy at the November 23 Committee of the Whole meeting some residents still indicated there is hard feelings among some for their park’s owners. While issues such as trouble selling individual trailers was mentioned to councillors at the meeting, this town policy wouldn’t specifically address these concerns.

Rather, the policy sets out rules for redevelopment. Even so the town was praised for making efforts to protect the town’s citizens.

The core component of the policy is a requirement for a communications plan by the park owner to tenants explaining any anticipated changed.

Under the BC Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act, owners can redevelopment the properties but must give 12 months notice once all permits are in place and provide compensation equal to 12 months of rent too.

The new policy requires notices to tenants be increased to 24 months from time of the council’s receipt of application.

A reasonable relocation plan also must be offered to tenants under the policy.

Tenants appeared quite happy with the policy, although comment received from the parks themselves were more mixed.

The lawyer who represents Vista Village owner Lee Ann Wolfin, Michael Gemmiti, said the policy as drafted shouldn’t be adopted, “because it is not needed in Kitimat,” noting the community doesn’t have the same land redevelopment pressures as other areas such as the Lower Mainland.

Meanwhile the Manufactured Home Park Owners Alliance of B.C. said council should work to discourage any redevelopment of parks at all.

For Jed Stumps Estates the town received a letter from the lawyers representing that property, which sided largely with the opinion from Vista Village and further asked the town to defer any decisions until full consultation is made.

The town’s planning department said there has been consultation with all affected stakeholders, including discussions with the park owners directly even if the opinion of their lawyers arrived late in the process.

Council adopted the policy at their meeting, but there is still a detail to work out ahead of the turn of the year, and that’s how much of a buy-out needs to be offered to residents.

The options are payment under the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act, the appraised or assessed value of the home, or a straight dollar amount.

Councillors tried finding consensus but suggestions ranged from as low at $10,000 to as high as $25,000.

Councillors ultimately felt unprepared to make a final decision though and included in their motion to adopt the policy that they were going to refer to staff for suggested buy-out amounts.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

The Kitimat River in July. (Clare Rayment photo)
Good News, Kitimat!

Bringing some local good news to your week

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross has been named critic for Environment and Climate Change Strategy for the BC Liberals. (Peter Versteege photo)
Skeena MLA Ellis Ross named critic for Environment and Climate Change Strategy

Previously, Ross was the critic for LNG, Resource Opportunities, and Responsible Development

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

Pandemic has ‘exacerbated’ concerns for B.C. children and youth with special needs: report

Pandemic worsened an already patchwork system, representative says

Janet Austin, the lieutenant-governor of British Columbia, not seen, swears in Premier John Horgan during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Horgan says he will look to fill gaps in the federal government’s sick-pay benefits program aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. premier says province prepared to patch holes in new federal sick-pay benefits

Horgan said workers should not be denied pay when they are preventing COVID-19’s spread

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

Most Read