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.

 

Just Posted

Kitimat’s Water Quality Advisory, which has been in place for just over a week, has been lifted. (Black Press file photo)
Water Quality Advisory in Kitimat lifted

The district has been under a Water Quality Advisory since June 2

On June 16 at 6 p.m., the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a public presentation and discussion with Happipad, a social enterprise, to talk about solutions for affordable housing Kitimat. (Happipad photo)
Affordable housing to be focus of Kitimat Chamber of Commerce meeting

Figures indicate the average Kitimat household needs to make more than $92,000 a year

(District of Kitimat logo)
Hirsch Creek Bridge restricted to single lane traffic

The district is restricting the bridge traffic to legal highway loads only

Artist’s illustration of the proposed Kitimat LNG facility at Bish Cove near Kitimat. (Kitimat LNG illustration)
Haisla Nation surprised by Woodside pull out from Kitimat LNG project

Haisla Nation council states its main focus is now on developing the Haisla-led Cedar LNG project

(Northern Health logo)
Pop-up vaccine clinic tomorrow at the Save-on-Foods parking lot in Kitimat

The clinic will be this Friday, June 11 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read