Out of the frying pan, into the fire

Rural rights group displeased with proposed bylaw remedies

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) held a recent meeting to propose remedies for a contentious bylaw that blocks citizens from having the right to live in recreational vehicles, even on their own property.

At the Dec. 12 meeting Regina Sadilkova, director of development services for the TNRD, suggested Temporary Use Permits (TUP) that would allow an RV user to stay in the vehicle for up to three years, with the option of applying for a one-time three-year extension.

This didn’t sit well with the Rural Rights Association of Britsh Columbia (RRABC), though, with the president for the group, Tom Coles, describing the proposal as a leap from the frying pan into the fire.

“The TUP has done nothing whatsoever to alleviate the situation for people living in RVs or those who want to choose to live in an RV on their own property,” Coles said.

“In fact, you can see from the TUP suggestions this has made it worse; the proposals are such that they make complying impossible for all but the wealthiest people. We’ll continue to oppose it anyway we can up to and including having it becoming an electoral issue.”

According to the TNRD website, A TUP gives a landowner the ability to address a short term need or to monitor the success of use before committing to long-term investment.

The cost for a TUP application fee is $1,500 and would come with regulations like the need for an approved septic system, which could be another $30,000, according to Coles.

“But at this stage everything, including the TUP proposals, are just that — proposals,” Coles said.

“I understand there is still some room for public input and there’s still some discussion to be had, but they all took the vote to move forward in accepting these proposals from the director of development services and all of the board members voted, with the exception of one rural representative, which means this thing won’t be ratified by the board until the beginning of 2020, most likely the February meeting, and if there’s a two-thirds majority agreement, at least that’s how I understand it, then it could proceed to bylaw.”

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