In Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, a move by the owners of the former Seacrest Motel and RV Park to redevelop was met with strong opposition. Interestingly, the opposition didn’t come from residents.
According to Peace Arch News, Lark Group, the owners of the community want to redevelop the land into 21 single-family lots.
During the third reading of the application last week during a meeting, 31 people opposed the move, but only one Surrey resident spoke against the application.
The heart of the opposition appears to be around the need to protect residents of the RV community, where a majority of the residents are permanent. Last August, year round residents were given eviction notices and told that they had one month to vacate.
“The city needs to adjust its manufactured home park redevelopment policy to classify recreational vehicles as manufactured homes if used as a primary residence,” said Grant Rice, a self describe concerned citizen who previously ran for city council and mayor.
Shortly after the eviction notice was provided, South Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said city staff advised the Lark Group to obtain a ruling from the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB), which would determine if the RVs could be considered manufactured homes, which would afford the RV owners more benefits.
Regulations in the province require that manufactured home community residents be given one year’s notice of the final moving date, from the time that approvals are granted. They are also entitled to the equivalent of one year’s worth of site rent.
Residents of Seacrest started a committee to take the issue through the RTB process, but after six months, they agreed to accept a settlement package from the Lark Group before a ruling was made.
According to Rice, the residents felt as if their choices were limited.
“One of the problems is you’re asking people who are already stressed and on the verge of being evicted from their home to go to the RTB and roll the dice on whether or not they’re going to get a favorable ruling,” said Rice.
Prior to a vote on the matter, Councilwoman Vera LaFranc stated that she was initially concerned about the displacement of low income residents, and thanks both city staff and the Lark Group for their handling of the process.
“We saw that people were treated with respect and that’s what we would expect to see in (the) future if there are any development applications on manufactured homes and that would also include those that are tourist accommodation,” said LaFranc.
The council then approved the application.
As Daily Business News readers are aware, redevelopment, for any number of reasons, is a natural course of business, and most owners and operators follow rules and standards to the letter. This includes assistance for residents, and opportunities to purchase the community, including the case of residents in Dover Point, New Hampshire, who purchased their community right before Christmas. That story is linked here. ##
(Image credits are as shown above.)
Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.