Long-term residents of Peace Arch RV Park were advised they have till May 1, 2020 to vacate. (Google Streeview image)

Long-term residents of Peace Arch RV Park were advised they have till May 1, 2020 to vacate. (Google Streeview image)

UPDATED: South Surrey RV park residents ‘up in arms’ over eviction notices

Residential Tenancy Branch investigating; park management cites ‘error’ in long-term stay permissions

A South Surrey RV park resident says some 300 tenants have been put at risk of homelessness, with notice that their long-term presence is violating City of Surrey bylaws.

The nine-year resident of Peace Arch RV Park told Peace Arch News this week that all of those who call the site home were given notice last week that city zoning does not allow stays at the site of more than six months in a 12-month period.

City officials, however, say the matter at Peace Arch RV Park is one “between the property owner and his tenants.”

“We have not approached the property owner or his tenants regarding the use of the RV park, nor have we cited the property owner or his tenants for being in contravention of the bylaw,” Surrey’s corporate services manager Rob Costanzo said by email Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, officials with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing have confirmed that the park, at 14601 40 Ave., is under investigation by the Residential Tenancy Branch’s (RTB) compliance and enforcement unit, after “some issues” were brought to the unit’s attention in July.

Efforts by PAN this week to reach an owner or manager of the park for comment were not successful.

A woman who answered the office line Tuesday morning told PAN “the people you have to talk with are away till tomorrow,” and advised PAN to “ask for the manager” at that time. In a follow-up call Wednesday morning, PAN was told neither the manager nor the owner would be available to comment until next week.

Ministry officials, noting a number of factors determine whether an RV park falls under tenancy law, would not comment further on specifics of the RTB investigation, citing confidentiality, but noted the unit was created “to investigate complaints and take action against landlords and renters who are repeat or serious offenders.”

“The residents of Peace Arch RV Park, like all people living in RV parks with questions about their specific situation, should contact the Residential Tenancy Branch for more information or dispute resolution,” officials said by email Wednesday.

Last week’s notice to tenants – dated Oct. 30 and signed ‘Peace Arch RV Park Administration’ – states that a recent RTB hearing and subsequent decision “highlighted an error we have made as management regarding the length of stay permitted in our form of Park” which “unfortunately means your current continued occupancy is unlawful.”

The notice does not identify the specific RTB decision.

It adds that the RTB has confirmed the park is “zoned only for temporary tourist accommodation,” and asks residents to “make new arrangements as soon as you can; but absolutely no later” than May 1, 2020.

According to city documents, the RV park was originally developed as a Kampground of America site in 1983, to provide tourist accommodation for Expo ‘86. It had 118 RV sites at that time, but expanded over the years to more than double that number “without ALC or City approval,” minutes from a February 2013 agriculture and food security advisory committee note.

The resident PAN connected with – who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution – disputes the six-month limit.

He said residents were made to sign a new licence agreement on Sept. 1, and nowhere in the document does it state anything about a limit.

In addition, the RTB noted that new compensation for tenants of manufactured home parks facing eviction, introduced in 2018, include “requiring park owners to compensate tenants for the assessed value of the home over $20,000 if a manufactured home can not be relocated,” and an increase in the amount of compensation for bad-faith evictions to 12 months’ pad rental, or $5,000, whichever is greater.

The issue of RV use in Surrey was a subject of note in council chambers Monday night, when bylaw changes were enacted to make it illegal to sleep or live in an RV on city streets. During the discussion, Coun. Brenda Locke noted eviction notices were recently issued “to a number of people” at a Surrey trailer park.

READ MORE: Surrey councillor says decision to ban sleeping in RVs on streets ‘mean-spirited’

READ MORE: ‘There’s no law against living in a motorhome in Surrey’

The resident PAN connected with said his neighbours are “up in arms” over the notice.

While some are simply planning to move, there are more senior residents for whom that isn’t an option, he said. Their RVs “wouldn’t even make it out the front gate before they fell apart.”

He, personally, has nowhere to go, he added.

“There is no place to go and I can’t even afford to move,” he said. “I will be homeless without a doubt.”



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

RCMP are looking for “an unknown man who wrapped his arms around” a female youth in Clayton Feb. 26. (Black Press file photo)
Youth assaulted by unknown man in Cloverdale

Mounties looking for ‘tall and thin’ Caucasian man in his 40’s with short dark brown hair

Framed photos of Travis Selje and other items fill the top of a dresser in his bedroom. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Crown says defence case epilepsy caused fatal Surrey crash fails on balance of probabilities

‘She very clearly had some form of control over that vehicle,’ Crown argues

Alex Browne photo The felling of two mature Douglas Fir ‘eagle trees’ on Oxford Street, just south of Prospect Avenue, in June of 2019, prompted a review of tree management bylaws and policies now before White Rock council. The trees were felled on instructions from City of White Rock staff, who said the work was necessary because they had become hazardous. (File photo)
City of White Rock mulls ‘tree protection’ bylaw

More stringent measures needed to protect canopy – councillor

teeaser
Surrey TEDx talks move online with ‘fast-paced’ event that’s free to watch March 27

Last year’s TEDxBearCreekPark attracted 900 spectators to Bell theatre

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Passengers aboard Komagata Maru in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet, 1914 - Library and Archives Canada image
Abbotsford council is asked to rename street in memory of Komagata Maru victims

Most of 376 the passengers aboard ship were denied entry into Canada in 1914

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Bryan Adams with his mom, Jane Adams Clark, at Lions Gate Hospital. (Bryan Adams)
Bryan Adams gives shout out to North Shore hospital

The singer’s mom was in Lions Gate Hospital for care

Shoppers will be able to get their hands on signed bottles of Ryan Reynolds’ new gin at B.C. liquor stores this summer. (Twitter/Ryan Reynolds)
Ryan Reynold’s Aviation Gin autographed and coming to B.C. stores

This summer 100 bottles will be available to the public for purchase across five B.C. liquor stores

Most Read