Mulhurst Bay RVers won’t be pushed around

Writer says Mulhurst Bay RV limbo must end

Dear editor,

Re: Land Use By-law Issue

The 200 plus members of the Save Our Summers Pigeon Lake Facebook Group (SOS), believe RV overnight stays should remain an option for families on private property at traditionally mixed-use lakeside districts as has been the norm since RVs were invented. The Concerned Citizens of Mulhurst Bay (CCM), a minority collection of finger pointers, have convinced county council to use a long dormant by-law provision to force hundreds of families to remove their RVs and abandon their summer retreats.

This nightmare started for many of us in August 2016 when the county demanded RV removal or else. When the SOS pushed back, council tabled the matter to April 21, 2017 at which time they went to a community meeting in Mulhurst attended by many.

Reeve Kathy Rooyakkers began the meeting saying council’s goal was to “heal the community”. She went on to acknowledged the division and damage already done . Throughout the meeting, the CCMs’ anti RV ideas were loudly rejected by a clear majority of the 150 to 200 member crowd. Not surprisingly council did not reveal their decidedly anti RV plans for the future. They saved that for the Planning &Economic Development meeting May 11.

On the 11th, Councilor McKeever made a 13 point anti RV presentation pointing out that anti RV property owners had “obeyed the law”, implying that pro RVers had not. No-one pointed out that there was no by-law in place restricting RVs when many of us purchased our properties. We only became “non-compliant” when the county created a new by-law that changed our rights. The only glimmer of light occurred when reeve Rooyakkers and councilor Lyle Seely offered two possible solutions. Predictably, these were immediately rejected by the other councilors. Unfortunately, all signs are that this council is neither willing to discuss or consider anything but aggressive enforcement. This was confirmed when I received an e-mail on May15 announcing a new deadline of September 30, 2017.

This problem was created by council yet there has been no public hearings or meaningful discussion about solutions. That is unacceptable. RV users will not be forced, under threat, to abandon their investments, tear down their infrastructure and remove their RVs only weeks before the election. The inherent flaws in this by-law are the reason it has remained unenforced for 20 plus years. Lakeside communities are unique and where mixed-use is traditional, it should remain the norm. Access to the lake is for everybody, not just the lucky folks who live there or can afford a second home and the local economy needs all the help it can get.

Councilors in the upcoming election should make their positions known.

We have requested this matter be tabled until spring 2018 to allow the new council to schedule public hearings and allow this issue to be decided in an inclusive, open manner, reflective of good governance. We have received no reply.

Dean Oliver, Mulhurst Bay