A legal dispute between the regional district and Area B resident John Reiter — who lives in a trailer on property zoned Rural ALR — has ended.
Friday in Supreme Court in Nanaimo, the judge ruled in favour of the CVRD, which had been trying to obtain compliance from the Farmview Road resident since 2013 when the district board voted to proceed with legal action against him.
Technically, zoning prohibits Reiter from occupying the trailer longer than 60 days in a 12-month period — which he claims is only enforced when there is a complaint.
“The bottom line is that they have the right to administer the bylaws, under the Local Government Act, as they see fit,” said Reiter, a retired mill worker who purchased his property off Dyke Road in 2006.
He says he has four years to comply with the bylaw or request another extension at the end of four years.
“It is really nice to have this done,” Reiter said. “It’s been a long haul.”
In a statement, the CVRD says it is grateful that Justice Kent has provided a “balanced decision that upholds the regional district land-use bylaw” while also being fair to Reiter.
“Mr. Reiter now has a long-term road map for compliance that is both fair to him and upholds the rule of law.”
Along with upholding the CVRD zoning as valid and enforceable with respect to the non-permanent use of RVs as residences, the district says the ruling ensures the bylaw applies equally to all property owners.
The zoning restriction on RVs is based on BC Building Code requirements for permanent dwelling units which RVs do not possess, but mobile homes, park model trailers and single family dwellings do. Reiter said the district dropped its request for costs.