Residents at Maple Pool Campground are caught in the middle of a legal battle between the City of Courtenay and campground owners Dali and Jin Lin.
The City has initiated legal action against the couple because their property on Headquarters Road is inadequately zoned for occupancy, a technicality that could force 54 residents onto the streets if the court favours the City.
The Lins moved from Taiwan to the Comox Valley in 1992 and purchased the campground in 1996. They operate a Community Living Project for the residents, most of whom were homeless before living in trailers at Maple Pool. Rent is $350 a month.
If the Lins have to post eviction notices, Dali said all the tenants will end up on the street. Apartment living is out of the question due to a lack of money and, in certain cases, mental health issues.
Drugs and alcohol were rampant at Maple Pool when the Lins started the Community Living Project, but the situation improved thanks to the tenacity of Jin, who chased away the drug dealers.
Be that as it may, the Lins are technically at fault because they are not conforming with a bylaw and because their property sits on a floodplain, which could leave the City liable if an injury were to occur during a flood. But at worst, according to Dali, flooding at Maple Pool results in a foot of water.
In an effort to comply with the bylaw, the Lins hired an engineer to conduct a survey but the company quit the job, thus delaying the rezoning process.
Give the City credit.
Council granted the Lins about a year to come up with a rezoning plan. But the Lins need more time, and a reliable engineer.
If their tenants end up on the street, taxpayers will be forking out thousands to pay for service and other costs. More importantly, the 54 residents will again be homeless.
So how about working together to find a solution to expedite the rezoning process, rather than involving lawyers and legal fees?