RDN passes bylaw allowing overnight homeless camping in designated parks

RDN passes bylaw allowing overnight homeless camping in designated parks
The Regional District of Nanaimo has passed an amended bylaw allowing homeless people to camp in designated parks overnight.

The Regional District of Nanaimo Tuesday night passed a proposal to update its bylaw for park use, which will allow homeless people to camp at designated parks overnight.

Under the updated bylaw, those living on the streets will be allowed to camp in some, but not all, district parks from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. the next day, which is when they must leave the park until the following 7 p.m.

Those who camp must clean up any debris, take all personal belongings, and all erected tents and shelters must come down.

More than 70 district parks, however, are off-limits to campers in the bylaw, which include:

Electoral Area A (Cedar, South Wellington, Yellowpoint, Cassidy) – Cedar Plaza Community Park, Kipp Road Community Park, Cedar Skatepark MacMillan Road Community Park, Fawcett Road Community Park, Thelma Griffith Community Park, Glynneath Road Community Park, Woodridge Road Community Park.

Electoral Area B (Gabriola, DeCourcy, Mudge Islands) – Blue Heron Community Park, Link Bay Road Community Park, Bluewhale Community Park, Malaspina Galleries Community Park, Captain Ahab’s Terrace Community Park, Paisley Place Community Park, Cardale Road Community Park, Pequod Crescent Community Park, Clamshell Drive Community Park, Pilot Bay Community Park, Coast Road Community Park, Queequeg Place Community Park, Decourcy Drive Community Park, Rollo McClay Community Park, Dodd Narrows Community Park, Sea Fern Lane Community Park, Dunlop Lane Community Park, Stalker Road Community Park, Hummingbird Community Park, The Strand Community Park, Huxley Community Park, Town-Ho End Community Park, Joyce Lockwood Community Park, Descanso Bay Regional Park, Coats Marsh Regional Park.

Electoral Area C (Extension, Nanaimo Lakes, East Wellington, Pleasant Valley) – Extension Miners Community Park, South Forks Road Community Park, Heather Way Community Park, Twilight Way Community Park, Riverbend Road Community Park, Virostko Road Community Park, Riverbend Community Park.

Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay) – Arbutus Grove Community Park, Highland Road Community Park, Blueback Drive Community Park, Jack Bagley Community Park, Brickyard Community Park, Nanoose Road Community Park, Carmichael Road Community Park, Park Place Community Park, Claudet Creek Community Park, Redden Road Community Park, Claudet Road Community Park, Richard Place Community Park, Craig Creek Estuary Community Park, Rowland Road Community Park, Crowsnest Lane Community Park, Rumming Road Community Park, Davenham Road Community Park, Schooner Ridge Community Park, Dolphin Lake Community Park, Stone Lake Drive Community Park, Dolphin Marsh Community Park, Beachcomber Regional Park, Es-hw Sme~nts Community Park Moorecroft Regional Park.

Electoral Area F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington, Whiskey Creek, Meadowood) – Allsbrook Road Community Park, Kerr Road Community Park, Brooklin Lane Community Park, Little Qualicum Falls Community Park, Coombs Station Community Park, Meadowood Community Park, Errington Community Park, Melon Road Community Park, French Creek School Community Park, Old Alberni Hwy Community Park, Harris Crescent Community Park.

Electoral Area G (French Creek, San Pareil, Little Qualicum) – Blue Water Place Community Park, Maple Lane Community Park, Boultbee Drive Community Park, Neden Way Community Park, Brookfield Windridge Community Park, Peterson Rascal Community Park, Centre Crescent Community Park, Quails Landing Way, Cinnamon Sedge Matuka Community Park, Riley Sanika Community Park, Columbia Drive East Side Community Park, San Malo Crescent Community Park, Dalmatian Drive Community Park, Stanhope Community Park, Dashwood Community Park, Stormwater Community Park, Hawthorne Rise Community Park, Sumar Lane Community Park, Kaye Peterson Community Park, Top Bridge Community Park, Kaye Rivers Edge Community Park, Little Qualicum River Estuary RCA, Kaye Road Community Park, Dashwood Community Park, Matuka Drive Community Park, French Creek Community Park, Miller Road Community Park, River’s Edge Community Park.

Electoral Area H (Bowser, Qualicum Bay, Deep Bay) – Deep Bay Creek Community Park, Wildwood Place Community Park, Henry Morgan Community Park, Horne Lake Regional Park, Lions Community Park.

Overnight camping is not allowed on all trails and paths, all water accesses, or within 30 metres of residential properties, park buildings, toilets, shelters, playgrounds, picnic tables, benches, garbage cans, maintained fields or other organized play spaces.

Those experiencing homelessness cannot camp in a conservation zone.

The bylaw amendments are consistent with steps taken by the City of Nanaimo after a decision by the B.C. Supreme Court in 2018 to a tent city in a municipality.

The update also includes a total ban on smoking, the possibility of cannabis use, but not through smoking or vaping and the possibility of off-road vehicle use in some parks and trails.


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