Retiree Larry Pilcher thought he’d found a piece of heaven and the oceanfront plot he would die on in the little RV park at the Cherry Point Marina.
“This is where I intended to stay the rest of my life,” said Pilcher.
“At age 83, that’s what you do.”
But now he’s one of about a dozen RV tenants facing eviction. Some have been renting at the marina for years.
The owner of the marina was visited by a Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) officer who told them the property isn’t zoned for longterm RVs and can’t continue.
“This is all they can afford,” said Arlene McKinlay, who is the friend of an evicted tenant.
“They own their homes. They’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. It’s heartbreaking,” said McKinlay.
“There was no reason for any of us to think that this wasn’t legal,” said Pilcher.
The tenants are struggling to find new places for their trailers. Some have additions on them and there is also a tiny house that needs to be relocated.
The CVRD says there are a lot of properties with similar circumstances now hitting their radar.
“We have an affordable housing crisis happening so it’s not particular to any one area,” said Kris Schumacher of the CVRD.
“I think this is something that local governments are challenged with right across British Columbia.”
According to Schumacher, CVRD bylaw officers must enforce zoning when complaints come in.
He said a neighbour complained about the amount of RVs at the marina last fall.
“There still needs to be action taken,” said Schumacher.
“Some type of action taken and in a reasonable amount of time, to rectify the situation.”
Tenants have until the end of March to find new places to call home.