Photo: Park residents say they cannot move their homes because no other parks would take trailers older than 10 years./Kimberley Molina
Residents of the City Centre Mobile Home Park in Fort St. John were given a surprise letter last week: an eviction notice.
Moose FM obtained a copy of the eviction notice given to park residents by Sterling Management Services, which states they must vacate the area by April 30, 2012.
It further states that “A landlord who gives a tenant this Notice must pay the tenant, on or before the effective date of this Notice, an amount equal to 12 months’ rent payable under the tenancy agreement.”
However, at least two residents feel the 12-month rent is not enough compensation. Most residents in the trailer park either own their trailers or are renting to own their trailers and simply lease the land they sit on, says Krista Blundon, a trailer park resident. Blundon and fellow resident Troy Gach say their trailers are more than 10 years-old and other trailer parks will not accept mobile homes that are that age. Thus, they say they have no idea where they could go if they can’t take their homes with them.
Blundon says she has young children and for the amount she is currently paying in rent, she would only be able to afford a small apartment.
She also says she has organized a petition and is handing out dispute resolutions forms that residents can fill out and submit to the Ministry of Housing and Social Development.
Although the City is not directly involved in the dispute, Fort St. John City Planner Kevin Brooks says he was contacted by a representative of the trailer park owner late last year. Brooks says the representative asked about the property’s current classification and if it could be rezoned.
He says the land is currently zoned R3, which is a trailer park and city policy states that the land cannot be rezoned while it is still being used as a trailer park and people live there. He also says the City has always held the opinion that it would prefer the land be improved for the families living in the trailer park rather than to have them displaced.
The 1.558 hectare property is currently up for sale for $2.49 million and the listing states there is support to rezone the area to an R2 classification. That classification is the highest density possible in the area, having 125 units per hectare.
A call to Sterling Management has not yet been returned.