Public hearing on March 6 will address manufactured home park in Saltair

Zoning amendments to allow "site built" dwellings on the former site of the Saltair Mobile Home Park will be discussed.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) is on the verge of amending a bylaw that will allow for on-site homes to be built in a trailer park in Saltair.

The move comes amidst an outcry from locals who are saying CVRD officials are sending affordable housing to the wall in the area.

A public hearing has been scheduled for this Thursday (March 6) at the Mt. Brenton Centre in Saltair.

According to the CVRD, the purpose of Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw 3781 and Zoning Amendment Bylaw 3782, which are the subject of the public hearing, is to amend the Manufactured Home Park Zone 1 (MP-1) to permit “site built” dwellings as an alternative to mobile homes and modular homes that are presently permitted in the MP-1 zone.

Saltair Oceanfront Estates is a 16-lot strata manufactured home project being developed on the former site of the Saltair Mobile Home Park. The property is zoned MP-1, which allows mobile homes and modular homes, but not conventional dwellings built on site, sometimes referred to as “stick built” or “site built” dwellings, according to the CVRD.

According to WCY Rentals, which owns the property, they were approached by local businesses asking them to apply to include site built dwellings in the zoning, which would translate into the possible creation of and/or support of local jobs and suppliers.

“The CVRD is on the verge of changing affordable housing in the Cowichan Valley forever,” Saltair resident Lynne Smith, who is against amending the bylaws, wrote in an e-mail to the Chronicle. “[It] is on the verge of amending the Manufactured Home Park MP-1 zone bylaw in Area G/Saltair.

“What does this mean to affordable housing in the CVRD? It means that land speculators will be looking at properties zoned MP-1 as land grabs. The past tenants of Seaside Manufactured Home Park (Seaside Trailer Park) could tell you what it is like to be evicted to the curb.”

Back in 2007, WCY Rentals bought Seaside Trailer Park, planned for re-development, and ended up evicting many residents who were living in manufactured homes in the park. Very little happened apart from a few fallen trees back in April 2008 that forced some residents out quicker than they would have liked, according to Smith.

WCY Rentals has its development permit and all other necessary permits for the development, and the current zoning allows 15 modular homes, plus the existing house and cottage, on the 1.8-hectare site for a total of 16 bare land strata lots. The existing zoning allows 15 units per hectare — or 27 units on the site — and the proposed amendment to the zoning bylaw would permit nine units per hectare — or 16 units on the site.

If the amendment goes through, Smith fears a similar approach will be taken by developers across the valley and beyond.

“If the CVRD approves theses amendments, [it] will change the face of affordable housing and possibly changed the density allowed in rural and semi-rural areas in the Cowichan Valley forever,” she said. “What happens in one CVRD electoral area zoning bylaw is like a virus and spreads to other electoral areas. It can even set a precedent.”

Thursday’s public hearing will start at 7 p.m. at the Mt. Brenton Centre at 3850 South Oyster School Rd. in Saltair.

Just Posted

B.C. to serve Riot Brewing’s dark mild to visiting dignitaries

Just in time for their second anniversary celebration, the folks at Riot… Continue reading

Cassidy home lost to fire, but family and 14 dogs are safe

Firefighters were called to a blaze Wednesday morning at house near Nanaimo Airport

Gas prices on Vancouver Island to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

LRCA receives $3.6-million in provincial funding for affordable housing project

The Ladysmith Resources Centre Association is receiving $3.6-million in provincial funding to… Continue reading

Ladysmith researchers shed new light on First World War effort

John and Esther Sharp visited the Ladysmith Archives a year ago to… Continue reading

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Island Corridor Foundation optimistic about restoring rail service

If green-lighted, first priority would be Langford to Victoria route

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Most Read