Residents riled over RV complaints

Deb and Dan Brooks have been told to move their RV off their property because it is too long. - Colleen Flanagan/The News
Deb and Dan Brooks have been told to move their RV off their property because it is too long.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/The News

Deb Brookes’ RV has been sitting beside her house for a year, and nobody’s raised a peep.

Neighbours have had a recreational vehicle parked on their property for 11 years with no complaints. Another has done the same for eight years with no issues.

So why has the District of Maple Ridge bylaws department visited several homes in the area and measured vehicles to see if they comply with the bylaw restricting RV sizes to 7.5 metres or less?

A bylaw officer was in the area at the end of the month and told another neighbour that there have been 200 complaints. It hasn’t been confirmed, but the neighbours are saying one individual is driving around making the complaints.

Bylaw officers only respond to issues if there have been complaints made to the district.

After a bylaw officer measured her RV a few days ago, Brookes got a letter Thursday telling to her to remove her 9.9-metre-long vehicle within two weeks, although she could apply for an extension.

“We have to have it removed by April 20,” she said.

Finding another place to store the vehicle could get expensive.

At this point, she doesn’t know what she and her husband Dan will do.

She points out that she has a large lot and pays more than $4,000 yearly in property taxes to the district.

Maple Ridge’s bylaw dates from the 1990s, when RVs were smaller, she pointed out.

“It’s an old bylaw and it should be re-addressed.” She plans on talking to council to ask for a review of the statute and points out Langley township recently changed its bylaws, relaxing RV storage.

She also plans on filing a Freedom of Information request to learn how many complaints have been made.

District bylaws couldn’t be reached for comment. However, Mayor Ernie Daykin said he knows “somebody made a number of complaints in Hammond,” within the last month, but he thought it was concerning messy yards.

“For people never to have complaints and for all this to happen over a two-week period doesn’t add up,” Brookes said.

Brookes says her daughter has already created a Facebook group which has drawn 33 members.

Langley township recently changed its bylaw to allow RVs to be parked in front yards between May 15 and Sept. 15, if there’s at least 1.6 metres of space between the RV and the property line.

The rest of the year, RVs can be parked at the side or back of lots.

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