Clean-up order for rural Maple Ridge RVs

Dozen people living on acreage, in scrap cars, unpermitted buildings, using generator

City of Maple Ridge staff photos show plumbing on the site.

City of Maple Ridge staff photos show plumbing on the site.

Maple Ridge council has laid down the law on a property on Hilland Avenue in Webster’s Corners.

Council, last week, gave the property owner a month to tear down the ramshackle buildings and remove several recreation vehicles, as well as other vehicles from the property, near 256th Street.

A staff report said the owner was told in an April 28 letter to clean up the property.

In addition, a copy of the letter was posted on the property.

But there’s been no response.

City bylaws staff then made a safety inspection of the property on May 31, when they spoke with people living in the RVs.

The city sent a second letter, but didn’t receive an answer to that either.

The buildings are a hazard to other property owners, while the illegally inhabited buildings create a nuisance, said the staff report.

Council heard at its Oct. 3 meeting that a generator is supplying the power and untreated sewage is flowing on to the ground.

While council ordered the cleanup, Coun. Bob Masse wanted to know what would happen to the dozen or so people living there.

There has to be an effort made to find people other places to live.

“If we skip that piece, guess where they’re going to end up? They’re going to end up on our streets.”

He cited the city’s previous closing of Northumberland Court on Fraser Street.

Mayor Nicole Read said there several such properties around Maple Ridge.

She added that it’s a perfect example of why the city’s homeless numbers increase because when decrepit buildings are closed down, people become homeless.

Masse, though, said previous councils have always dealt with such properties.

“It’s not like they’ve been ignored historically.”

If the property is not cleaned up within 30 days, the city has the option of doing the cleanup itself and billing the property owner.