But we are good neighbours

Editor, The News:

Re: Residents riled over RV complaints (The News, April 8).

I would like to thank the Brooks family and staff reporter Phil Melnychuk for bringing this issue to attention.

Recently, we and several of our neighbors have also been unfairly targeted by the bylaw office for parking our RVs in our own driveways.

We purchased our home in Maple Ridge two years ago specifically for the double wide extra long RV friendly driveway.

It is interesting to note that the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows real estate ads tout RV parking and still do.

The bylaw office was closed for the weekend when we signed the papers in the midst of a bidding war.

We actually Googled “Maple Ridge bylaws” just in case and found nothing.

We have since learned that if we had been computer savvy, we would have known to click on zoning and scroll down the page through hundreds of bylaws until we found parking.

After two years problem-free, we received a 72-hour warning notice of a $250 fine.

It is interesting to note that the bylaw officer had to get out a tape measure in order to determine if we were in violation of the bylaw.

My husband paid a visit to the bylaw office and inquired as to exactly what the nature of the complaint was.

He was told that we were simply over the allowable limit by two feet and that no other complaint was necessary in order to issue a fine.

He explained we were having trouble locating the bylaw on the district website and asked for assistance.

He was coldly denied any assistance and informed that the bylaw office does not assist people with these matters.

Is driving around Maple Ridge, brandishing a tape measure really an effective use of our bylaw officers time?

Weren’t bylaws put in place to protect people from health and safety issues, and to protect us from abusive, irresponsible neighbors, unkept premises, unacceptable noise, backyard burning, rental slums and grow ops?

I should think our extra two feet of trailer, fitting well within our driveway, on our own property, is pretty small potatoes in comparison.

Our corner lot is immaculate and well maintained at all times.

We pride ourselves on being extremely thoughtful, responsible, respectful neighbors.

Now, even though we have a driveway that perfectly accommodates our RV, we are forced to store it on an unsecured lot in Chilliwack at an enormous expense and huge inconvenience to ourselves.

Apparently the geniuses at the bylaw office forgot to factor in the lack of local RV storage space and fees that at many local lots have mysteriously appear to have increased since the recent RV crackdown.

Now then, exactly whose rights are being violated here?

In our opinion, simply using this particular bylaw itself without a legitimate complaint from an affected neighbor is a misuse of the bylaw in question.

If a bylaw is being broken here, then perhaps a review of the purpose of our bylaws needs to be revisited.

Susan Webb

Maple Ridge