A businessman involved in a legal dispute over the operation of an alleged recreational vehicle park at his Upper Lantzville property lost his bid to have multiple campers and trailers parked on his land.
Lantzville councillors unanimously rejected a rezoning application for 7886 and 7890 Clark Drive West to allow for 10 recreational vehicles on the properties, during a council meeting on Feb. 25.
The rezoning application, which staff had recommended councillors deny, was submitted by the property owner, Stan Pottie, who has been involved in a legal battle with the District of Lantzville over land use at 7890 Clark Drive West, which was also the site of a marijuana dispensary.
The B.C. Supreme Court ruled last summer that Pottie contravened the district’s zoning and building bylaws by having a large trailer, small trailer, decks and shed on his 7890 Clark Drive West property. Pottie, according to court documents, was also found in violation of a traffic bylaw for having a fire truck stored on the boulevard of a road right-of-way.
Pottie, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Lantzville in October, had argued the district had “no legal basis” and that he was never advised of his rights.
In September, the Supreme Court ruled that Pottie breached his court order by failing to remove a small trailer from his property. Pottie, according to court documents, has until May to remove all recreational vehicles from his property.
Prior to council’s discussion on the rezoning application during the Feb. 25 meeting, Pottie, during public participation period, told councillors the judge had ordered the district to work with him to find a solution.
“The judge made it pretty clear he’s not entertaining throwing people out on the street in a housing crisis we are having, so he gave us time to find a solution,” he said. “Now, if we work out a solution, it could be a zoning change or whatever, I am willing to work out anything necessary to make it work for Lantzville. Whatever criteria or rules or whatever.”
Pottie also said staff had to recommend councillors reject his application because of policies within Lantzville’s official community plan. He said if the property were to be rezoned, the district would get more money in taxes from him.
Ronald Campbell, the district’s chief administrative officer, told council that the ruling in Pottie’s case was not to find a solution.
Coun. Will Geselbracht, a lawyer himself, said the entire process of the rezoning application was done wrong.
“It has to be done right; the days of just going ahead and asking for permission later are gone in Lantzville. We have very valuable properties that we live in, we’re a respectful community,” Geselbracht said.
Geselbracht also said he is aware that there is another trailer park on the street and that maybe the district should ask residents in the area if they would be fine with having zoning that would permit for trailer park use, but not now.
Mark Swain said Pottie’s proposal is for an RV park and not a mobile home park and that can bring challenges. He said people have a certain expectation that when they buy property the zoning around them won’t just suddenly change.
Coun. Ian Savage said Pottie’s request touches on a much bigger topic that councillors will need to discuss in the future. He said Pottie’s proposal was ill-prepared and poorly thought out, but hopes a solution can be reached.
“I would invite the owner to continue looking for other solutions,” Savage said, adding that he’s very much in favour of having more housing solutions for Lantzville.
Pottie could not be reached for further comment.
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