Westporte Place residents have won a temporary reprieve from having to remove the boats and recreational vehicles they store on city property near their homes.
Port Alberni city councillors voted against a motion that would have required residents to remove their equipment.
Council however voted in favour of not changing the Traffic Control bylaw regarding storing boats and RVs on city streets. And they voted to forward any changes to the bylaw governing storing such equipment in front yards to the pending zoning bylaw review.
The matter arose during discussion on a report city planner Scott Smith wrote about the issue.
According to the report, Westporte Place homeowners are storing their recreational equipment on 50 acres of city owned land adjacent to their properties. The land is zoned for future development and is well kept.
Smith outlined three options to deal with the matter. One would be to subdivide the city land and piecemeal it for sale to the equipment owners. The second was a license of occupation with the owners, each of which would require a separate agreement.
The third option would require residents to remove their equipment in a reasonable period of time. City staff would work with residents on the options, all of which would incur costs.
“Why would they pay when they already use it for free,” said Coun. Wendy Kerr, who favoured residents paying a fee.
Speaking in favour of the third option, Mayor John Douglas said that the residents chose to purchase recreational equipment, chose to put them on city property and now feel a sense of entitlement.
“They have no right to keep vehicles on city property. We just have to buck up,” said Douglas, who likened one option to opening an RV park on city property and making money.