'Still more to do' for mobile home park residents: West Kelowna council

'There is a level of fairness towards all the individuals impacted that is yet to be met'
The owners of Shady Acres mobile home park at 2355 Marshall Road wants to rezone the property to light industrial, forcing dozens of residents to find a new place to live. (Google Maps)

West Kelowna council has again postponed the controversial rezoning of a mobile home park to industrial use.

All tenants have left Shady Acres Mobile Home Park (2355 Marshall Road) and several homes have been demolished, however, four owners remain.

They declined a relocation assistance program provided by the developer, Kerr Properties.

“And have opted primarily to fall within the provincial process under the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act (MHPTA),” Planning Manager Chris Oliver explained to council at its July 9 meeting.

Under the act, owners are given 12 months notice and $20,000 in compensation. Residents may also be entitled to the assessed value of their homes through a dispute resolution process.

“Staff and the applicant have felt there are more limited options to support the remaining owners based on the MHPTA,” Oliver added.

One of the owners has retained legal counsel, as has the developer. A letter from Kerr Properties to the city states that work completed on the home does not have required municipal or provincial permits. The company is working with the city to assist with the proper permits.

Council also heard that the owner may not have the same opportunity for compensation.

“My understanding is that the gentleman paid rent for the entirety of his time there,” Councillor Jason Friesen said. “Now all of a sudden when it’s time to pay a fair sum…it’s an illegitimate building.”

Several councillors said there was still work to do, with Rick de Jong adding there is a responsibility to ensure everyone affected is treated equally.

“There is a level of fairness towards all the individuals impacted that is yet to be met,” he said.

Council praised Kerr Properties for helping tenants and owners with the relocation process. The company reached out to 20 nonprofit agencies.

“Particularly PIERS (Partners in Resources),” said Mayor Gord Milsom. “They stepped up in a very good way.”

Council put off consideration to rezone the property until it's confirmed that the remaining owners will be able to pursue compensation through the MHPTA or by mutual agreement with Kerr Properties.

Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
Read more