Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Good Compromise...

When someone shows up with 187 names on a petition in a little Town it is a big number and it good to see people are looking for solutions. Well the property owner found a loophole based on compassionate grounds which allows the trailer owner to stay for 6 months.... I still think it shouldn't have come to this as people should have been looking for a solution on both sides earlier. We are going through tough economic times and we all have to work together with a "common sense" approach to planning which sometimes may means amending the rules....
Souris council hears application for special permit to allow trailer
The Guardian
SOURIS — The trailer controversy rolls on here as Souris Trailer Park owners continue the fight to keep an illegally placed unit on their property within the town. Park owners Anne McPhee and Billy MacMaster arrived at Monday’s regular town council meeting armed with a group of backers, a 187-signature petition and an application for a special permit to allow the trailer to remain, contrary to the town’s bylaws and despite an appeal to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission that was recently denied. At issue is the trailer owned by Henry Jarvis that was moved onto a vacant spot in the park without a permit and in contravention of the town’s bylaws. Since 2002, the bylaws make it illegal to bring any more trailers into town. As they are phased out, they must be replaced by mini-homes. Mayor Joanne Reid said Henry Jarvis’ former partner, Courtney, and their two children live in a trailer next to his. Her mother lives in another trailer in the park and Henry’s own mother, Bernadine Jarvis, also lives in trailer there. “I asked them, ‘is there no one of the other three trailer owners already there in the park connected with him, who will take him in?’, and no one was willing, yet it is the town that is receiving the blame for Mr. Jarvis’ situation,” she said. In her proposal to council, McPhee said the owners of the Souris Trailer Park and Jarvis are making application for a special permit, based on compassionate grounds and with agreed-upon conditions attached, to allow Jarvis to keep his trailer in the trailer park and to hook him up to town water. “In terms of setting a precedent by issuing a special permit to move a trailer into the trailer park, we will agree, in writing, that this is a one time only circumstance and that we will not be coming back to the town for another special permit for the next homeless guy that comes our way,” she said. “Henry’s case is unique and unusual and we are appealing to the town on compassionate grounds once and only once.” McPhee contends that by issuing this one and only special permit, the town has an opportunity to turn the tide of public opinion in its favour. Reid said McPhee argued her case well and found a loophole in the bylaws of which the town was not aware. “As a result council will be using its discretionary power to extend the removal order for six months, allowing Jarvis to remain in the park during the cold winter, and giving him time to find another location for his trailer. Water and sewage hookups will be granted.” Council members feel they have been placed in a difficult position. Denis Thibodeau said bylaws approved by residents are there for a purpose, and are to be protected, however a compromise at this point was necessary. The town will review its bylaws in conjunction with the preparation of a special town plan sometime before March, and residents will have opportunity to address issues of concern at that time.

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