Friday, March 6, 2009

The Law Courts are not the location for a new home...

The following is an email to Mayor Lee that I sent out this afternoon offering to try and find an appropriate site to develop some manufactured home sites for these tenants and other potential new home buyers... in most cases we all have to work together to move forward and maybe before the City tries running down to the Courts to have this decision overturned (which they can't win) maybe they should try and work something out with all the parties.... and if we can help we'd gladly try and find a new location for these home (trailer) owners....

From: Tim Banks
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2009 2:30 PM
To: Clifford Lee (
Subject: Development Undertaking and Opportunity

Mayor Lee,

It’s unfortunate that the situation around the Idle Wheels Trailer Park has developed into a pressure situation for the tenants in having to relocate and that there currently no real inventory of suitable manufactured housing sites (MHC’s) for them to find within the City. We believe that the next round of bylaw changes should take a more open approach to this style of housing and if this were the case you would have APM’s undertaking to find and develop such a site. We believe there is a great opportunity to identify potential areas for this type of development within our City as these parks can be a very positive and economic contribution to any Community. At Killam Properties we own and operate a large assortment of parks containing 8,762 occupied home sites in a number of Provinces but none in PEI. We are continually trying to grow this side of our business but we can’t seem to find a development site opportunity for MHC’s in Charlottetown due in part to the current bylaw restrictions. For comparison we own 8,942 apartment units 481 of which are in the City of Charlottetown and there is no reason why we wouldn’t consider a similar proportional amount of MHC’s if they were available or developable. Most new park developments are quite attractive, affordable and have strong market demands, especially with seniors. I would be more than happy to prepare a presentation to Council on the benefits of developing such in our Community if you are interested? In the meantime if any member of Council or your staff believe there may be an immediate opportunity to identify or develop a potential site for a park to assist in getting some of the Idle Wheels residents relocated within the City please have them contact either Brian Gillis or myself directly as we would like to help.

I can’t help but comment on the recent IRAC decision on the Idle Wheels Trailer Park as I thought the City, led by Councillor MacDonald, went in the wrong direction in trying to fight the Developer’s fundamental “rights” to vacate his tenants. The City had already had its hands slapped on the MacArthur Appliances property over a developer’s “right to build” and all that was achieved there was the property now sits idle due to the delays. The City should have spent their time trying to find suitable home sites for the tenants of the park to relocate somewhere else in our City as opposed to trying to stop development. This could have been a great win, win for everyone if it had been managed a little better as we could have ended up with the benefits of new condo providing new taxes and also the retention of the existing tenants. Some tenants may have a case for not being able to afford a move but on the other hand maybe a creative “fund” developed from the new condo tax base could have been considered to assist those being relocated within the City? I don’t have all the answers but I do know the City was battling “fundamental rights” here and as a developer this is a little scary and tends to drive away potential developers and in this economic climate I don’t think this should be the message. I want to help develop our City and if there is anything I can do to help including building more manufactured home site Communities then please feel free to take me up on my undertaking.

Compassion not an option in trailer park dispute: IRAC
Friday, March 6, 2009
CBC News
Residents of a Charlottetown mobile home park lost their appeal Thursday to prevent rezoning that would clear the way for condominiums, and now must move.
'There should have been strong consideration and sensitivity and compassion.'— Coun. Mitchell Tweel
The proposal was originally turned down by city council but approved on appeal by the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission. The appeal to IRAC to change that ruling ended in failure Thursday.
Residents have been told they will be given at least a year to move.
The IRAC ruling said it "sympathizes" with the residents, but compassion cannot play a role in IRAC's decision-making process.
"The idea that IRAC has said they don't have the capacity to look at mitigating circumstances, I don't think they contemplated that the mitigating circumstances would be as extensive as they are in these particular circumstances," said Coun. David MacDonald.
The residents complained to IRAC that rezoning would mean uprooting an entire community. There are 19 trailers in the park, though some are empty.
No errors or new information
In its 12-page decision, IRAC said the only way the commissioners can change an original decision is if errors were made, or new information was provided, and that didn't happen.
Coun. Mitchell Tweel has been lobbying for the trailer park residents.
"The concerns of the residents fell on deaf ears," said Tweel.
"I think there should have been strong consideration and sensitivity and compassion. There was absolutely no compassion whatsoever."
MacDonald said it's too soon to say if the city will appeal to the courts.
The developers have to give residents at least six months notice to pack up their trailers and move them off the land.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wayne Hambly is sitting on close to 100 acres of prime MH land in Hillsborough Park.

The City, of course, turned Wayne down three times as he tried to rezone portions of this land for affordable manufactured housing because the good people of Hillsborough Village didn't want 'affordable housing.'

Yet the City will fight in the courts to keep a delapidated 1960's trailer park over a new condominium building? Where's the logic? Oh yeah, there isn't any.

In this case, thank heavens for IRAC as this COuncil would play politics with EVERYTHING!