Parksville had homeless people pitching tents earlier in 2019. — File photo

RDN officials discuss measures to avoid potential tent cities

Proposed bylaw would limit times for camping in parks

Regional District of Nanaimo officials have discussed measures to keep campers from building a large tent city in regional and community parks.

At the RDN’s regional parks and trails select committee meeting on Nov. 5, staff proposed a new bylaw that will allow people to only pitch tents in district parks overnight, from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m.

It would only be limited to areas within parks to ensure designated conservation areas, facilities, trails, parking areas, playgrounds and neighbouring residential properties will not be impacted.

READ ON: Qualicum Beach requires more attention from town’s only bylaw officer

In District 69, parks considered off limits include Es-hw Sments Park and Beachcomber Park in Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay); Columbia Drive Park, Neden Way Park and Little Qualicum Estuary in Electoral Area G (French Creek, San Pareil, Little Qualicum, Englishman River); and Henry Morgan Park in Electoral Area H (Bowser, Qualicum Bay, Deep Bay).

As well, the proposed bylaw will also deal with a total smoking/vaping ban; cannabis consumption; off-road vehicle use; electric bicycle use; and aligns RDN fees for camping and special-use events with rates comparable to those in other B.C. parks. An extra bylaw enforcement officer would be hired that would cost approximately $44,000 a year.

In drafting the recommendation, staff investigated other jurisdictions’ park use regulation bylaws to ensure that it meets best practices, aligns with federal and provincial laws, and that it is relevant to the needs of residents and guests of the RDN.

Several municipalities and regional districts in recent years updated bylaws to deal with homeless camping in parks. They include Abbotsford, the District of North Cowichan and Nanaimo.

A motion was made to refer the proposed bylaw back to staff for further review and to work closely with each electoral area directors on the proposed list of prohibited parks. A report will be presented to the committee again on Feb.4.

If adopted, the new bylaw will be applied to all regional and community parks and trails in the RDN.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PQB crime report: Thieves pilfer safe, flare gun, even a walker

Oceaside RCMP deal with 196 complaints in one-week span

PQBeat Podcast: The Old School House Arts Centre executive director Illana Hester

Listen: Talk includes changes at TOSH, long-term view of local arts scene

Superintendent Keven Elder talks to PQB business community about school system

‘I want to thank you for what you do for kids in our community’

‘Soft Shore’ public art installation at Parksville city hall more expensive than planned

Plans to install centerpiece from MAC summer show hits roadblocks

Water flushing in Parksville runs until April

Residents can expect water discolouration

WATCH: Man creates intricate replicas of Parksville-area buildings

Historic models currently on display at community centre

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Most Read