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Introducing new recreational vehicles to vacant property

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WHITEWATER REGION (Cobden) — During the meeting of the Council of the Township of Whitewater Region on May 29, the topic of recreational vehicles was discussed.

According to the Township, in the Fall of 2018, they were made aware a local resident had installed a recreational vehicle on his vacant property along the Ottawa River.

The Township states that upon reception of this information, they advised the owner that in accordance with the local Zoning By-law, recreational vehicles were not permitted for human habitation outside of a Tourism Commercial (TC) Zone.

A TC Zone permits the use of a camping/cottage establishment and a recreational vehicle campground park.

The advocate voluntarily met with staff in order to determine a process to permit his recreational vehicle. The advocate also sought a delegation to Council at its Regular Meeting on February 20.

According  to records, at this meeting, the advocate was seeking a solution to permit a recreational vehicle seasonally or temporarily over the summer months. The advocate also made Council aware there are many other recreational vehicles being used seasonally throughout the Township.

In 2018, Council directed staff to review the matter and report back to Council.  After the Council meeting on May 29, staff was directed to prepare the necessary documents in order to implement Council’s decision.

One alternative being prepared is the management, health and safety intricacies through the implementation of a Recreational Vehicle Licensing By-law.

Passing this Licensing By-law Amendment would implement the approval process (fees), site inspection, timeframes, septage requirements and more.

Also being considered is permitting the use of recreational vehicles without the implementation of a Recreational Vehicle Licensing By-law.

According to the Township, operating costs associated with the licensing process would be offset by an application fee.

The Municipal Act specifically permits local municipalities to prohibit or license trailers located within their municipality.

The Municipal Act defines a recreational vehicle as, “any vehicle constructed to be attached and propelled by a motor vehicle and that is capable of being used by persons for living, sleeping or eating, even if the vehicle is jacked-up or its running gear is removed.”