/MH to seek input on regulations for camping trailers 

MH to seek input on regulations for camping trailers 

By Chad Ingram

Minden Hills council is directing township staff to develop a public input
process for the potential creation of regulations to limit the use of and create a licensing system for  recreational campers within the township.
Last summer, council heard a delegation from residents who’d traditionally camped on their parents’ property and against whom a complaint was launched. Under Minden Hills’ zoning bylaw, recreational vehicles and campers are prohibited uses on properties in the townships, save for on licensed trailer parks and campgrounds. However, it’s widely understood that camping on residential properties does take place and when the issue was discussed last year, a number of councillors seemed to agree that the municipality’s regulations were too strict, and that perhaps it was time to modernize them.
As a report from township planner Ian Clendening indicated, the township does receive complaints about the use of trailers for camping purposes, receiving 25 such complaints during 2018 and 2019.  “Not surprisingly the three months of June through August generates the greatest complaint activity with a total of 13 complaints, or 52 per cent,” reads the report.
“Interestingly, there is a an influx in November, likely the result of
individuals concerned with how ‘temporary’ the recreational trailer is
intended to be used for as winter sets in.”
Some municipalities have policies regulating and controlling the use of trailers, with associated licensing systems.  “The review of other municipal practices highlighted a number of approaches including the variation in where in the municipality they were permitted; the number of trailers; whether a permit is required for a small number of days; and the length of the permit,” the report reads. “Should council wish to proceed with permitted recreational trailers, public consultation should be sought.”
Council agreed that public consultation should be the next step.
“I hate to say it, but everybody’s got valid points,” said Councillor Bob Carter, referring to those on both sides of the argument. Carter said he didn’t want to create a process that was too administratively burdensome, and supported pursuing public consultation.  “We just have to realize that we’re probably going to make 50 per cent of the people unhappy, so we just  have to make sure we’re doing it in the right way,” Carter said.
Councillor Pam Sayne noted that the complaints are often related to things the township already has bylaws for – noise, for instance – and said any redundancy should be removed from new regulations for trailers.  “We need to get rid of the things that are overlapping and already addressed,” she said. Sayne also pointed out there are some people in Minden Hills living in trailers throughout the winter, who have nowhere else to go.
Deputy Mayor Lisa Schell said that because other municipalities already having licensing systems in place, the township could borrow ideas from them.  “We don’t need to re-create the wheel,” Schell said. “ . . . We can look to what works in other areas.”