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British Columbia RV Park Residents Fear Sale

August 24, 2009 by   - () Leave a Comment

rv-on-the-lake-resort-logoRV Resort on the Lake in Nanaimo, British Columbia, narrowly missed being sold this month, averting any immediate risk of tenants being evicted to make room for a new subdivision.

A buyer for the 150-site park on Vancouver Island, which Matterhorn Village Developments is selling for $7.9 million, has walked away from the deal, according to the Nanaimo Daily News.

The property has city approval to become a strata, meaning a new owner could subdivide it into individual lots.

Most of the park consists of RV lots, but 29 are owned by cooperative members and 13 are long-term rental units.

Those tenants are protected. Those who rent month-to-month could stay, if the new owners want to keep renting to them.

While the property is still on the market, the threat of eviction no longer hangs over residents’ head. But that could change if another buyer appears.

If so, those residents who aren’t protected might have to look for a new place.

That prospect is worrying to tenants.

“I don’t want to have to buy a lot or move,” said Violet Brydges, who lives in a 40-foot Jayco bungalow with her son, Drew Dancy, 12, after a recent marital breakup.

“There are a lot of people in these older units. A lot of parks won’t accept (the units) if they’re over 10 years old, so they could definitely lose their homes.”

Brydges doesn’t need the disruption of having to find a new place to park the trailer. The resort is close to a bus route and she doesn’t want to move her son to a different school.

Colliers International lists the property for $7.9 million. It is zoned for RV parks, family dwellings and mobile homes. It has a heated swimming pool, tennis court, putting green, hot tub and clubhouse, which forms a recreational center for the community, with its lounge, games and exercise rooms.

The resort “has potential as a 149-lot bare land strata subdivision,”  and the city has granted a preliminary layout approval to allow subdivision and stratification, according to the Colliers listing.

Residents with long-term rental agreements and co-op lot owners are protected unless they leave or sell their properties. No similar protection is afforded short-term renters.

Some residents recently saw a man touring the property and heard afterward he was a buyer and that a deal was in the works.

Brad Bailey, the Nanaimo contact for Colliers, said his company no longer has the listing, although Colliers sometimes “soft markets” properties on behalf of sellers, with the hope of generating interest.

Bailey said he also heard the property had been sold, but couldn’t confirm it. The property ownership hasn’t changed, but he said if a deal is in the works, it could be held up in due process.

“The whole thing about that property, the tough part is the (rental) mix,” Bailey said. “For anybody wanting to develop it, they’re required to deal with the people that live there.”

Brian Chatwin, a spokesman for Matterhorn Village Developments, confirmed a buyer was interested earlier this summer.

“We had an offer on it but it fell through,” Chatwin said. “It fell through about the beginning of this month.”

As to the property’s future use, “it depends what the purchaser wanted to do with the property,” Chatwin said,

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