Shediac bylaw restricts RV parking on properties

The tourist town of Shediac is imposing a new law on people who have been parking trailers and campers on their properties.

Repeat offenders could face fines of $570

A new bylaw in Shediac is restricting homeowners from parking their recreational vehicles and campers in front of their homes or sleeping in them on their property.

Residents in the seaside tourist town in southeastern New Brunswick are also limited to having one camper or trailer per household.

Michel Mercier, a bylaw officer in Shediac, said the rule should not affect a significant number of people in the community but it comes a year after the town received a number of complaints.

"We're just sending out the message that these RVs or these tent trailers are not used — they are not supposed to be used — as a dwelling," Mercier said.

Shediac residents are supposed to keep their one camper or trailer parked either behind or to the side of the house and not in their front yard. And the units must be set back at least 1.5 metres from property lines.

The bylaw was passed in January. So far this summer, Mercier said there have been a few warnings handed out for first offences.

Repeat offenders could face a fine ranging from $140 to $570, according to the town’s bylaw officer.

Mercier said the rules on RV storage are also a safety issue. In the past, he said some trailers were parked too close to the road and it could create traffic headaches for drivers.

"I've seen some here that the trailers are so long that even though they were parked in front of their house, the trailer was impeding the traffic. So that's a security issue on this side," Mercier said.

'It's a good thing'

Shediac is is located next to Parlee Beach Provincial Park and a few kilometres away from Cap-Pelé, another popular tourist destination.

While the town has its reasons for imposing the bylaw, owners of local campgrounds say the rules were needed.

Dorice Vautour runs the Wishing Star campground, which has been open for 15 years.

Vautour said the bylaw won't make a big difference for her business but there are certain facilities a campground offers that can't be found elsewhere, such as sewage treatment.

She said some people who were parking their campers on driveways would need to drive around the town to find a place to dump their unit’s sewage.

"It's a good thing because people are dumping everywhere, all over in Shediac. And we are witnesses — we witness a lot of things in the past — and it's not nice when you see all kinds of stuff on the ground," she said.