Faro mobile home owner fights town's plans to relocate trailer park residents
Town of Faro plans to close trailer park to create RV park for tourists
After living in the Yukon for 20 years, Darrell Rieger decided to settle in Faro because it's quiet, remote and cheap to live in.
He bought an aging mobile home, situated in the municipally-owned trailer park.
But Rieger says now his future — and that of the six or so other occupants of the trailer park — is uncertain because the town has plans for the site of the trailer park.
"They want to move the trailers out and expand that trailer park into an RV park, to promote tourism," Rieger told the CBC.
He said the town has offered each homeowner $5,000 to cover the costs of electrical upgrades and hookup, once the trailers are moved.
But he said that amount won't go far.
"Knowing the way things are today, and costs of labour and electricians, I can't see $5,000 covering it."
Reiger added that's just a fraction of the costs the trailer owners would incur by moving.
"We'd be left with the costs of moving the trailers ourselves, and then the setup, with skirting and all of the hookups and landscaping, and any additions would have to be moved and set back up. It would be an enormous cost for all of us in there to be moved."
Rieger said moving would be a huge financial hardship for people who don't have a lot of money, saying that is why they're living in mobile homes in the first place.
Older trailers will fall apart if moved, says owner
He said several of the trailers are so old (he estimates some date from the 1970s) that they'll simply fall apart if moved.
"Our trailers won't even survive the move. They would be junked, and we may as well throw the keys in and just walk away. And we'd lose our homes and every investment we had in there."
Rieger suggests an alternative: the town should allow the mobile home owners to buy the land their homes sit on, and place the RV park elsewhere.
He said that would allow the trailer owners to borrow money to either upgrade their homes, or to tear them down and build small houses.
'We're not issuing eviction notices,' says town
Meanwhile, the Town of Faro says it won't evict the mobile home owners but it does intend to close the trailer park and turn it into an RV park for tourists.
The town's chief administrative officer Ian Dunlop said the town is willing to work with trailer park residents.
"Some of the older [homes] that are really in very poor condition, well maybe they're not even in good enough condition to be lived in as it is," he said.
Dunlop said the town is open to exploring options with the mobile home owners.
"We're just trying to find out what the options are, and try to improve the town. We're not looking at putting anybody out in the street. We're not issuing eviction notices."
Dunlop said the town will likely help with the cost of moving those units that are able to withstand relocation. He said the town has another trailer park that could accommodate those mobile homes.
He said if moving a trailer is not possible, then there are other housing units potentially available.
The plan to build an RV park is part of the town's larger vision when it comes to developing the town and attracting tourism, Dunlop said.
The mobile home owners can have their say at a public meeting the town is holding on Feb. 14. Dunlop said the focus is to discuss the town's new zoning bylaw and the town's amended official plan.