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Village of Pemberton seeks to remove abandoned vehicles

Council looks to remove a pair of recreational vehicles that have been abandoned at a Pemberton Meadows parking lot for the past few months
An RV sitting in an empty parking lot.

On June 21, Pemberton council gave first three readings to bylaw amendments that would allow the Village of Pemberton to ticket and tow two recreational vehicles that have been abandoned.

In October 2021, a fifth-wheel style recreational vehicle was abandoned in the parking lot at Pemberton Meadows Fields, located north of the VOP on Pemberton Meadows Road in the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District’s (SLRD) Area C. The Village, which leases the property from the Sea to Sky School District, tried to ticket and tow the vehicle, but was unable to obtain consent from the regional district to exercise Village bylaws on the property and lacked authority to enforce SLRD bylaws, according to a staff report to council.

Since then, a second recreational vehicle has been abandoned on the property.

VOP staff sought a legal opinion, and found that sections of the Community Charter allow the Village “to regulate, prohibit and impose requirements in relation to the use of the property, even though the property is outside the Village’s boundaries, so long as the SLRD provides explicit consent,” the staff report read.

Staff is currently seeking formal consent from the SLRD through a bylaw services agreement.

The amendments in question make minor changes to language in the VOP’s parks and public spaces use and parking and traffic bylaws to make them broader in scope, expanding the definition of public spaces to include “lands held by the Village” and adding a prohibition against abandoning a vehicle in a public parking lot.

In a discussion at the June 21 council meeting, Councillor Ted Craddock raised concerns about the costs required for the Village to tow and store the vehicles until they are disposed of, saying he would prefer the owners of the vehicles remove them from the property themselves.

“I want to make it very clear to the community that’s listening that this impacts the taxes, and it just doesn’t seem right that there’s people out there that feel that they have the right to drop stuff off any place on anybody’s land and put it up to the taxpayer to pay for it,” said Craddock, about the costs that would partially come out of the town’s recreation services budget.

“I would hope that anybody out there that has any knowledge of who these belong to phone in anonymously. Because if we don’t do that, maybe there are some things in the recreation centre that doesn’t get done because the cost of this is going to be expensive.”

The bylaw amendment will come back for adoption at an upcoming council meeting.