NEWS
11/12/2015 18:23 EST | Updated 11/12/2016 00:12 EST

Maple Pool Camp residents win right to stay in Courtenay

After almost five years of legal disputes, the City of Courtenay is allowing a campground that caters to homeless and disadvantaged people to stay open.

The owners of the Maple Pool Campground, Jin and Dali Lin, have reached an agreement with the city, allowing the campground's approximately 45 residents to continue living on the site.

"We are so lucky to have so many people helping us," Jin Lin told On the Island's Gregor Craigie. 

Since 2010, the City has tried to evict tenants of the campground over zoning issues, as well as concerns of safety and liability in the event of flooding.

"The city worries about whether people's lives will be put in danger, or whether the trailer will be flooded out by the river," said Lin.

"Usually people will think about liability first — they don't want to get into trouble."

'Nobody has to move out'

Many of the campground's long-term residents are living on social assistance, or come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Some of them live in seasonal trailers, donated by members of the surrounding community.

Lin could not give details about the specific terms of the settlement, but said she is pleased with the result.

"Right now, we can still provide 53 sites," she said. "Nobody has to move out."

In a statement on Monday, the City of Courtenay said those 53 sites are located at higher elevations, and away from flowing rivers.

The rest of the campsite will be allowed to continue operating, with 23 other seasonal and short term campsites available to rent on the property.