Burpee and Mills latest municipality to pass travel trailer permit bylaw

Billings’ proposed trailer fees bylaw has drawn criticism from some councillors and ratepayers who worry the legislation may result in too many restrictions for property owners in the township. Shutterstock

EVANSVILLE – Council for Burpee and Mills has passed a by-law to license trailers in the township.
“This is all being done because people have had trailers parked on property all over the township. Over the past few years we have found dozens of trailers in areas where they shouldn’t be, and in some cases they leave their garbage,” stated Burpee and Mills Reeve Ken Noland after a township council meeting on January 5. “The people who own the trailers, they use the services and municipal roads in the township but pay no taxes. This is a problem, not just in our township but all over the province. That is why the province amended the municipal act to allow municipalities to charge and fine people who are illegally parking or using a trailer in an area and fine them, without having to take them to court.” 

“When people park a trailer in the bush and set up there, it becomes a real eyesore,” added Reeve Noland.

The annual licence fee under the bylaw is $750 per year. There is also a 30-day licence fee of $400 per month on vacant land. Only one 30-day licence will be issued per calendar year. And the bylaw includes a $375 licence with an approved building permit. The annual fee, and monthly fee for the authorized use of a trailer for a 30 consecutive day period is in effect between April 1 and December 15 in the same calendar year.

“A licence issued pursuant to this by-law authorizes the use and maintenance of a trailer for temporary accommodations only. The issuance of a licence does not grant the licensee the authority to occupy the trailer on a permanent basis. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, no person shall occupy or permit to be occupied a trailer during the period commencing December 16 and March 31 of the following calendar year. The landowner is responsible to ensure the removal of the trailer prior to December 16 of the calendar year,” the bylaw reads.

No landowner shall allow more than one trailer on a parcel of land. And, under no circumstances will a trailer be allowed to be used as a short-term rental unit, the bylaw reads.

Under the bylaw, the presence of a stored trailer on a conveyable parcel would not preclude the issuance of a licence for a trailer. And where a trailer, that is located on a property and has been established to a legally non-conforming use and where such trailer has only been used occasionally for living, sleeping, or eating accommodations of persons, such a trailer shall not be deemed as a stored trailer as defined in section 2.19 and shall be subject to an annual licence.

The owner of the property upon which a trailer is to be located will be responsible for the acquisition of the licence.  

There are three licence exemptions under the bylaw. A stored trailer, an assessed trailer, or a trailer used or stored in a campground or trailer park will not require a licence.

The administration and enforcement of this bylaw is delegated to the municipal bylaw enforcement officer for the municipality. Any person who contravenes any provision of this by-law is guilty of an offence and upon conviction is liable to a fine.

And, “the municipality shall recover all costs and expenses associated with actions taken and work done under this by-law in a manner provided by statute, whether by action or by adding the cost of the tax roll and collecting the cost in the same manner as taxes.”

Fines under the bylaw range from $100, failure to display a licence or providing false information on a licence application to the largest fine of using a trailer without a licence, a fine of $1,500 ($750 fine and annual fee).

Reeve Noland stressed that although council township has enacted this bylaw “the main objective for the first four months of it being in place is for education to take place, before enforcement and fines can be imposed.”