Neighbourhood battle over camper vans on Dallas Road
VICTORIA -- After an upheaval from people living in Victoria's Fairfield neighbourhood about camper vans being parked along Dallas Road overnight, one neighbor has come forward saying the residents of those vans should be left alone.
Brendan Innis started his own petition, saying there are more opinions than just people opposing it.
“As long as I have lived in James Bay, I haven’t seen a problem with the parkers,” he said. “I don’t see them as a problem.”
Janice Williams lives in Fairfield and started a petition to have overnight campers removed and told CTV News Vancouver Island they are “freeloading.”
"It is not fair to everyone else, it comes at an expense to everyone too," said Williams.
A Pacific Rim College student who lives in a van and parks in the area told CTV News he can’t afford both rent in the city and his student loans.
“Really, I'm just trying to save myself in the long run,” said Michael Hanes.
Innis said asking the city to evict people from Dallas Road is not a fair response to the housing crisis.
“Not everyone in Victoria wants these people to be evicted, we don’t think it is the right solution for the housing crisis,” he said. “We live in one of the most unaffordable cities in the world, we have a vacancy rate under two percent.”
Innis said overnight parking will continue unless a reasonable solution to help people is presented.
“They live in their vehicles, they have to park somewhere overnight,” he said.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said the city can enforce the bylaw, which it has pledged to do, but the people in the camper vans have nowhere to go.
“Until the federal government unleashes a little more funding to solve the problem, we are just going to keep shuffling people around and that is not good for anyone,” said Helps.
Earlier this week, bylaw officers handed out tickets to drivers and the City of Victoria said it would be changing the three-and-a-half-hour limit.