Adam Goy purchased his property on south Green Lake two years ago with a vision of building a permanent home and retiring there at a future date.
Since they bought the property, he and his family have travelled up to Green Lake from their home down south on weekends and holidays.
Goy, who owns half the property along with his in-laws, said that he has made some improvements to the property including levelling the lot, putting in power and a well and building storage units.
He has started the process of getting a septic system installed. In the meantime, he said has responsibly removed waste.
It came as a surprise when he received a registered letter from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District informing him he violated district bylaws.
The notice stated: “On a recent cursory inspection of the property the presence of two recreational vehicles (RVs) and two accessory buildings were noted.”
It turns out that as he does not have a permanent dwelling on the property yet he is not allowed to store his RV on the property. Nor is he allowed to have the storage shed he built on the property.
Under Bylaw 2400, section 3.5.1 No accessory building may be erected on any parcel unless the principal building or manufactured home has been authorized by the issuance of a building permit for the construction of the principal building or manufactured home and the principal building permit has not expired.
A second section reads: 3.18.2 Uses Prohibited in All Zones Recreational, vehicles and tents are not buildings and are prohibited to be used, including temporarily, as dwelling units in all zones.
Goy does not understand how he is to build a permanent dwelling if he is unable to stay on his property. As a carpenter, he plans to do as much of the construction as he can on weekends and holidays.
“I can’t figure out how we can not let somebody buy a lot and stay on it while they start to develop it and you can buy a piece of land and take 10 years to decide where you want to build your house,” said Sally Watson, director, Electoral Area ‘E.’
Goy is one of several residents of the Pressy Lake and South Green Lake areas who have received bylaw contravention notices lately.
When he reached out on Facebook to see if anyone else was dealing with a similar situation, he was surprised at the response.
“It was quite popular,” he laughed. The post racked up 122 comments.
He said he does not think people are asking for too much. For property owners who are part-time or recreational visitors, he believes there should be some sort of leniency or a written rule that says, “we’re going to give you three months a year or six months a year to be up there but you can’t live there full-time and you have to be connected to a certified septic system or you have to take it to the sani-dump in town.”
“For most of us, this is the biggest part of the concern. People staying for the summer without a septic system,” said Watson.
It has been a month since Goy sent his last email to the TNRD and he is still waiting for a reply. In the meantime, he said he continues to work to satisfy the bylaw rules.