The Rural Rights Association of BC is holding a meeting on Dec. 4 to bring the public up to speed on what the group has been up to. The meeting will also serve as a membership drive for those who want to join. Pictured, the group’s spokesperson, Tom Coles, at a demonstration at a Barriere couple’s property last fall. File photo

Rural rights group to hold next public meeting

The meeting will take place Dec. 4 at the Clearwater Elks Hall beginning at 7 p.m.

The Rural Rights Association of B.C. (RRABC) is holding another meeting next month to let the public know what the group has been up to, how things are progressing with the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD), and to hold a membership drive for those interested in getting on board.

The meeting will take place Dec. 4 at the Clearwater Elks Hall beginning at 7 p.m.

This is scheduled ahead of a Dec. 12 TNRD meeting where the regional district will discuss bylaws that restrict people from living in R.V.s, which is the issue that prompted the creation of the RRABC.

“We went to the last meeting (Oct. 17) of all the rural board members and they were a committee whose purpose was to investigate solutions and alternatives that might accommodate RVs, after listening to some of the proposals and concerns from our organization,” said Tom Coles, RRABC spokesperson.

“(At the Dec. 12 meeting) they’re there to present their findings to the entire TNRD board who then makes some decisions as to revisions for the bylaws.”

One of the proposals made by the rural rights group at the last TNRD meeting was to make standalone residential campsites, which exist in the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District, that allow for RVs as long as certain conditions are met, like sewage disposal requirements.

Rural rights group plans presentation to regional district

Another suggestion was to create mobile home parks, like the town of Barriere has done, though Coles admits these are just ideas and what the TNRD does in the end is anyone’s guess.

“There are a number of things that could be done. Certainly, removing the bylaw is not an option for them — that’s not going to happen,” he said.

“It’s a matter of seeking some compromise, so what we want to do, at this upcoming (RRABC) meeting (in Clearwater), is discuss these things with the public.”

Other topics up for discussion at the Clearwater meeting include the fact the rural rights association finally became incorporated under the B.C. Societies Act as a not-for-profit organization, adding more legitimacy to the group.

Now that the association has become incorporated it can move forward with other goals, one of which is signing up new members.

Memberships will be offered at the meeting for $20 a year and for those on fixed incomes, like disability or pensions, memberships will be $15.

“As to some other goals, we had created the group with the intention of having a readily and easily exportable format that would facilitate chapters being created in other areas,” Coles said.

“We want to move forward on that also, and the other thing is of course, just to hear the opinions of the public and what they think about this. What compromises people would like to see before we go to the next TNRD meeting and hear what they’re proposing.”

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