Trailer Parks



Trailer parks have long been considered a less expensive alternative to vacation property ownership.  As well, they provide some flexibility, in that the trailer can be relocated as so desired.  Additionally, Trailer Parks have a much higher density of human use per acre than vacation properties.  This results in much more stress on the environment both on the surface of the land as well as on water supply and sewage disposal.  As long as trailer parks are located in an environmentally acceptable location, abide by applicable by-laws and codes, and the residents pay their share of municipally provided services, this author does not have a problem with the concept of trailer parks.  However, in the Township of Georgian Bay, this does not appear to be so.

Trailer park residents benefit from all of the municipally provided services that property owners receive, including roads, policing, fire protection, garbage collection, etc. and many others.  The OPP tell us that Trailer Parks consume significantly more Police Services than other properties. However, although property owners pay an average of $3,000/year for these services, trailer park residents contribute only about $50/year for the same services.  This means that property owners are each subsidizing trailer park residents to the tune of about $300.00/year or 10% of their tax bill.

The by-laws of the Township of Georgian Bay and the provisions of the Ontario Building Code are equally applicable to property owners and trailer park residents.  However, in many trailer parks there are no surveyed park lots and the park is one big property.  As a result, by-law requirements for setbacks and lot coverage are unenforceable.  Small trailers can be replaced by large trailers, small decks can be replaced by large decks, with only the park operator to control the situation.  Accommodation for 3-4 persons can be replaced by accommodation for 9-10 persons with no requirement to upgrade the onsite wastewater treatment system.  While the trailers have under trailer holding tanks (10-40 gallons) which would be categorized as CLASS V systems under the Ontario Building Code – collectively they exceed 10,000L/day and are covered by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment & Climate Change.  MOECC has no knowledge of these changes, and systems become overloaded.  The result is pollution of the adjacent natural water with both pathogens and nutrients, placing the users at health risk.

These issues have been avoided by a succession of administrations in the Township of Georgian Bay.  This needs to end now!

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