Paul Geldreich stands outside his RV home in the west west end of Terrace.

Terrace, B.C. council rejects mudroom appeal

Recreational vehicle resident says mudroom will protect against snow

CITY COUNCIL has denied a man’s request to keep a mudroom built alongside his recreational vehicle residence, because zoning regulations for the Rest Inn RV Park in which he lives don’t allow for permanent structures.

Paul Geldreich says he needs the 6X16 structure, which is built on the west side of his RV, to protect its entrance from snow which locals have told him builds up on that side.

In a letter read out at the Nov. 30 council meeting, Geldreich said “due to various medical issues such as heart surgery, diabetes, a brain injury and waiting for a knee replacement” his physical condition prevents him from clearing snow.

Shoveling could damage his knee further and another heart attack could be fatal, Geldreich said. He has plans to leave next spring in any event and said the structure is free standing and can be easily taken down then.

“It is well built and I believe up to code, with 2×6 rafters for a heavy snow load, and in case the city is worried it may come down due to this, I am willing to sign a waiver releasing the city from any liability issues,” he wrote in his letter, which city official Heather Avison read out loud on Geldreich’s behalf.

Geldreich’s request for what he called a compassion medical dispensation, dates back to October when planning officials told him the mudroom had to go.

“They may be worried about setting a precedent, but I believe this to be a unique circumstance and feel it will not cause any dif- culties for the city,” he wrote in his letter.

He noted that he spoke to the manager of the RV park, who did not have any issue with his mudroom.

Some of the items he has in the mudroom need to be protected from the cold, so taking down the mudroom would mean having to pay for storage, which is difficult on his small disability pension of $730.

He was afraid that then he wouldn’t be able to pay his rent and didn’t want his power shut off as a result.

The city has another regulation, this one setting a 150-day limit on living in a recreational vehicle at a RV park, and Geldreich said he was further worried this would affect his planned stay.

“I don’t want to face an eviction notice and if I get one, I don’t know what I’d do,” he said.

“I pay my rent tomorrow (Dec. 1). If the city says no, they (the RV park) can evict me, they shut off hydro and water and I don’t know what I’d do in that case. I guess I’d be up the creek,” said Geldreich.

However, Councillor

Stacey Tyers, who deals with landlord-tenant issues as part of her profession, said that would not happen, as landlords cannot shut off services arbitrarily.

Council officially received Geldreich’s letter but voted that they would not grant him a variance, as it goes against the zoning regulations.