Bylaw comes down on trailers near South Lancaster

South Glengarry resident Nikolas Bronzan speaks to South Glengary council Monday, Aug. 22, 2017. Bronson believes he's been unfairly targeted by the municipality's bylaw department for parking a camping trailer on his property. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

LANCASTER – A frustrated South Glengarry landowner feels he’s been unfairly targeted by the township’s bylaw enforcement department.

Nikolas Bronzan has owned 65 acres of land on north side of County Road 2 near Mac’s Marina, west of South Lancaster, for the last 17 years.

During a presentation to council Monday night, he said the property has had a storage trailer for the last 15 years and he recently decided to park a camping trailer on the property.

Then the bylaw officer showed up.

“The bylaw officer had come by and asked if I was living in the trailer and I stated that I wasn’t. I don’t know whether he believed me or not from that he issued me an order to comply,” Bronzan said.

The order was to remove both trailers.

Bronzan told council he found the situation strange because it’s vacant land and he was using the land for recreation.

Bronzan said the only option from the township’s general manager of planning, Joanne Haley, was that he apply for a $1,200 zoning amendment, but there would be no guarantee the zoning would change.

“You met with Joanne Haley right? And you got an answer right? You didn’t like it obviously, that’s why you’re here,” Coun. Bill McKenzie said.

“If you spend money basically there are no guarantees that it would be approved. I’m already paying taxes on my property. I’m using it recreationally (sic). I don’t see why I should have to pay another $1,200 to camp on my own property,” Bronzan answered.

When asked by Coun. Trevor Bougie about permitted land uses, Haley said the “primary goal” of rural land is homes and farms use. “Unfortunately camping is not a permitted use in any zone unless you’re within a campground,” Haley said.

Haley suggested changing the zoning to allow camping would create a lot of added red tape because other bylaws would need to change, including added costs to the municipality for recycling and garbage, entrances to the property and “the civic bylaw, because you have an individual residing on a property without a structure but could need emergency services.”

She also suggested people camping on property would not dispose of their waste properly and “you’re not collecting any taxes.”

A report will be coming back to council for an upcoming meeting.