A group of residents at Angelo's Trailer Court say 40 local families are being forced out of their homes and they have no place to go.
Trailer owners in the park between Government and Mamquam Roads were told this July that they will get eviction notices in July of 2005. If the notices are handed out next July, the residents will have to vacate their rented space by July of 2006 to make way for a redevelopment of the site.
"There is nowhere to move our trailers to and most trailers cannot be moved," said Angelo's Trailer Court resident Sandy Cardinal.
In an attempt to prevent the park from being redeveloped, some of the trailer park residents are circulating a petition.
"Squamish is our home by choice and if the Mayor and Council pass this rezoning, are they telling us we, the working people, are no longer welcome here," the introduction on the petition asks.
Cardinal said the residents looked into moving their trailers but that is a dead end.
"They won't move them if they are more than 10 years old," said Cardinal. "They aren't allowed on the highway. We can't get damage insurance to move them."
The trailer owners are now trying to prevent the redevelopment by attempting to block the rezoning required before any tenancy agreements can be terminated.
Angelo Milia owns the 30-year-old trailer park.
Peter Gordon, a consultant working on behalf of Milia, told The Chief that the issue of affordable housing in Squamish is an issue that needs to be looked at by government.
Gordon said that his clients recognize that it is going to be a challenge for the trailer court residents to find new homes.
"That is one of the reasons why we are establishing dialogue with the tenants," Gordon said. "Finding new locations is definitely a challenge. That is one of the reasons why we are stating intentions early in the process.
"We need more affordable housing in Squamish. The Milias alone can not do this. It requires the teamwork of the Milias, the tenants, developers and all three levels of government," said Gordon.
The trailer park residents were invited to an information meeting hosted by Gordon on Sept. 22. About 30 people attended the information open house.
Cardinal said that she understood from that meeting that the trailer court would be turned into a condominium development. Gordon said this week that the future of the site is undetermined and he suggested that a townhouse development would fit well in light of the fact that the trailer court is bordered on three sides by townhouses.
Milia is ill and is currently in the hospital so, according to Gordon, the planning process for the site is moving at a slow pace.
Gordon noted that the eviction notices can not be sent out until the rezoning is in place.
"The application for rezoning has not been made," said Gordon. "Applications of this nature take a great deal of preparation work. It might be some time before that application is made."
And, there's no guarantee that council will approve the rezoning application.
The residents know that and, according to Cardinal, they have been speaking with the members of council to get a sense of how they feel about the rezoning.
While the residents lobby the members of council, Gordon continues to work with the Milias and the tenants.
"We want to encourage continuing dialogue and we do want to work with the folks," Gordon said.
"There isn't just one solution out there. There is a multitude of solutions dependent on each individual tenant."