Parking lot campers evicted from Vancouver beach after occupying spaces for months
Months after threatening action, Vancouver’s park board has evicted campervans and motorhomes parked illegally at a beach on the city’s west side.
The operation started early Tuesday morning at Spanish Banks, with park rangers knocking on doors to give occupants a final warning that their vehicles had to leave. A tow truck arrived at 8:30 a.m.
The number of vehicles parked at the/ location rose sharply at the end of the summer, upwards of 50 were there overnight despite the lots closing at 10 p.m. Warnings were handed out in October with owners told they would be fined and have their vehicles towed – but that never happened.
In an email to CTV News Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Vancouver Park Board said 187 notices had been issued since October, reminding vehicles owners of the parking rules. Just a few days ago there were still around two dozen vehicles parked overnight.
CTV News spoke with one of the owners, Tony, who declined to give his last name.
“I just kind of came home yesterday and the gates were locked and there was a note on the windshield that said there was an event coming so you have to move your vehicle,” he said, adding he knew of a few other places he could park instead.
CTV News has learned the event is a film production, with the parking lots booked for what’s known as ‘the circus’.
Tony had been living in the lot for about two months because he “thought it would be a fun idea to save some money (and) it’s cheaper than rent.”
Another vehicle owner, Lucas Phillips, needed to have his motorhome towed as it had broken down. Though he wasn’t too concerned.
“It feels like, OK, I (was) here for a while and I was happy – good view, good people, good community. So, that’s good for me,” Phillips said.
Phillips also drives a white Tesla, which he uses to make a living through Uber. He said people are often “confused” and “surprised” that he drives the luxury EV and lives in a motorhome.
“I’m living my dream so it’s OK,” he said.
Many of the owners moved their vehicles willingly after receiving notices to vacate, others accepted the offer to have vehicles towed out of the lots – though the vehicles were only moved down the road to on-street parking. It’s not known if other parking rules will be enforced at the new location.
As of noon Tuesday only four vehicles were left, with rangers unable to find the owners. The park board's spokesperson said if they were not removed by 5 p.m., they would be towed.
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