Snowbirds living in Waterloo RV park concerned about no accommodations this winter
Published Thursday, October 1, 2020 5:31PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, October 1, 2020 7:03PM EDT
WATERLOO -- Snowbirds living at a Waterloo RV park said they're stranded, since they can't head south for the winter or stay in the RV park year-round.
Residents now need to find alternative arrangements amid rising COVID-19 cases.
The people living at Green Acre Park in Waterloo have to leave by Dec. 31 and won't be allowed back until March 1. Residents said leaving their home in the middle of a pandemic isn't safe, especially since many of them are seniors.
Cindy Huber is 87 years old and lives at the park. She lives in a trailer 10 months out of the year, and spend the other two months at her daughter's. The park's closure is mandated under city bylaw.
"It would be a danger for her life to make her come to my house," her daughter, Brenda Orbinson-Lowe, said.
Orbinson-Lowe is a nurse, and so is her roommate.
"The best place for her is right here in her home," she said.
More than 100 residents at Green Acre Park are snowbirds, who are stranded this year.
"COVID has put a big damper on that and a lot of us don't have anywhere else to go," resident Margaret Caskanette said.
Now, they're calling on the city to allow the park to stay open this winter.
"The U.S. is a big mess," resident Anne Johnson said. "It's very difficult to get across the border."
"We want to stay open just during COVID so that we are safe," Caskanette said.
The city said seasonal trailers at Green Acre Park aren't permitted to operate year-round.
"Require the park to be closed for 60 continuous days between the end of October and the end of April," said Joel Cotter, director of planning with the City of Waterloo. "The recreational trailers that are within the park would not be designed to meet the building code for year-round occupancy."
"We do not meet residential requirements such as building code for trailers, zoning for land use and fire protection," park owner Bruce Martin said in an emailed statement to CTV News Kitchener. "While trailers may have decent thermal qualities, they are not built to residential code."
Some residents are now forced to find alternative arrangements at hotels.
"That's $3,000 a month," Caskanette said. "It's a lot of money for seniors who are on a tight budget."
Others might need to stay with their families.
"Some of us are choosing not to go because their children have children in school,: Caskanette said.
Some of the people at the park said they're still looking for accommodation and are concerned about not having a safe place within their budget by the end of December.