Appeal looms after Charlottetown tenant evicted to allow more Lions Club parking

·4 min read
These two long-time rental houses on Connolly Street in Charlottetown are being slated for demolition because the Parkdale Sherwood Lions Club needs to add a parking lot. The yellow one was Lindsay Cameron's home for seven years.  (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)
These two long-time rental houses on Connolly Street in Charlottetown are being slated for demolition because the Parkdale Sherwood Lions Club needs to add a parking lot. The yellow one was Lindsay Cameron's home for seven years. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)

A Charlottetown woman is appealing to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission after the Parkdale Sherwood Lions Club moved to evict her from the home she was renting in order to expand its parking lot.

Lindsay Cameron's rental home of seven years was one of two buildings that are slated for demolition, even though she believes it is structurally sound, and she has provincial documents calling it "still livable" to support that view.

She recently secured a new pet-friendly rental, but is still appealing her case at IRAC because she wants the Lions Club action to be part of public record.

"It's not just happening on behalf of shady individuals or people that are just trying to make money off of properties," she said, talking about tenants being evicted on Prince Edward Island.

"This is [being done] by these community organizations that many of us rely on to keep us safe, people that we should be able to turn to in our times of need.

"I never thought I would be in this position. It's just a nightmare."

Submitted by Lindsay Cameron
Submitted by Lindsay Cameron

Cameron has the support of Green MLA Hannah Bell, who was a member of the Parkdale Sherwood Lions Club, but resigned because of the way the eviction was handled.

"To know a perfectly good house is being torn down to make a parking lot, it is really very difficult to understand," Bell said.

Bell said that while she was still a member, she offered suggestions for other ways the club could address its lack of parking, and urged the club to sell the property to keep the two units in question part of Charlottetown's housing stock.

Rick Gibbs/CBC
Rick Gibbs/CBC

Bell said she was surprised when IRAC ruled against Cameron after the initial hearing on the case, allowing the club to proceed with the eviction.

"There aren't any permits in place and normally the rental board is pretty clear they need to see paperwork for anything like this, but you know, that's why we have a process and they are following the process," she said.

The appeal hearing is set for Wednesday.

Club always intended to add parking lot

The club bought the two properties set to be demolished in 1998 and always intended the land to be used for parking eventually, Barry Stewart, property manager for the Sherwood Parkdale Lions Club, said in an phone call to CBC News.

He said more parking is needed for club activities, such as its charity bingo, as well as for a 32-unit senior-friendly apartment complex the club is putting up in the area.

Stewart said the only land available for the club to use is where the two rental properties sit.

Cameron was served with an eviction notice on March 11 and was told she had to be out by June 30.

Tony Davis/CBC
Tony Davis/CBC

She said that in the months before she received the eviction notice, she had been getting no response when she asked for maintenance to be done on her home. She thought doors and windows could be repaired or replaced to make it less drafty and save money on heat, and asked for some crack-filling on the walls of her bedroom.

"I was neglected for a long time — to the point I finally took some measures through the province," she said. "They will come and inspect your home."

An environmental officer from the province's Department of Health and Wellness did that inspection on March 4, she said.

"Overall, there are some repairs that need to be performed such as fixing the roof that is leaking and some structural integrity items," the inspector wrote in a document provided to Cameron.

The housing unit that was inspected … is still livable but would require repairs to be done as well as maintenance. - Provincial report

"The housing unit that was inspected … is still livable but would require repairs to be done as well as maintenance."

Cameron's next-door neighbour was also told he was being evicted by the Lions Club. He had lived in his rental house for 25 years, but was able to find another unit despite the city's rising rental costs and shortage of available units.

As he moved out, he left a sign on his door thanking the neighbourhood for "the great memories."

"I kind of get choked up thinking about it because this really has become my home," Cameron said. "This is my neighbourhood. I love my neighbours. We really were a community here."

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