A Colwood resident has noticed an increase in the number of RVs parking overnight at Esquimalt Lagoon, despite signs that say no overnight parking is permitted between 1 and 6 a.m. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

Colwood resident concerned over growing number of RVs at Esquimalt lagoon

Mayor says city is aware of the issue

Every morning, Teresa Petrini follows the same routine.

She wakes up, gets ready, hops in her car and makes the commute from her home in Colwood, driving through Esquimalt Lagoon and onto the highway to get to her office in downtown Victoria. But within the last few months, Petrini’s noticed a troubling trend.

Almost every day she sees a handful of recreational vehicles parked at Esquimalt Lagoon that have clearly been there overnight – despite signs saying overnight parking is not permitted between 1 and 6 a.m.

“It’s just gotten out of control. You can tell they’ve been there overnight because of course the weather has changed so there’s condensation on the windows, which means they’ve been sitting there for several hours already,” said Petrini, adding she usually sees about five to six vehicles, and one morning recently she counted as many as nine.

“I just don’t think this is the best place for these people to be parking. It’s a public beach. It’s not meant for camping.”

Petrini, who takes her kids and dogs to play at the beach, said she’s seen people urinating outside their RVs and is concerned for the environment around the lagoon, which is a migratory bird sanctuary.

Petrini isn’t actually sure why there are so many campers there, but believes it has become worse since Walmart closed its parking lot on Langford Parkway to overnight campers.

While she acknowledged there is a housing crisis in the Capital Region that may force some to sleep in RVs, she said there is a time and a place for such activities.

Having worked a few blocks away from the infamous Tent City on the lawns of Victoria’s courthouse, Petrini was all too familiar with the problems that arose, including thefts and things such as condoms, empty wine bottles and needles found on neighbours’ properties, and is concerned a similar problem may happen in Colwood if nothing is done to prevent people from parking their RVs overnight.

“I would hate for the same thing to happen in our community,” Petrini said, noting she would prefer to see the RVs use one of the many campsites available in the region. “They need to be pointed in the direction or a place where they can park. I just don’t think our waterfront is that place.”

Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton said the City is aware of the issue and already has plans to improve signage in the area, specifically posting larger signs near the public washrooms and on garbage bins. In the past, bylaw officers have informed parked RVs that overnight camping is not permitted and they have complied.

“If it presents as a problem, then we’re going to have to address it,” she said. “It’s a lovely place and the last thing we want is for it to become used in a way that’s detrimental overall to the community.”

The fine for overnight camping is $50. So far this summer, bylaw officers have not issued any tickets for this particular infraction.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

Victoria program inspires Polish student to create cigarette butt calculator

Warsaw civil engineering student creates cleanup counter to track efforts

Artistic mystery baffles Sidney

The salmon mosaic appears on a local planter near the bandshell in Beacon Park

100 art pieces donated for fundraiser supporting refugee family new to Victoria

Saanich fundraiser will see every participant go home with a new piece of art

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Victoria Foundation thrilled to see sun shine on B.C.’s philanthropists, builders

Province declares September ‘Community Foundations Month’

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Tragic bus crash, Pacific FC win and Terry Fox runs

Two dead, two in critical condition in highway crash near Campbell River

Highway 19 reopened Sunday night after it was closed in both directions

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Most Read