Maple Pool supporters launch legal defence fund


Realtor Susan Willis presents the $700 donation to kick off the Maple Pool legal defence fund.

Supporters of Maple Pool Campground have launched a legal defence fund to support the site owners and residents facing a potentially lengthy and expensive court battle with Courtenay City Council over the continued residential use of the site.
Defence Fund committee spokesperson Jean Rowe told the Echo a bank account had now been opened at the Coastal Community Credit Union for donations to assist with legal fees.
“Jin and Dali Lin are personally out of pocket tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees as they have opposed the court action that has been brought by the City of Courtenay,” said Rowe.
She suggested the City action, if successful, would force the closure of the campground and put 57 vulnerable people currently living in trailers on the site out on the streets.
“The Lins are people who are feeding the residents of the campground on a weekly basis, out of their own pockets, and all the while they have been bearing the costs of defending their small community-within-a-community alone. We believe this to be very unfair,” Rowe added.
The launch of the fund had, she said, “been catapulted out of the gate with a very generous donation of $700 contributed by local realtor Susan Willis, who conducted an office fundraising project at Re/Max Ocean Pacific where she works.”
Rowe said many others had expressed a willingness to contribute to such a fund, so donations are now been accepted at any Coastal Community Credit Union to the ‘Maple Pool Defence Fund’ account. Alternatively cheques can be mailed to the Maple Pool Defence Fund at 4685 Headquarters Rd, Courtenay, BC, V9N 9H4.
At its last open discussion on the issue in May, City councillors agreed senior staff should arrange a meeting with supporters of Maple Pool on a “without prejudice” basis to see if anything had changed in recent months that might produce an alternative outcome to pursuing the issue further through the courts.
Chief administrative officer David Allen told the Echo last night that he, along with the City’s director of planning services, Peter Crawford, and the senior manager of engineering, Lesley Hatch, met last week with Mike Hamilton and Andrew Gower, representing the Friends of Maple Pool. A proposal had been put forward by the Friends and that was being assessed by City Hall staff prior to Allen reporting back to Council, likely on July 7 at an ‘in camera’ meeting.

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