The days of parking the old RV at British Columbia’s Island View Beach for the entire summer are gone now that the Capital Regional District (CRD) is in charge, according to the Victoria Times Colonist.
The CRD acquired the old campground as part of the parcel it bought for $4.8 million to augment Island View Beach Regional Park. The plan is to add acreage to the park and sell the rest.
In order to bring the old beachfront campground up to public safety and health standards, the number of RV sites is being reduced to about 20 from 52 and the tent sites will be reduced to 22 from 31. Six tent-trailer sites are being pared back to five.
Old, semi-permanent RVs that some people used to turn the camping area with its spectacular view of Haro Strait into a summer getaway have been hauled away.
Although running a camping facility is a new experience for the CRD, parks committee chairman Christopher Causton hopes it’s a use that can be maintained in the long term.
“We don’t have, in my opinion, enough of that kind of use in some of our parks,” Causton said.
But there will be no more all-summer stays. In keeping with other government-operated campgrounds, the CRD is planning to limit stays to a maximum of 14 nights a year. Fees will be $20 for RVs and $15 for tents in the no-services campground.
Parks committee member Susan Brice called the fees a bargain that as many people as possible should have the opportunity to enjoy.
“It costs $8 to park your car in a parkade for a day; $20 for a camper when you’ve got this magnificent site with a spectacular view is such a good deal,” Brice said.
The site has required considerable cleanup. An abandoned greenhouse was demolished and efforts are underway to eradicate burweed.
Causton said the cleanup will be worth it, since having camping on the beach keeps eyes and ears in the area, and provides families with a place to stay close to town.
“When it’s finished, it will be incredible,” he said.