A Campbell River woman has been refused insurance and financing on her home because of an unusual zoning bylaw on her residential property.
Gitta Kruse said her home on the Island Highway, next door to the Anchor Inn, sits on property that is zoned for commercial use.
She said the problems started when the city re-zoned her property from Commercial-5 (C-5) to Commercial-6 (C-6).
“In 2007 they changed the zoning on my property without my knowing,” Kruse said. “In 2010 I was going to do some re-financing and I found out it was a C-6. The banks refuse to re-finance me for anything as long as it’s a C-6. And recently my home insurance people have refused to insure me, also because it’s a C-6.”
Kruse said when she purchased her home the property was zoned C-5 but it was then re-zoned without her knowledge. Now she’s trying to sell her home but with little luck.
“I actually had an offer on the house and they went to get financing and they couldn’t get financing either, so I’m kinda frozen,” said Kruse, who feels she’s being forced into leaving her home.
“I’d prefer to stay there but I can’t get financing to re-finance my mortgage. If it doesn’t get changed, I’ll have to leave Campbell River.”
City Manager Andy Laidlaw said Kruse’s property was changed from residential to commercial sometime between 1949 and 1998.
He said the re-zoning from C-5 to C-6 in 2007 should have no effect on Kruse’s property as the activities allowed under both zonings are virtually the same. C-5 zonings allow for a retail store, hotel/motel, or other licensed facility.
With a C-6 zoning, acceptable uses are a retail store, hotel/motel, licensed facility, neighbourhood pub, or seasonal recreational facility. The change to a commercial zoning would have happened during a re-zone of the entire community, to match other properties in the area.
“There’s very little difference, it would not affect the issue being addressed here,” Laidlaw said. “The zoning changed from C-5 to C-6 under the change of a bylaw so the use and description of activities allowed under those zones would not have affected your property.”
“There may not be any difference to you guys in this zoning but the banks refuse to give money on a C-6 zoning,” she said.
“They refuse to finance anything on a C-6 unless you’re a commercial business and I’m residential. For some reason the whole world hates C-6.”
Laidlaw suggested Kruse meet with him to sort out the problem.
“We’re prepared to abdicate on (her) behalf to the bank,” Laidlaw said.
“We’re prepared to meet with her and bring in the resources needed to deal with her problem.”