A Home Away

I’ve mentioned before that one of the residual effects of the Whitewater Episode was the attempt to keep their large swath of Island ownership intact and the creation of a Home Owners Association. Out of the ashes of the great scandal arose a phoenix named the Campobello Island Club.

I have a few shots of the homes which have been built on the back side of the Island – which is where their influence is most directly felt. I didn’t get too close, because reasons, but from public roads and outlooks I got a sample of them. Honestly they’re all beautiful and having any one of them as a “second” home makes the owner a lucky person.

The Club has, as do all good HOAs, a set of covenants which you can find under the information tab on their site. The list includes the usual approvals required for building plans, limits on green space around the property, prohibitions against having the wrong trash receptacles and allowing ugly trailers to stay too long on your land. They also state that the Board has the right to enter your home to ensure you’re not contravening any of the rules. All of this protection is provided for a measly $80 US per year.

The Board also acts as the voice of its members when dealing with the authorities. You’ll see on their home page that they wrote a letter to the Provincial Government when the border was closed. It didn’t seem right that they should have to pay property taxes while they couldn’t access their vacation homes – the Minister politely disagreed. At the same time they felt that the road should be upgraded – however, that’s not in the Government’s plans.

I believe I’ve also mentioned that much of the land claimed by the Club in its early days now belongs to the Provincial Surplus Property Department – this happens when property taxes go unpaid. What I didn’t address is the fact that their map of properties also includes a lot of homes owned by local residents. I’m one of the few lucky ones outside of their boundaries.

I say lucky because the covenants imposed by the HOA appear on the titles to homes all over the Island – even though the owners have nothing to do with the Club. The fact that the covenants are on the title though means that the Club keeps sending the owners a bill demanding payment for their dues. One case went to court and, although the HOA has declared victory, in fact the Judge awarded no costs. He just stated that yes the covenants are on the title. I won’t tell you what people describe doing with the bills they receive. 🙂

The Island was incorporated as the Rural Community of Campobello in 2010. As a result, we have a Mayor and Council. They have tried and failed to gain the right to remove the HOAs covenants from the homes where they really shouldn’t apply. There is no local power to achieve this in spite of hundreds of hours of talking about it. The good news is that when the Province sells any of the empty lots (think tax sale) they can and do remove them. The existing ones are, so far, stuck.

The map put out by the Campobello Club showing the properties which were available through their real estate arm (including the ones forfeited due to tax issues), the Campobello Development Company, claims ownership of pretty much the whole Island apart from the two Parks and the western/northern section of Wilsons Beach. Seeing/buying/controlling this place as one giant parcel has been a consistent theme over the past 350 years.

However, I hope I’ve convinced you that, at the same time, the residents have developed a stubborn inclination to ignore whatever they consider shite. This is one of those parts of Island life local people just don’t worry about. I know the HOA feels differently, but I’m betting on the fishermen. 🙂

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