Meneset on the Lake

Residential Retirement Community

– Located on Lake Huron –

Introduction

Meneset on the Lake is a land-lease community owned by Parkbridge Lifestyle Communities Inc., located 1.6 kilometres north of Goderich on a bluff overlooking Lake Huron. In a land-lease community, the community owner-operator leases sites to owners of mobile homes. In this case, Parkbridge leases sites to mobile home owners in this community along the bluff.

At Meneset, Parkbridge has determined – with the advice of experts and consulting policy established by the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority and the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh – that 20 mobile homes with approximately 33 homeowners are situated in an area within a 25- to 100-year erosion zone along the edge of the bluff. The bluff’s erosion zone poses a risk for loss of life, physical injury and property loss or damage, and Parkbridge is alarmed that homeowners who face a threat to their physical safety have rejected a reasonable offer from Parkbridge to have them move to a safe location.

Timeline of Events

Event 40

April 26, 2019 12:00 am

Five homeowners whose leases have expired are issued eviction notices for June 30th, 2020 and offered alternative sites for their homes at Meneset On The Lake. If the offer is accepted, Parkbridge will work on preparing the new sites where the homeowner’s homes will be moved. If the offer is not accepted by May 30, 2019, homeowners will have to vacate their sites by June 30, 2020 and they will be provided compensation as set out in the Residential Tenancies Act.

Event 39

April 5, 2019 12:00 am

The Landlord and Tenant Board refuses a Parkbridge request to review an earlier Board decision that prevents Parkbridge from denying the assignment of a lease at Meneset.  Parkbridge does not agree with this decision, as the mobile home in question is located in the hazard zone.

Event 38

March 5, 2019

Parkbridge receives confirmation from the MVCA that its landscape maintenance practices are not compounding safety issues along the bluff countering a complaint received by the MVCA.

Event 37

January 8, 2019

Parkbridge receives a verbal request from a third resident to relocate their mobile home to a replacement site.

Event 36

January 3, 2019

Parkbridge meets with two site homeowners interested in relocating their mobile home and received signed offer.

VIEW FULL TIMELINE

Resources

Tribunal Decision

In March of 2015, a majority of the affected homeowners on the bluff filed a joint action and claim against Parkbridge at the Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board, claiming that Parkbridge failed to maintain the property and that Parkbridge has interfered with their reasonable enjoyment of land.

The hearing was held in July 2017 and on June 8, 2018, the Board rendered a decision. It dismissed the tenant application to have Parkbridge fix the bluff and reduce their rent and it dismissed Parkbridge’s application to have the leases declared frustrated. Any appeal period has expired and the decision is final and binding upon all parties.

To view the full report, click on the button below.

VIEW FULL REPORT
Aerial photography of Meneset on the Lake

Geotechnical Report

A geotechnical report was undertaken to determine the site conditions at the top of the bank and associated risks to residents. The results of this report are available to view by using the button below.

VIEW REPORT SUMMARY
Aerial photography of Meneset on the Lake

Homes Within the Hazard Zone

Through the geotechnical slope assessment conducted, Parkbridge has identified any potential homes within the hazard zone of the eroding bluffs. This diagram shows the 25-year and 100-year erosion predictions as well as any homes that will be at risk within those zones.

Maitland Conservation logo overtop of an photo of Lake Lilly in Maitland

Maitland Conservation (MVCA) Memo

A principal mandate of Maitland Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) is to prevent the loss of life, minimize property damage and social disruption due to flooding and erosion, to prevent pollution and to conserve and enhance natural resources. To view this memo, click the button below.

VIEW MEMO
Maitland Conservation logo overtop of an photo of Lake Lilly in Maitland

Aerial Drone Footage of Meneset

Our aerial drone footage shows the erosion of the bluffs and the growing danger presented to those living in the surrounding area of Meneset on the Lake.

Aerial Drone Footage of Meneset

Our aerial drone footage shows the erosion of the bluffs and the growing danger presented to those living in the surrounding area of Meneset on the Lake.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Parkbridge insisting that the mobile houses along the bluff in Meneset need to be moved from the bluff?

Based on expert advice, Parkbridge has concluded that there is risk to the physical safety of the residents at Meneset who occupy 20 sites exposed to instability and on-going, environmental erosion of the bluff.

How imminent is the threat to these residents of these mobile homes?

We don’t know exactly, and no one can forecast the pace or scale of erosion, but the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority and our geo-technical engineers have identified that these mobile homes are in the hazard area.

When did you first warn residents?

In July 2011, we held a meeting with the then 24 affected homeowners about the risk to their houses, and we have been in contact with them since that time.

Are the residents seniors?

Yes, most of the residents are seniors.

Will they have a view of the water?

No, unfortunately, the only lands we have available do not have sightlines to water.

Why is Parkbridge declining its right of first refusal to purchase the houses?

The first right of a refusal is a mechanism that allows a landlord to purchase older houses at fair market value that are at end of life and whose existence in the community adversely affects the marketability of the community and houses within it, bringing down the value of other houses in the community to the detriment of the landlord’s other homeowners. That is not the case here.

Are the costs of moving going to be covered for the residents?

No, Parkbridge will not be covering the costs of moving. Land lease is a form of equity partnership. We own the land, the residents own their mobile homes and there is a division of responsibilities that both parties need to meet. Neither Parkbridge nor the residents caused this problem, but we need to work together on the solution. Parkbridge is willing to build and service new sites for the residents at its expense; the residents would then cover the cost of moving their mobile home.

If the bluff is so unsafe, why are their park benches near the bluff’s edge?

Through the recent Landlord and Tenant Board hearing, it was established that different land uses have different risk profiles and that “passive recreation” has a lower risk and requires a lower factor of safety than residential occupancies. The area as greenspace has a lower-risk profile. However, after further consultation with our geo-technical engineer, we have moved the benches back from the edge of the bluff a more appropriate location and we will be erecting warning signs in the hazard area.

I hear they are moving closer to a septic bed. Is that safe?

Yes. It is common on properties that are not on municipal services to have septic systems. This is not unique to Meneset, land lease communities or other rural residential properties.

When does PB evict tenants or refuse to assign leases?

Eviction or refusal to assign leases is always a last resort for Parkbridge and only comes after all other potential solutions have been exhausted. In this case, the safety of our residents is our primary concern, and it is important that the houses be moved from the identified hazard area as soon as possible.

Where have you proposed the residents' houses be relocated?

We are proposing the houses be relocated to land that is within the existing Meneset community so they can continue to live amongst the friends they have made.

Why can't the bluff area be fixed so that the homes can remain where they are?

The escarpment is a natural area subject to a number of complex factors impacting the shoreline above and below the water’s surface and the escarpment face up and down its slope. Experts retained by Parkbridge to consider remedial action clearly established that there are no practical means to remediate the bluff and assure the residents safety.

How long have you known about this?

When we purchased the community in 2008 we were made aware that there had been some localized slope failure in the mid 1980’s. We first observed localized erosion failure that required the removal of a mobile home off of the bluff in 2011 and we have been monitoring the bluff ever since.

How many mobile homes owners and residents are affected?

There remain 20 houses affected with more than 30 residents.

What happens to the value of their home?

In their current location, the mobile homes have little value. If they move to the new location, these houses should see value returned and stabilized. In fact, we’re taking steps to protect their investment insofar as possible by providing a safe location (at our cost) for their home.

What happens if a resident wants to sell their home and leave? Will Parkbridge purchase it?

Parkbridge will not purchase the home or re-lease the site. Parkbridge cannot provide new long-term leases or consent to the reassignment of existing leases while the houses remain on the bluff as any and all of that continues to place residents of the houses at risk. Once the houses have been relocated to a safe site, then long-term leases and reassignment of leases would be normal course and allow for the sale of the houses.

What kind of compensation are the residents getting from Parkbridge to move?

Parkbridge is not providing direct compensation to residents to move; rather, Parkbridge is willing to invest more than $1 million to create replacement sites for residents on adjacent land. We will not recover any portion of this through rent increases (Above Guideline Increases), so we will recoup none of this capital cost. We will therefore see no return on this investment to build and service new sites, an investment that we are fully willing to make to see the residents on stable ground.

What does Parkbridge plan to do with the land after the residents move?

The land will be converted as hazard lands to greenspace and additional clean-up and landscaping will be required, at Parkbridge’s expense, as part of the approvals process to allow for the replacement sites.

Why can’t the existing houses and residents stay where they are until there is a triggering event, similar to the localized slides that caused mobile houses to be removed from the bluff in the past?

The reality is that there is no way to know what a triggering event might be, when it might occur or how large a slope failure might be and how much time, if any, there might be to react. What we do know – from investigations completed and the recent decision of the Landlord and Tenant Board – is that the slope has had different size failures in the past and that in relation to the houses there now, there is an insufficient factor of safety based on accepted geotechnical standards. This puts the houses – and by extension, the residents – in peril now, which is not acceptable to Parkbridge.

Why is Parkbridge insisting that the mobile houses along the bluff in Meneset need to be moved from the bluff?

Based on expert advice, Parkbridge has concluded that there is risk to the physical safety of the residents at Meneset who occupy 20 sites exposed to instability and on-going, environmental erosion of the bluff.

Why can’t the bluff area be fixed so that the homes can remain where they are?

The escarpment is a natural area subject to a number of complex factors impacting the shoreline above and below the water’s surface and the escarpment face up and down its slope. Experts retained by Parkbridge to consider remedial action clearly established that there are no practical means to remediate the bluff and assure the residents safety.

How imminent is the threat to these residents of these mobile homes?

We don’t know exactly, and no one can forecast the pace or scale of erosion, but the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority and our geo-technical engineers have identified that these mobile homes are in the hazard area.

How long have you known about this?

When we purchased the community in 2008 we were made aware that there had been some localized slope failure in the mid 1980’s. We first observed localized erosion failure that required the removal of a mobile home off of the bluff in 2011 and we have been monitoring the bluff ever since.

When did you first warn residents?

In July 2011, we held a meeting with the then 24 affected homeowners about the risk to their houses, and we have been in contact with them since that time.

How many mobile homes and residents are affected?

There remain 20 houses affected with more than 30 residents.

Are the residents seniors?

Yes, most of the residents are seniors.

Where have you proposed the residents’ houses be relocated?

We are proposing the houses be relocated to land that is within the existing Meneset community so they can continue to live amongst the friends they have made.

Will they have a view of the water?

No, unfortunately, the only lands we have available do not have sightlines to water.

What happens to the value of their home?

In their current location, the mobile homes have little value. If they move to the new location, these houses should see value returned and stabilized. In fact, we’re taking steps to protect their investment insofar as possible by providing a safe location (at our cost) for their home.

I hear they are moving closer to a septic bed. Is that safe?

Yes. It is common on properties that are not on municipal services to have septic systems. This is not unique to Meneset, land lease communities or other rural residential properties.

What happens if a resident wants to sell their home and leave? Will Parkbridge purchase it?

Parkbridge will not purchase the home or re-lease the site. Parkbridge cannot provide new long-term leases or consent to the reassignment of existing leases while the houses remain on the bluff as any and all of that continues to place residents of the houses at risk. Once the houses have been relocated to a safe site, then long-term leases and reassignment of leases would be normal course and allow for the sale of the houses.

Why is Parkbridge declining its right of first refusal to purchase the houses?

The first right of a refusal is a mechanism that allows a landlord to purchase older houses at fair market value that are at end of life and whose existence in the community adversely affects the marketability of the community and houses within it, bringing down the value of other houses in the community to the detriment of the landlord’s other homeowners. That is not the case here.

What kind of compensation are the residents getting from Parkbridge to move?

Parkbridge is not providing direct compensation to residents to move; rather, Parkbridge is willing to invest more than $1 million to create replacement sites for residents on adjacent land. We will not recover any portion of this through rent increases (Above Guideline Increases), so we will recoup none of this capital cost. We will therefore see no return on this investment to build and service new sites, an investment that we are fully willing to make to see the residents on stable ground.

Are the costs of moving going to be covered for the residents?

No, Parkbridge will not be covering the costs of moving. Land lease is a form of equity partnership. We own the land, the residents own their mobile homes and there is a division of responsibilities that both parties need to meet. We are willing to invest more than $1 million to build and service new sites for the residents; the residents would then cover the cost of moving their mobile home. Neither Parkbridge nor the residents caused this problem, but we need to work together on the solution. Parkbridge is certainly willing to assist the homeowners in finding a qualified contractor capable of doing the work required to move their mobile homes.

What does Parkbridge plan to do with the land after the residents move?

The land will be converted as hazard lands to greenspace and additional clean-up and landscaping will be required, at Parkbridge’s expense, as part of the approvals process to allow for the replacement sites.

If the bluff is so unsafe, why are their park benches near the bluff’s edge?

Through the recent Landlord and Tenant Board hearing, it was established that different land uses have different risk profiles and that “passive recreation” has a lower risk and requires a lower factor of safety than residential occupancies. The area as greenspace has a lower-risk profile. However, after further consultation with our geo-technical engineer, we have moved the benches back from the edge of the bluff a more appropriate location and we will be erecting warning signs in the hazard area.

Why can’t the existing houses and residents stay where they are until there is a triggering event, similar to the localized slides that caused mobile houses to be removed from the bluff in the past?

The reality is that there is no way to know what a triggering event might be, when it might occur or how large a slope failure might be and how much time, if any, there might be to react. What we do know – from investigations completed and the recent decision of the Landlord and Tenant Board – is that the slope has had different size failures in the past and that in relation to the houses there now, there is an insufficient factor of safety based on accepted geotechnical standards. This puts the houses – and by extension, the residents – in peril now, which is not acceptable to Parkbridge.

When does PB evict tenants or refuse to assign leases?

Eviction or refusal to assign leases is always a last resort for Parkbridge and only comes after all other potential solutions have been exhausted. In this case, the safety of our residents is our primary concern, and it is important that the houses be moved from the identified hazard area as soon as possible.

Media

Laurie Stephens

Director, Corporate Communications

705-429-6142 ext. 3297
lstephens@parkbridge.com