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Dec. 12, 2019 | Thursday
Local News
Overnight parking ban could be revisited by council
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Some NOTL councillors are open to reviewing the town’s ban on overnight parking while others are taking a “wait-and-see” approach.

Lord Mayor Betty Disero said she won’t “prejudge” if council would ever decide to allow overnight parking, though she said talks are in the works about a possible change.

“Whatever (councillors) do, they have to move cautiously, slowly and make sure there’s lots of community input,” Disero told The Lake Report.

The current parking bylaw prohibits parking from 2 to 6 a.m. on all roads and streets within the municipality. Over the years, it has rarely been enforced but in the past few weeks, some residents have complained of unexpectedly getting tickets for parking on the street outside their homes. 

One NOTL resident, Carrie DeBon, said her daughter received a $40 ticket for parking in front of their home on Andres Street in Virgil. Another resident, Gary Dick, said he also received a ticket for overnight parking in front of his house.

The Lake Report contacted council members to gauge their positions on the parking bylaw.

Two councillors, Allan Bisback and Wendy Cheropita, said they would support a review of the bylaw.

Coun. Erwin Wiens said he is content with the parking bylaw and there are more important issues to deal with, such as looking at the town’s strategic plan or a possible regional amalgamation. Coun. Stuart McCormack declined to comment.

Bisback also said the town needs more data to make “an educated decision” and Coun. Norm Arsenault shared the same sentiment, saying the town needs more information and would have to look at previous reports before making any decisions.

The town needs to have a bit more discussion and more clarity about the matter, said Coun. John Wiens. 

Noting council hasn’t discussed the ban in any form, said Coun. Gary Burroughs, said the town is working on “the enforcement side of the issue.”

Like many other issues, Coun. Clare Cameron said she could be open to reviewing the ban if there is a reason “from an operationaål standpoint or if we’re hearing a lot of concerns or input from residents.”

Meanwhile, council has asked town staff to prepare a report on the addition of on-call enforcement officers who will respond to calls from 8 a.m. to midnight., seven days a week.

In 2016, Garrison Village residents expressed concerns with an overnight parking prohibition in their neighbourhood. In January 2017, the previous council approved a staff recommendation to conduct a parking survey in the neighbourhood. Staff then came back with the survey results in April 2017 recommending amending the parking bylaw and removing the overnight parking prohibition.

Out of 200 survey respondents, 143 said they needed overnight on-street parking in case they have guests. The majority of the residents – 69 per cent – also supported a parking permit system.

“It should be noted that the 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. parking prohibition has been rendered obsolete, as in keeping with the town’s noise bylaw, routine maintenance is no longer conducted at night,” the staff report said.

“In addition, the 2009 update of the town’s parking and traffic bylaw included separate provisions to address nuisance long-term parking and street clearance for snow plowing operations.”

Staff was then directed to undertake a wider consultation by holding information sessions in all five communities across NOTL. The council deferred the decision and it was never brought forward again, said Disero.

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