Council nixes bid to allow overnight parking during festive holiday period

December 1, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Orangeville councillors have narrowly shot down a request from a local resident that the municipality not enforce its ban on overnight parking during the festive period.

Angie McClure-Anderson submitted a letter to council asking that they consider permitting overnight parking in Orangeville from Dec. 24 to Jan. 2 so residents could “enjoy having their guests for an extended period of time” over the holiday season without the fear of receiving a ticket or having their vehicles towed away.

“It is certain that I’m not the only parent in Orangeville that has many family members and friends that come to visit or stay over at their home during the Christmas period,” Mrs. Mcclure-Anderson wrote. “There has been several years that we have had a green Christmas with not a hint of snow. What harm would come from leaving vehicles parked on the street as they are in the summer months?”

The letter continued, “I don’t think that this is an unreasonable request. I’m sure that this will make many Orangeville residents happy over the Christmas season. Please spread some Christmas spirit.”

Council seemed to be split on the issue, with some indicating it might be a good idea to allow people to park on town streets overnight in the Christmas period, while others believed it would do nothing but cause problems and set a dangerous precedent for the future.

Mayor Jeremy Williams said he was supportive of the request, saying that by allowing people to park on the streets overnight the Town would be doing its part in deterring individuals from drinking and driving after social or family gatherings.

“If we can do anything to prevent any sort of tragedy stemming from drunk driving, we should consider it,” Mayor Williams said.

Coun. Don Kidd said he met with the Public Works Director Doug Jones to discuss the issue and brought up the possibility of lifting the ban on the premise that people move  their vehicles by 8 a.m. the next morning.

Coun. Sylvia Bradley said giving residents a 10-day “blanket period” was both excessive and unmanageable given the ominous snowfall forecasts that have been put forth this year.

“With this sort of thing, I really think you have to go with the conditions. Last year we didn’t have much snow, but this year we’ve been forecasted to have a lot of snow,” she said. “Perhaps we could implement a temporary permit system of sorts where people can apply for an overnight permit if they know they’re going to be spending the night in town.”

Coun. Gail Campbell suggested it was a little late in the day for Council to consider implementing such a change and proposed that the issue be shelved until the Spring so as to give Town staff time to develop a “real” plan to bring before council.

“We all want to do what is best for the community, but our public works department is saying that the streets need to be empty throughout the winter. That’s why we developed (the bylaw). If we’re going to change that, we need to do it when we have time to sit down and develop a real plan,” she said. “To try and do something now at the end of November isn’t fair for anybody.”

Council voted to deny the request, with councillors Kidd and Garisto and Mayor Williams in favour and councillors Bradley, Campbell, Scott Wilson and Deputy Mayor Warren Maycock voting against.

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