Council rejects resident’s plea for extra overnight parking spaces

January 28, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Baker

Despite complaints from one particularly passionate resident, Orangeville Council has   decided against making changes to its overnight winter parking bylaw. 

Chris Thiele, a Montgomery Village subdivision resident, asked that Council consider opening up the municipal parking lots that run along Daisy Lane, behind Montgomery Boulevard between Alder Street and Dogwood Street,  for overnight parking during the winter.

“Right now, all of those parking spaces are visibly empty and should be opened up for use for overnight parking,” Mr. Thiele stated.

The Town’s winter parking bylaw prohibits on-street parking and parking in municipal parking lots between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. from Dec. 1 to March 31. According to the Town’s General Manager of Infrastructure Services, this prohibition is necessary to allow for overnight snow plowing during the winter.

Historically, the Town has had no options to offer residents for winter overflow parking, but in October 2017 Council signed off on a motion that would open up Rotary Park and Fendley Park parking lots for overnight parking on a trial basis. The success of that initiative led to a permanent overflow winter parking program at the two sites.

“For me, Fendley Park is close, but it’s a one kilometre walk. That’s a little further than I’d like to walk at 5:30 in the morning. If there were a shuttle service, then sure, but since there are spots right there not being used, I don’t understand why I, and other residents in the area, are not allowed to use them.”

Mr. Thiele suggested that Council open up the Daisy Lane lots for overnight parking and then prohibit their use during the day, so Public Works staff could get in and carry out any necessary maintenance then.

“I don’t understand why you guys couldn’t amend the bylaw for this purpose. I’ve spoken to numerous residents and opening those lots up in the evening makes sense. This would give us an opportunity to park closer to home,” Mr. Thiele continued.

Deputy Mayor Andy Macintosh stated that, while he appreciated Mr. Thiele’s concerns, he didn’t feel the municipality should make any changes to its overnight winter parking bylaw.

“I feel we would be opening up a huge can of worms if we did this. Our General Manager of Infrastructure has not recommended this. This parking lot is designated for visitor parking during the day. As much as I feel your pain, Mr. Thiele, I just don’t know what we can do,” Mr. Macintosh said. “If we take this away from daytime parking, we’re going to have people complaining as there will be nowhere for visitors to park.”

Mr. Thiele noted he has received several parking tickets for using the lot, maintaining he intends to fight every single one. He cited a neighbour who he claims successfully fought over $900 worth of municipal parking tickets, pointing out there is a real problem with parking in that subdivision and that council should do something to help.

Coun. Debbie Sherwood suggested the current rules are in place for a reason, while Mayor Sandy Brown informed Mr. Thiele there appeared to be little appetite amongst council to rectify this issue at present. 

“I don’t know that we have a resolution for your predicament. We feel for you. Your part of town is not the only one with issues over winter parking. I’m hoping that, over the coming months or years, we can come up with something (to help alleviate those issues),” Mayor Brown said. “I’ve thought about potentially partnering up with the school board (to offer parking at Montgomery Village Public School)… We’ll try and work on this, but as of today, we don’t have a resolution for you.”

Council was told the subdivision’s design allows for two parking spots for each home. Mr. Thiele lives with his parents, who have two cars.

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