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Colwood mayor says he’d consider a covenant ensuring free parking

Langford has a covenant barring any new apartment building residents from charged for parking
A sign on the wall outside the Save-on-Foods at Colwood Corners informs customers of the new parking rules. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)

Colwood Mayor Doug Kobayashi says he would consider a covenant similar to the one Langford employs to ensure residents don’t have to pay for parking.

Some residents were dismayed by the sight of notices posted in the Colwood Corners shopping centre parking lot, indicating that starting March 1 customers had to register their licence plate to park in the lot, even if they were just shopping at one of the stores in the plaza (the development also features residential units above the commercial ground floor stores).

While the policy is opening with a soft launch – those who don’t register their plates will just get a warning for the month of March – starting in April customers risk a ticket if they don’t pay for parking.

In an email, Kobayashi said he would ask staff to bring information forward on a rule change for council’s consideration.

ALSO READ: Langford renters enjoy rare protection from parking charges

City spokesperson Sandra Russell said a municipality can’t “create a bylaw regulating whether a property owner charges a fee for parking or involve itself on how private parking is managed,” but could during a rezoning application explore the use of a Section 219 covenant to prevent paid parking.

Langford has a covenant requiring new builds don’t charge for parking.

The practise, applied to new apartment buildings, was started to reduce the impact of the city’s rapid growth on existing residents and businesses.

City of Langford director of planning Matthew Baldwin said in a previous interview with Black Press Media that without the covenant, new apartment building residents were choosing to park on nearby residential streets, rather than pay an additional monthly fee for a parking spot in their building.

~ with files from Justin Samanski-Langille.

READ MORE: ‘Ridiculous’: Customers vent, shop elsewhere as Colwood mall adds pay parking


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