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LETTER: Move toward more suites must take parking into account

Re: the March 15 article regarding Colwood council considering allowing more flexibility regarding secondary suites.

First, anyone who has a neighbourhood building scheme that disallows secondary suites should be aware that such a building scheme takes precedence over any municipal bylaws.

Second, a few months ago I reported to the police what I thought was an abandoned car that had not moved from a curve on Fulton for weeks. Without a sidewalk, pedestrians were made to venture into the middle of this narrow street to pass this obstacle — on a curve.

After checking the licence plate, the officer told me that the car was parked legally because the owner lived in the “general area.” This surprised me and I asked why would someone park here, away from their home. It was suggested that perhaps the owner lived in a suite without a parking spot.

Colwood does have a bylaw requiring that people who have suites must provide parking spaces for renters. The officer told me this is true but many property owners do not want renters to park their cars in the space allotted and there is nothing in the bylaw which says that renters must use the parking space provided.

I suggest that if Colwood is easing regulations for secondary suites it should tighten the bylaw regarding parking. The narrow streets lined with parked cars can be difficult (even dangerous) to navigate.

A prime example is lower Haida. Try driving there — oncoming traffic is impossible to see at some points. Pedestrians must be extremely careful lest some cars zipping around the curves come too close for comfort and safety.

Sharon Noble


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