Regina looks to put teeth into ban on lawn park­ing

Regina Leader-Post - - FRONT PAGE - ARTHUR WHITE-CRUMMEY [email protected]­media.com

A man’s home might be his cas­tle — but his front yard isn’t his park­ing lot.

That’s the po­si­tion of the City of Regina ad­min­is­tra­tion, which is look­ing to strengthen an en­force­ment process on front-yard park­ing that some view as cum­ber­some. A pro­posal set to come be­fore coun­cil’s com­mu­nity and pro­tec­tive ser­vices com­mit­tee on Thurs­day would pro­vide for tick­ets with fines start­ing at $250.

For those who con­tinue to defy the pro­posed by­law amend­ment, the city would even be able to call in the tow truck.

The Regina zon­ing by­law al­ready for­bids park­ing on res­i­den­tial lawns, lim­it­ing it to “ap­proved park­ing spa­ces,” le­gal drive­ways or park­ing pads. But it doesn’t pro­vide for fines, leav­ing the city with just two op­tions: Con­vince the prop­erty owner to com­ply, or bring them to court.

In most cases, the city is suc­cess­ful. It got 287 com­plaints about front-yard park­ing in 2018. More than half re­sulted in vol­un­tary com­pli­ance, while most of the rest turned out to not be vi­o­la­tions at all.

That left just 28 cases. City or­ders con­vinced still oth­ers to com­ply, but four prop­erty own­ers chose to ap­peal.

Com­mu­nity as­so­ci­a­tions in Regina’s south end have com­plained to city coun­cil about the op­por­tu­ni­ties for de­lay that the process grants prop­erty own­ers. Brian Black, who sits on the boards for the Hills­dale and Whit­more Park com­mu­nity as­so­ci­a­tions, said in­ac­tion has left many res­i­dents feel­ing frus­trated.

He said he’s aware of cases where it’s taken months for the city to get re­sults. He cast blame on cer­tain land­lords who run room­ing houses in the area.

The new pro­posal would change front-yard park­ing from a land use is­sue — gov­erned by the zon­ing by­law — to a nui­sance — gov­erned by the com­mu­nity stan­dards by­law. That change prom­ises to ex­pe­dite the process.

Ac­cord­ing to the pro­posal, the city would re­spond to com­plaints us­ing a three-step process. First, it would in­spect the prop­erty and is­sue a no­tice with a dead­line. It would then con­duct a sec­ond in­spec­tion and is­sue a ticket.

Last of all, the city could tow the ve­hi­cle to the City of Regina im­pound lot.

The re­port is set to go to a full meet­ing of city coun­cil on Jan. 28, where it could re­ceive fi­nal ap­proval.

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