Council eyes new slant on angle parking

The City of Red Deer will review its policy on forbidding angle parking on cul-de-sacs after a resident suggested it would allow for more room to park directly outside people’s homes.

The City of Red Deer will review its policy on forbidding angle parking on cul-de-sacs after a resident suggested it would allow for more room to park directly outside people’s homes.

City council decided on Monday to have administration complete a report by Aug. 20 regarding the issue that seems to crop up from time to time.

They also approved staff’s recommendation to deny the request for angle parking signs on Connell Close where Kevin Latimer has lived for more than 20 years.

Latimer has approached city staff several times in both 2008 and 2011, and each time his request was denied. In October, he sent a formal request to city council, requesting signs that would show angle parking is allowed from 32 Connell Close, where Latimer lives, to the east side of his neighbour’s house at 40 Connell Close.

Latimer said it gets very tight for parking when people have parallel parked on his cul-de-sac.

“If, at the end of the close we’re able to angle park, it would relieve a little bit of pressure for parking,” said Latimer following council’s decision. “It relieves a little more pressure on the whole cul-de-sac.”

Latimer figures that parking on his cul-de-sac is a regular problem, so if angle parking signs were put up at the end of the cul-de-sac, the widest part, it would help. He has a long trailer that he’s turned around in the cul-de-sac and had no problems doing so.

Engineering Services manager Frank Colosimo said that the city doesn’t allow angle parking for operational issues.

This includes snow crews that have been tasked to sometimes pile snow into the middle of the street. Garbage pickup trucks and emergency vehicles like fire trucks could also have trouble manouevring around vehicles parked at an angle. Latimer said the fire hydrant isn’t even in the cul-de-sac.

“Why don’t they dump the snow into one of these reservoirs they’ve made all over the city?” Latimer added.

Colosimo told Coun. Dianne Wyntjes that they haven’t assessed what other communities in Alberta do in regards to angle parking.

Coun. Tara Veer said she understands that safety is a priority in the community, but on these cul-de-sacs, there’s simply not enough parking. She said this issue must get resolved and not just through the city’s review of its Neighbourhood Standards and Guidelines, now underway.

“Part of me wants to say let the neighbours decide,” said Coun. Cindy Jefferies.

Coun. Paul Harris said his household recently received a ticket for angle parking. It wasn’t a very happy moment, he added.

“We need to use common sense …how often do the fire trucks come down those streets? Maybe once or twice every 30 years,” said Harris. “We know it happens all the time across the city. We need to stop pestering our citizens over something so trivial.”

Angle parking is enforced on a complaint basis, Colosimo said.

Coun. Buck Buchanan said the city is all over the map when it comes to rules around parking and that’s because it’s based on whether neighbours like angle parking or not.

“We’ve either got to change the way we enforce or we have to change the uniformity through all the cul-de-sacs,” Buchanan said.

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In other council news:

l Administration requires additional time to complete the last part of consultation around how best to move forward on the water fluoride issue. A report will come forward at the next council meeting on Feb. 6. After public feedback is gathered, council plans to debate whether to go to a citizen vote on fluoride or decide the issue without a plebiscite.

l Council gives first reading to amend the business tax bylaw for the Business Revitalization Zone. Second and third readings will be considered on Feb. 6. The approved Downtown Business Association budget is $295,000 to be collected by this 2012 BRZ levy. To raise this amount, based on the current total assessed value of $26.6 million, the new rate for the BRZ tax is set at 1.0087 per cent. A property with 2,200 square feet of retail would then pay $221 in 2012, compared with $189 in 2011.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com