The RV that’s been parked alongside a curb for weeks. The strange car parked in front of your front yard. You invite friends over, but they can’t find a spot on the street near your home.
Residential street parking has a special way of boiling our blood.
And, this week, as City Council returned to work from its summer break, parking was one of the first topics of conversation.
Council mulled over an application to rezone a lot in Hazeldean, on 93rd Street just north of 63rd Avenue. Platinum Living Homes has made an application to build multiple-unit housing on that lot — and the rezoning, which was later unanimously approved, would allow for a maximum of four units with opportunities for more garden and/or secondary suites.
Two local residents showed up at City Hall to oppose the plan, and one had a petition in hand signed by multiple Hazeldean neighbours. A big part of the debate was the increase in traffic and parking requirements that a multi-unit development would require.
And this is where a perfect storm of factors come together, the need to repopulate mature neighbourhoods, and the reality that the number of large vehicles on our streets is exploding. Not only are there more vehicles on Edmonton’s streets, the size of the vehicles we drive is increasing, as well. So, more vehicles are competing for curb space, and the spaces are reduced by king-cab pickups and tank-like SUVs.
As pointed out by Coun. Andrew Knack, Hazeldean’s population has significantly shrunk over the past 50 years. In the early 1970s, more than 5,000 people called that neighbourhood home. Now, it’s home to a little more than 3,000 residents.