Raise parking requirements for secondary suites, Township councillor says

Three-space minimum inadequate, creates neighbourhood tension, Richter argues

Kim Richter

The current minimum of three parking spaces required for Langley houses with legal secondary suites is too small and should be boosted to four, councillor Kim Richter said on Nov. 18.

Richter was able to convince the rest of council to take a look at raising the minimum during the afternoon meeting of council.

But she was unable to convince them to impose a higher minimum on a major new neighbourhood development with secondary suites during the evening meeting.

She said three parking spaces are not enough because owners of most houses with secondary suites tend to have at least two vehicles of their own and are renting to couples who also have two vehicles.

The result has been a spillover of cars and trucks onto local streets, tying up spaces that would normally be used by visitors.

It’s creating tension between residents who have secondary suites and those who want their visitors to park close by, Richter told council.

“We’re creating unhappy neighbourhoods,” Richter said.

“Neighbours are being pitted against neighbours . . . there’s no place for visitors to park.”

The rest of council agreed the matter deserved investigation and unanimously voted to send it to a council committee for study.

During the evening meeting, Richter tried and failed to convince council to require a four-space minimum for secondary suites in a proposed new housing development.

Councillor Michelle Sparrow spoke for the majority when she said that amounted to “on-the-fly” policy making.

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