Coun. Blair Whitmarsh’s compromise to limit tandem parking to 40 per cent was approved.

Tandem parking cut but not eliminated for Langley townhouses

Council has been debating whether tandem parking affects neighbourhood parking

Langley Township council revisited the question of how much tandem parking is too much at Monday’s council meeting.

Tandem parking is when two cars are parked in a garage or parking area end-to-end instead of side-by-side.

Some townhouse developers include tandem parking to save space, but the practice has come under fire among some councillors, who feel it encourages people to park on the street rather than deal with rearranging family cars.

Council has been debating a measure to limit tandem parking to no more than 50 per cent of units in new developments.

Councillor Eric Woodward, who is not a fan of extensive use of tandem parking, asked council to consider cutting that back to under 25 per cent, the second time this year he’s suggested cutting the amount.

Woodward said that a 50 per cent ban is “meaningless” and that lowering it would provide certainty for builders.

“If people want to do more tandem, they can apply for a variance,” he said. He has previously argued that most new developments have between zero and 30 per cent tandem parking now, so any restriction higher than that will be meaningless.

“Perhaps council should consider some exemptions for properties that are within walking distance of downtown cores,” said Coun. Bob Long, who has spoken out in favour of tandem parking, citing some developments in Aldergrove that use it.

But much of the parking debate since January has revolved around Willoughby, where residents have complained about scarce parking in neighbourhoods of detached houses, townhouses, and condos.

The Willoughby Town Centre recently introduced paid parking, the first commercial site in Langley to do so, citing concerns that nearby residents, visitors, and construction workers were parking in the shopping centre lot all day, or even for days at a time.

READ MORE: New parking meter rules relaxed by Willoughby Town Centre

In the end, Woodward’s attempt to amend the bylaw to under 25 per cent failed on a six-three vote, and Coun. Blair Whitmarsh proposed a compromise.

Whitmarsh’s amendment to cut the amount to 40 per cent passed on a 5-4 vote.

Other communities have a wide range of rules on tandem parking. Burnaby allows no tandem parking at all, while Maple Ridge and Abbotsford allow 100 per cent of townhouse parking to be tandem. Surrey and Richmond allow 50 per cent tandem parking, and Coquitlam allows 33 per cent.

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