White Rock parking-pass rules discriminatory: resident

Marine Drive condo owner questions policy that allows single-family homeowners four street permits.

Marine Drive resident Neil Floyd said he accepted a temporary ‘pilot’ pass on the condition that city staff agreed other condo owners would be eligible.

Marine Drive resident Neil Floyd said he accepted a temporary ‘pilot’ pass on the condition that city staff agreed other condo owners would be eligible.

A White Rock resident is calling on the city to re-examine its residential street-parking policies after learning of what he calls “discriminatory” practices against condominium owners.

Neil Floyd moved to the city just over a year ago when he and his wife bought a condo in the 15700-block of Marine Drive. At the time, Floyd had three vehicles, and his building only provided one underground parking spot.

With the majority of spots in his neighbourhood pay parking – save for a handful designated ‘resident parking only’ – Floyd went to city hall to request a residential parking permit for his truck.

“I was told that because I lived in a condo, I was ineligible for a resident-parking permit,” Floyd told Peace Arch News this week, noting he was also told that single-family homeowners could get up to four such permits free of charge if they requested them.

After bringing the issue to the attention of council – many of whom Floyd said were unaware of the policy – he was offered a permit by staff on a “pilot” basis. He said he only accepted the pass on the condition other condo owners in his situation would be able to get a permit, which the city agreed to.

While Floyd is relieved to have a permit allowing him to park adjacent to his building, he questioned the imbalance in the policy and the financial impact of allowing four permits per single-family house.

“We’re being treated differently than a single-family homeowner. They get four, we get one,” Floyd said. “Where does the city have the resources and financial well-being to hand out anything for free?”

The city’s director of financial services Sandra Kurylo – speaking on behalf of city manager Dan Bottrill, who is on vacation – confirmed single-family homes are eligible for up to four permits and told PAN the reason for condo owners being ineligible is because the buildings include visitor parking spaces in their underground facilities.

Kurylo said the permit was offered to Floyd “on a pilot basis until the city had the time to look at the long-term impact and assess the policy on a long-term basis.”

While Kurylo did not know how many houses in White Rock have received resident parking permits, or whether there had been issues with an excessive demand for such permits, she acknowledged that parking can be problematic for residents.

“There’s a real demand for street parking in certain areas of the city,” she said.

Asked when the four-permit policy was put in place and who authorized it, Kurylo said she did not know but that the city will be “revisiting the policy.”

Floyd said he has offered his services in helping the city to review its parking policies, which he said are “convoluted” and rife with problems, including unclear signage.

He said he would like to see White Rock follow the City of Vancouver model, where residents can buy a parking decal each year which allows them to park in certain parts of the city.

In the meantime, he fears the current policy of allowing condo owners a permit on a “pilot” basis could impact the resale value of some condos – he noted one neighbour who had a sale fall through because a parking permit couldn’t be guaranteed – and wants the city to treat all property owners equally.

“I pay taxes here, I live here, this is my home,” he said. “I do not want to be discriminated against by my city because of the fact that I chose to buy a condo.”