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Parking causes neighbourhood disharmony

Council receives pros and cons regarding personal chattels left on Larch Avenue

Updating a traffic bylaw may bring clarity to a perceived parking issue on some residential streets.

Larch Avenue-area residents are divided over what should be allowed on crowded streets where some homeowners want to park their vehicles.

At the City of Powell River Council meeting, Thursday, February 19, councillors reviewed correspondence that had been presented to committee of the whole, plus a letter received prior to the council meeting, staking out pro and con positions on whether boat trailers and recreational vehicles should be allowed to sit permanently on the roadside.

A letter that the city received from a resident on Larch said that when he purchased his property on the street, there were a few boats parked on it and he had no problem with it.

“However, as the years went by, more and more stuff started appearing and it did look like a junk yard,” the resident stated in his letter. “Hoarders were just loading it up to the point of being an eyesore.”

Complaints were made and most of the offending items were removed. He said, however, in the last few months it has been filling up again.

Another letter, signed by two Larch residents, said they strongly opposed amending or relaxing bylaws to allow “personal chattels,” such as boats, trailers and recreational vehicles, to be stored on the street.

“The storage of the personal chattels has impacted on the enjoyment of the street and has become a visual blight and degradation of the overall esthetics of our street,” they stated in their letter. “The appearance of our area is deteriorating. Also, property values and marketability are greatly affected. The storage of the personal chattels has been consistently increasing.”

However, council is also in possession of a letter from a Laurel Street resident, plus a 15-name petition from residents in the Laurel and Larch neighbourhoods, requesting amendment or relaxation of the city’s parking bylaw.

The petitioners want to be able to park their licensed vehicles and trailers on the side of the street in an orderly fashion out of the way of traffic.

Mac Fraser, the city’s chief administrative officer, said the city’s traffic bylaw report, covering issues such as those spelled out by Larch Avenue residents, is due in May of this year.

Mayor Dave Formosa said at that time, there will be an opportunity for council to have a closer look at the matter and make a decision about some of these areas in the city that are stressed for room.

Council unanimously voted that there be no ticketing on Larch Avenue until there is a review of the traffic bylaw.

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