Apartment

Downtown residents slam new on-street parking permits

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Calgarians who live in multi-unit buildings will soon have access to new permits allowing them to park on the street near their homes, but it will come at a cost.

Residential parking zone passes, which could cost up to $150 per month, allow owners to park their vehicles in designated street parking spots within 150 meters of their homes in parking areas very crowded.

Permits will be available to Calgarians who live in multi-residential buildings with more than 20 units as well as those with at least four stories.

“We were aware that our residential parking system was very inequitable,” said Ward 9 councilor Gian-Carlo Carra.

“It made the public street that we all pay to a limited number of people and it wasn’t profitable.”

Residents of condominiums and apartments have been declared ineligible for parking permits following policy changes approved by council in January 2021.

The current on-street parking permit program allows residents to obtain permits for free, but this ends in 2023.

“They’re basically destroying the property value (of our homes). Instead of being able to recoup that through taxation, they’re basically going to sell us parking permits, which we’ve had forever,” said Anthony Wecels, who lives in the Mission community for 18 years and uses on-street parking.

Under the new permit program, each apartment or condominium unit will be limited to one non-transferable, paid permit. The paid permit does not guarantee parking, as the areas will be open to the public.

“It really just gives them access to the system, so they’ll have to factor that into their decision, in terms of buying the market permit,” said Chris Blaschuk, acting chief executive of the Calgary Parking Authority.

“There are no guarantees. It’s stupid. I still can’t understand that this decision was made in such a vibrant community,” Wecels said.

The exact monthly fee will be determined by the board during budget discussions in November. City officials say the proposed price for the new permits is similar to the cost of off-street parking options and a subsidized rate is being considered for low-income Calgarians.

So what if someone with a paid road permit can’t find parking in their area?

“We really encourage them to look at the full range of travel choices available to them and parking options. In addition to parking in their building, they may be able to get stalls from neighbors or park outside. ‘other places,’ Blaschuk said.

The Council approved the new permits on September 13 and the program is expected to be rolled out by the end of the year.

For more details, visit City of Calgary — Residential Parking Zones.

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