AH continues to craft parking bylaw
Algonquin Highlands council continues to work on a parking bylaw for the township.
Councillors looked at a revised version of a draft bylaw during a May 5 meeting.
First discussed during an April 21 meeting, the draft bylaw was too onerous for some councillors and a number of sections had been removed in the version bylaw officer David Rogers tabled at the May 5 meeting.
Since there were no concerns with parking around playgrounds, for instance, a section on playgrounds had been removed.
Rogers told council the bylaw didn’t mean the township would be covered in no-parking signage.
“That was never the intention of the bylaw,” Rogers said. “There are a couple areas where signs will be installed.”
Parking and traffic congestion around township boat launches and docking areas has become problematic in Algonquin Highlands, with residents leaving boat trailers in parking lots throughout the summer season, leaving others to park their vehicles along roadways.
The boat launch at Little Hawk Lake, for example, has become particularly problematic.
Rogers said it’s these areas, as well as areas around dry hydrants, that will be signed.
Reeve Carol Moffatt said a township-wide bylaw was being instituted to deal with a few problem areas and that the bylaw could be revised over time to suit the needs of the municipality.
“To me, this is a sort of first kick at the cat,” Moffatt said.
Staff would come to council to approve new signage for problem areas in the future.
Councillor Marlene Kyle was concerned about educating the public on the bylaw, as well as a section dealing with penalties for interfering with snow-clearing.
“What if someone parks on the road and it snows overnight,” Kyle said, asking if certain time restrictions would be put in place when it came to the snow-clearing provision.
“Most municipalities just blanket it,” Rogers said, adding the regulation was generally in place 24 hours a day.
Parking along roadways in such a way that it interferes with snow-plowing is already banned province-wide through provincial legislation.
“It’s in the Highway Traffic Act,” deputy-clerk and treasurer Tammy McKelvey told councillors, explaining the act allows for towing. Ticketing the vehicles would be a provision in the municipal bylaw, the decision whether to ticket or tow up to township bylaw staff.
Suggested fines in draft bylaw range from $15 for parking within three metres of a fire hydrant, parking in a fire route or interfering with highway clearing, to $300 for parking in a disabled parking spot without a permit.
For the $15 fines, a voluntary payment within seven days would reduce the fine to $10.
For parking in an area where signage prohibits parking, a $60 fee is recommended, knocked down to $50 for voluntary payment within a week.
Rogers will make further tweaks to the draft bylaw, which will come back to council at its next meeting.