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Calgary parking permit program changes put off until December

Calgary’s residential parking permit implementation will be delayed until December, allowing concerned citizens time to request signage reviews – and for council to get its cars in a row on how to pay for the program.

The item, first postponed last month, came back to the July 4 Regular Meeting of Calgary City Council for action.

Ward 10 Coun. Andre Chabot, who initially brought forward a Notice of Motion to eliminate the fee for the first vehicle in residential parking permit areas, suggested a withdrawal of that motion in order to make way for further admin work on the file.

Chabot noted that administration received more than 180 requests for signage review from residents who may no longer want the parking permit services.  In working with city administration, Chabot said that it was determined that the transition period could be extended to Dec. 4, 2023.

“My intent was to look at delaying it primarily to have more time to resolve some of these matters, and maybe amend some of these parking solutions and not have to have a risk of incurring a fee in the interim, because it was originally scheduled to commence August 1,” said Coun. Chabot.

“So, GM Morgan said he has the ability to delay the implementation.”

Along with that, there’s a request for an update on permit uptake, budget considerations and recommendations for the fee schedule to help move towards full user-pay of the residential parking permit system. Council’s direction last November was to ensure the move to revenue-neutral on parking permits in 2023. Fourteen members of council voted in favour of that cost regime.

“I think this is, I guess, an eloquent solution to what has been a very challenging file for many folks that live in some of these areas, and some of the concerns that I’ve heard,” Chabot said.

Communication with residents

There will be more communication with affected residents on what’s next, the options and how to move forward with a potential signage review. (Signage review would allow a review of a parking permit zone in a certain area.)

Ward 11 Coun. Kourtney Penner asked about communication with residents when the initial fee update and review options were available. Administration said that communication on changes to the parking permit program went out on May 23.

Penner also said that in her conversations with administration, this work was already being done – prior to the Notice of Motion signed on to by 10 councillors.

“This is the second time in as many months that a Notice of Motion has been floated on social media when administration had a solution,” she said.

“We’ve spent an enormous amount of time on something that had a solution to, I don’t know, I guess have a conversation in the media.”

Ward 2 Coun. Jennifer Wyness also asked why it takes a motion supported by 10 councillors before administration takes swift action.

City manager David Duckworth said that in the spirit of collaboration they “dig in” on issues brought to them by councillors without needing a Notice of Motion.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek jumped in, chiding administration for not moving “at the speed of an issue.”

“That’s a lovely statement. I haven’t seen it in action,” she said.

“There were weeks that went by when this idea first came forward where administration had the opportunity to take action.”

The mayor said when there’s perceived inaction on the part of administration, that’s when these motions come forward.

The direction admin is taking wasn’t voted on in council. They voted to file Chabot’s initial notice of motion.

It’s expected that there will be further conversation on the proposed fee structure during November’s budget adjustments.