Parking problems are on the radar in Port Moody, where staff are reviewing both the possibility of paid parking in the city and the size of parking spaces within zoning bylaws.
Coun. Mike Clay said he is reluctant to approve new developments in Port Moody since the last few have come with "horrendous parking." In particular, Clay pointed out the packed parking lots at Thrifty Foods as well as at the Shoppers Drug Mart on St. Johns Street.
"These parking lots are an absolute menace to society, in my opinion," Clay said at last week's council meeting.
"They're built for 14-foot cars and people are driving, on average, 22-foot cars."
Tim Savoie, Port Moody's planning and development services director, said the city's zoning bylaws specify the dimensions of parking stalls plus the number of stalls required.
"What I can say as a general sense is that ... the sizes of our spaces are larger than many municipalities," Savoie said.
For Clay, however, these spots are too small.
"These people are meeting all the requirements, and that's what makes my stomach turn. The responsible party at the end of the day [is] us ... Some of these lots, the one over at the Shoppers Drug Mart on St. Johns Street has about 45 parking spots and only about 15 of them can be used," Clay said.
"If anybody ever parks in the centre spot, the other two spots become completely unusable ... I've asked for three years now when are we going to do this. How do we do it? I'm not getting any answers. I'm not getting any satisfaction."
Coun. Meghan Lahti agreed that parking standards may need to be revisited.
"Our bylaw perhaps is calling for too many spaces in too small of a spot," Lahti said. "So maybe our bylaw would need to revisit the size of our parking stalls."
Council voted in favour of having staff review and report back on the size of parking spaces as per the zoning bylaws.
Council also directed staff to report back on the potential of a citywide paid parking plan during last week's committee of the whole meeting.
Coun. Diana Dilworth supported the idea.
"I think we've grown as a city, and there's certainly more opportunities for parking. There's also opportunities for abuse of parking. We see a number of our local neighbourhoods being used by commuters who are using our regular roads as their commuter parking spot," Dilworth said.
"I am going to support this going through and I do agree that we can't look at paid parking in specific areas in isolation outside a larger citywide strategy."