Councillors split on Kerr Street Parking

The recommendation to deny the request for some residents to park on Kerr Street came before Council tonight.  The issue first came up October 2nd, 2017 when a delegation of residents made their case for an exception to the relevant by-law.  On the Agenda for tonight’s Committee of the whole meeting, Barry Thrasher, Director of Public Works recommended that their request be denied.  The residents then wrote a letter to council protesting  and said that “this subdivision should never have been approved (but) it was, and with that comes the responsibility to accept the consequences.”  This was reported on this post here. Tonight several councillors supported the residents but in the end they were not granted an exception although there will be further work done to investigate alternatives.  It seems some Councillors support what the residents see as poor decisions by staff while others want to be responsive to vulnerable citizens.

Councillor Statements

Discussing a Motion to deny the request to grant an exemption to the bylaw prohibiting parking on Kerr Street in front of the new homes.

Debra McCarthy asked why four lanes are needed at the West end of Kerr Street.  She also felt that the development was an anomaly since others don’t have front doors on Kerr.  She was “very troubled by the request being denied”.  She did not support the motion.

Mayor Gil Brocanier asked if there could be a layby on the north side but then moved an amendment that other parking options be investigated – e.g. possibly east or west of the development as suggested as a future possibility by Director of Planning, Glen McGlashon.  The amendment passed with the same vote as the full motion (see below).

Brian Darling commented that visitors parking on the north side of Kerr would have to cross four lanes.  He commented that it was not possible to simultaneously have bike lanes and street parking.  If there was going to be a temporary exemption, he wanted a set time – 6 or 12 months. He asked about options and supported the motion once it was amended with Gil’s amendment.

John Henderson asked why not allow parking in the interim.  He wanted a clear vision for the long term plan for Kerr Street, end to end.  He did not support the motion.

Suzanne Séguin wanted a “full rationale for Kerr Street” including the need for 4 lanes. (A 2 lane highway would provide room for laybys). She said there should be a mechanism for close-by accessible parking.  She opposed the motion.

Forrest Rowden was chairing this section of the meeting and made no clear statement for or against although he did say he opposed an interim arrangement.  In the end he supported the motion.

Aaron Burchat made no statement but did support the motion.

No councillor criticized the original planning approval nor spoke directly about being responsible for the poor result for owners.

So the motion to deny an exemption to the bylaw was passed with the amendment to investigate other options.  The vote was 4 to 3.

Let’s hope the options are acceptable to the residents so it makes up for a seemingly poor planning decision – or if not poor planning, then deceptive selling practices by the developer (not telling them about the slope to the back and no parking at front).

This motion needs to be ratified at the regular Council meeting on November 20.

Update – November 20

The motion to proceed was deferred to the next meeting of Council pending a report from Staff.  This was probably prompted by a letter from residents suggesting that a layby was quite feasible.

 

Click to Notify me of
Brian

Everyone knows that when you buy real estate you must check everything about what it is you are buying — it’s commonly called due diligence. Can you imagine a developer buying a property only to complain after the fact that he/she wasn’t aware, or made aware, that the land was sloped or that there was no street parking allowed?? I am sure that they would not get much sympathy. It’s the same situation here as I read Mr. Thrasher’s report — everything was planned and established BEFORE these residents purchased their homes. This is the same group a year ago that got their noise fence removed after the fact: see this link: “http://www.northumberlandtoday.com/2016/10/04/condo-residents-want-noise-barrier-gone-for-better-view” . C’mon, really?

Lance Armstrong

Tell me if I’m wrong but would them parking in front of their houses not block the bike lane regardless of if Kerr was widened or not? If indeed that is the case not only did they fail to do their due diligence they would now be affecting fellow citizens negatively who would like to use a planned and built bike lane. In addition to that it sets a bad precident and would no doubt become a massive headache for a future council.

John Draper

When the road becomes a full arterial road, the intent is to remove the bike lane. There is an allowance for a separate bike path on the north side of the road – separate to the road. But if there was only one lane each way, there would be room for parking -.or laybys could be provided. The problem with a precedent was one of the reasons that even an interim exemption was not favoured by some councillors.