Delegations Point to Parking By-Law problems

The new Parking By-Law is already causing problems for residents of the “East Beach Waterfront Area” – they are now in an area where parking is paid for in the beach season albeit with special arrangements for residents.  At the May 30 Committee of the whole Council meeting, there were two (related) delegations asking for exceptions. The problem that Caryn and David MacDiarmid have is that they are expecting “50-60 people in our backyard for our daughter Leigha’s graduation with her University Master’s degree” on June 4.  That means about 20 cars will need parking nearby.  If the event were after 4:00 pm it would not be a problem since restrictions end at 4:00 – but the event is at 2:00 pm.  The second problem as explained by Leigha MacDiarmid is that there are 4 cars in her household so she needs more than the one permit per household allowed by the by-law.

The first issue of a one time exception could be handled by an application to staff but that is only accepted if there is no fee involved (e.g. construction vehicles parked in no parking zones). In this case, Council passed a motion by Councillor Nicole Beatty allowing an exception although it was suggested that in future residents should schedule events at 4:00 pm or later.  CAO Tracey Vaughan said she would look into this further.

The second issue is partially addressed by the fact that each $20 season pass is for two plate numbers – it assumes one is parked on the property.  The software used is based on addresses (residences), not names (residents), so issuing passes based on occupancy is not currently possible.  Aaron Burchat suggested that 2 passes per household be allowed and 3 in the beach area.  There was debate amongst councillors and in the end, Brian Darling moved that the motion (that is, a solution to this problem) be referred to the June 20 Committee of the Whole Meeting for more staff input.  Brian’s motion passed.



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Marianne Marusic
7 June 2022 8:40 am

I have a driveway at my house. However, I have a few elderly friends and relatives who are in walkers and wheel chairs that are unable to climb the stairs at my driveway. They can manage the street entrance at my house as there is just one step. I have no idea how they would pay for parking or get into my house.

Cobourg taxpayer
5 June 2022 6:11 pm

If I remember correctly, over the last few years, Cobourg residents generally wanted money paid by beach goers to help cover costs of Victoria park and beach. It is unfortunate some nearby residents are affected however this is the only way to get money from beach users. As many have said to local residents use your drive way, garage, Donegan park etc. As a taxpayer this is the only solution and I sure hope someone at city hall, maybe the CAO, can report back on how much money was made ( not including bylaw staff, purchasing machines etc) and this initiative was a success. Not holding my breath though as this seems near impossible.

Ted Williams
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
6 June 2022 4:31 pm

Hypothetically, if there were no visitors to our beach, Cobourg taxpayers would still bear the cost of maintenance, like grooming the beach, collecting garbage and providing lifeguards for our own residents. Obviously, closing the beach is not an option!
I estimate the large week-end crowds would cost the Town an added $ 125K per year in maintenance.
Staff estimate increase parking rate revenue would be $ 586K per year, not including the $ 40 Cobourg resident pay annual for a waterfront parking pass. But what is the annual profit?
Since much of the revenue comes from the week-end, why not charge only on week-ends and holidays?
And maybe should sell waterfront parking passes to Northumberland residents for $ 80 annually, showing some consideration.
Why, suddenly do we want to over-charge beach goers for OUR beach in an effort to make it fully user-pay when the CCC loses approx. $ 1.2 million per year?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Ted Williams
6 June 2022 5:16 pm

Good points Ted. And it should be added that the only times when the beach is fully loaded are 3 long weekends a year. 9 days out of 365.

5 June 2022 10:40 am

If you own a home in the “designated” area – do you not have a driveway?!!!!! Why can’t your visitors park in your driveway as opposed to the street. I realize that many condos only have “one” parking space and that could be a problem — but for THIS summer, all parking on King Street is free because someone screwed up, moving the existing parking meters to the beach area BEFORE the replacement meters were received (reportedly they’re not scheduled for delivery until the fall) WHat about the Donaghey Park parking lot on D’Arcy St – or even the Community Centre Parking Lot — I believe this is still “free” parking, isn’t it? If your visitors park there, why couldn’t you just pick them up from there? There ARE solutions — and if you have a garage, for heavens sakes park your own vehicle(s) in it — don’t fill it with junk — thereby opening up your driveways for your visitors!!

Marianne Marusic
Reply to  Scottie
7 June 2022 8:25 am

I have a driveway at my house. However, I have a few elderly friends and relatives who are in walkers and wheel chairs that are unable to climb the stairs at my driveway. They can manage the street entrance at my house as there is just one step. I have no idea how they would pay for parking or get into my house.

Ted Williams
5 June 2022 10:35 am

Owning a vehicle is almost a necessity today, even for the working poor. We are now demanding, from our close neighbours ( Port Hope, Baltimore etc.) high payment to enjoy a natural resource. If a single parent wants to enjoy two days a week at the beach, even for half a day, it will cost them $160 a month.
This policy, created by our staff, is a hassle, complicated and is borderline cruel. This staff report was, as usual, rubber-stamped by our Council, with insufficient public engagement.
Months ago, at a “public meeting” only one resident spoke out. Residents have learned they have little voice to shape their community.

Reply to  Ted Williams
5 June 2022 10:50 am

Sorry Ted but to me “Months ago, at a “public meeting” only one resident spoke out. Residents have learned they have little voice to shape their community.” the 1st sentence does not justify the next sentence. In fact only reinforces the reasonableness of a ‘rubber stamping’ mindset. In my opinion apathy can’t be used as an excuse for the Town to do better. If public forums are provided, subject matter tabled and no one shows, you get what you get.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Ted Williams
6 June 2022 8:29 am

Isn’t there a beach at Pt.Hope and also Wicklow Rd just past Grafton ?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Bill Thompson
6 June 2022 11:12 am

And the parking is free at Wicklow and Port Hope

Reply to  Wally Keeler
6 June 2022 11:58 am

Just a note their is very little parking in Port Hope at the beach, and each summer has become a hazard, as people park wherever they can, blocking two lanes of traffic.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Maggie
6 June 2022 12:55 pm

Does that apply to both the east and west beach?

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Wally Keeler
8 June 2022 8:59 am

And, if I remember correctly, these beaches have much less available parking, are removed a much greater distance from their downtown, are stoney like our West Beach, not sandy.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Keith Oliver
8 June 2022 9:05 am

Of course they are, but that wasn’t the question asked. The question was whether the parking was free. Your response was superfluous as is most of your commentaries. And no I’m not stoned on wine as you smeared me.

Harbour watcher
4 June 2022 1:00 pm

Not only does it affect visitors and families getting together.
One of the big issues no one is addressing is what happens to the people in town who need care workers, plumbers , electricians , florists and delivery’s etc. who do you think will be paying for their parking.

Reply to  Harbour watcher
4 June 2022 3:07 pm

This parking issue in Cobourg is so ridiculous and so funny. Covid is basically over so people in cities like Toronto now have no need to escape as they have their own nice beaches and parks. Gas is so high now and the prices are going up so people may not want to fill their tanks to spend the day in Cobourg, so you won’t need to tax the living crap out of every car that comes into town. Town officials need to give their heads a shake.

4 June 2022 12:46 pm

Lessons learned this week show that Council are ‘slow learners’. Firstly they approve a development that allows a developer to ‘mooch’ off the Town’s parking lots to cover off a deficiency in his application.
Secondly they now have provoked an uproar from residents in the ‘parking area’ with the newly adopted bylaw.
Hmm the wonders of the ‘law of unintended consequences’

Wonder if they will go in the back room, or the Mayor’s office to mull this week’s actions over?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
4 June 2022 1:05 pm

Ben, the parking uproar is mainly a reaction to an ill conceived “solution” to beach crowding and the costs of beach maintenance. It was deemed too difficult to discourage visitors and to charge for beach access. Instead, Council decided to control parking with the numerous issues for residents that are being discussed here. Perhaps they will reconsider and solve the actual problem rather than only one symptom of the problem.

Bill Thompson
4 June 2022 11:35 am

It’s obvious that the “Feel Good Town” and “undiscovered jewel ” motto increasingly disappeared when the town some years ago decided “Tourism” was the emphasis vice industry.

4 June 2022 11:25 am

When I was sent a letter prior to the parking changes I indicated the difficulty any friend or family would have visiting me once I’m in a designated pay to park zone. I had no reply…
I have family who visit from out of town who now say they won’t pay $40 to visit…they love me but I’ll need to go to them…where the parking is free…and friends are loathe to drop in for fear of getting a ticket…

I do feel that as well as paying higher taxes because of our proximity to the beach I’m doubly taxed to park…there must be a better way for those of us who are very inconvenienced

And how condescending to suggest that we only celebrate after 4 pm….the only ones who will
take advantage will be out of Cobourg residents…don’t think they won’t figure out that parking’s free after 4…
And I suggest that not one member of Council lives within the newly designated pay to park zone…

4 June 2022 10:49 am

In this case, ..Council passed a motion allowing an exception although it was suggested, that in future residents should schedule events at 4:00 pm or later.

How arrogant can a councillors be?

Last edited 6 months ago by Gerald
Reply to  John Draper
4 June 2022 11:16 am

Noted; thank you, John; I have edited my comment.

4 June 2022 10:36 am

As towns grow things change. If you live in an area that requires paid parking as your property does not have enough space, consider it a cost of living. My parents live on Perry, in the beach district, and I gladly paid the very cheap price for a parking pass to be able to park in that area. The cost is not astronomical and it is a benefit that parking is provided at such a reasonable price regardless.

I was at an event in Toronto this week and paid $40 for parking, and it was the norm. Staying overnight there last week I paid about $75 in parking for the various places I went. If you’re holding events and having guests in the beach area, paying for parking is just a reality now you need to plan for.

I love it that the town is finally charging for use of our beach area, even for residents, though a season pass is extremely cheap. We need income from the beach! Not all the good things in life are free…and they shouldn’t be.

Laura Roberge
Reply to  ButterflyWay
4 June 2022 11:37 am

Easy to say when you do not reside in the effected area

Small town lover
Reply to  ButterflyWay
5 June 2022 8:29 am

You are spot on with your comment. Downtown no matter what town or city you live in, is always noisier and has limited parking. Yes, people can walk to restaurants and shops which is a great perk to downtown living and they made the choice to do so.. If I could afford it, I would buy a house in downtown Cobourg steps from the lake! Some people just don’t realize how lucky they are and like you said not all good things are free in life.

Merle Gingrich
4 June 2022 10:12 am

Parking problems solved!! Get rid of all restrictions and meters except for Snow plowing.🤠

4 June 2022 9:45 am

Nice to see new people voicing their concerns
I have not seen a updated proper— Independent Traffic or Parking study in the last 10 years
taking into consideration what the Town no longer owns and new developmental changes coming to the what were parking lots
in the down town core
At least 1 study the Town didn’t manipulate to achieve or support their purpose
— before the public got to see it .

Florence Fletcher
4 June 2022 9:35 am

There are units in our condo complex downtown that have no garage or personal parking space, what are those residents supposed to do with their vehicles at night? Have these issues been recognized by council? This condo complex has been in place for over 25 years. We are fortunate enough to have a garage, I am most thankful that this latest change does not impact me as a resident but it will be a major problem for any visiting family who wish to stay overnight.

Reply to  Florence Fletcher
6 June 2022 5:05 pm

All the Units in Downtown residential are required to have at least ONE spot!
Which Condos are you talking about?

Reply to  sam
7 June 2022 6:33 am

Except those developments that have reduced parking allowances granted them by Council. Why just this week that happened!!!!

Last edited 5 months ago by ben
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Florence Fletcher
6 June 2022 5:19 pm

it will be a major problem for any visiting family who wish to stay overnight.

Why should the Town of Cobourg care about them?

4 June 2022 8:20 am

I heard on King st yesterday that 2 of the Municipally leased parking lots wont be available to the Town next yr
The owners have figured out that at $40.– per day per car with 50 + cars on average , there is far more money to be made running a parking lot rather than leasing to the Town for a few Thousand $$ a year while the go through the development process . Which will eventually eliminate these lots all together . These lots were also used when calculating the neighbouring parking surplus for the Development proposal at Albert and Division st that is short a lot of Parking
Not only for the new residents that might live there but also for any employees and patrons of the 7 new store fronts OH OH now whats council to do.?

3 June 2022 1:40 pm

Why were these sorts of issues not addressed in the original staff report on parking bylaw changes?

Reply to  Dubious
4 June 2022 8:07 am

Totally boggles one’s mind how stupid these people are. If the people making the decisions actually lived here it might work. I hope the people living in those areas get a reduction on their taxes for dealing with this mess.

Laura Roberge
Reply to  Carol
4 June 2022 8:28 am

I live at the Harbour & parking has always been difficult, but now a nightmare. I literally can not have company as the parking pass needs license plates. You are right about the put yourself in the downtown residence shoes. I feel very victimized!

Reply to  Laura Roberge
4 June 2022 2:16 pm

Slightly off topic, but it goes to the heart of many by-law problems in this town — very good at creating new ones and useless at enforcing any of them— from noise to speed limits to parking — the council just do not listen to the residents regardless of how many Bang the Table surveys they create. I’m with you Laura.

Reply to  Carol
4 June 2022 9:10 am

A suggestion that “in future residents should schedule events at 4pm or later” ?? This is the epitome of idiocy!! Are there not enough complications around this parking nonsense without being told when I ought to have visitors who need to park their cars?! And if an exception is needed for a number of cars, it should be a quick process to obtain seven days a week…it is summer after all. Gatherings are not always scheduled.

Reply to  Abby
4 June 2022 10:35 am

Indeed. What a thoughtless, foolish thing to say. Pathetic problem solving. It’s frightening what drives this council!

Reply to  Abby
4 June 2022 10:38 am

The suggestion that in future residents should schedule events at 4:00 pm or later is absurd.

Reply to  Abby
4 June 2022 5:05 pm

Just remember who said that when you vote in October!

Reply to  Carol
4 June 2022 10:30 am

This council has locked in tunnel vision.