Major Changes in Parking By-Law

Cobourg Council are on the way to approving major changes in parking across the Town.  There are major fee increases at the area near the waterfront and smaller ones downtown. But there are also changes that affect residential streets which will empower by-law enforcement and Police to act on complaints by residents on what I would call nuisance parking. These changes have been discussed for some time – mostly in connection with problems with parking by visitors to the Beach. The public were consulted, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee were consulted and Staff did considerable work coming up with the changes. At the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday May 9, a draft by-law was approved and is expected to get final approval at the Regular meeting on May 16.

See the previous posts on the subject plus pages on both the Town’s web site and Cobourg Internet – links are in Resources below.

The new By-Law covers all Parking issues in Cobourg except for rules for Fire Routes which is in a separate by-law since it’s managed by the Fire Department. It’s a large document so let me summarize:

Parking changes and other highlights

  • King street rate will be $1.25 per hour rising to $2.25 in 2024. There will now be a 3 hour limit. This is instead of the current $1 per hour with no limit. Applies to Downtown – not just King Street, with some expansion westward.
  • Prices for permits for one day, 30 days and longer will increase.  Day permits will only be available for Covert Street lot.
  • Waterfront Parking will be more expensive in summer – $5 per hour or $40 per day.
  • Beach parking will be allowed on residential Streets East of Victoria Park but will require a permit. Residents can buy a season permit.
  • No parking facing against traffic, on wrong side of the road [as is common in England]
  • No overnight parking on “highways” (not just winter) (Highways are any street, road or lane)
  • Vehicles Advertised for sale and parked on a Highway are not permitted
  • No Parking without valid registration or insurance
  • No parking on a Highway while degreasing/washing the Motor Vehicle;
  • No unattended parking on east pier
  • No parking a Commercial Vehicle (or trailer) on any street in any residential zones unless it is, at that time, being used to make a delivery or to provide service
  • No parking on private property without consent [e.g. as done during major Town events when most nearby parking is full].
  • No person with a valid Downtown Accessible Parking Permit shall remain in a designated Accessible Parking Space, for a period longer than twenty-four Hours (24hrs).
  • No parking that obstructs the removal of snow from the streets
  • No parking a vehicle that is inoperable
  • No parking a vehicle on any Town of Cobourg residential street for a period exceeding forty-eight (48) hours.
  • No parking of a recreational vehicle on any part of a highway or roadway within the Town of Cobourg.
  • A Motor Vehicle may be removed or impounded at the expense of the Owner if parked illegally
  • Most fines will be $40 although some are as high as $160 (e.g. stayed at waterfront past when meter or pay and display expires) or $300 (unauthorized use of accessible permit).
  • Permits for Downtown accessible parking will be available for $25/month.
  • No free parking with accessible permit [this is not a change].

See resources below for Cobourg Internet page and Town Page with more detail about downtown and waterfront parking


Related Cobourg News Blog Posts

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Dave Chomitz
14 May 2022 11:16 am

As a property owner that has been impacted by beach goers and park festivals for 20+ years I can say with confidence that changing the bylaws will have no impact unless the town changes it’s enforcement policy.

13 May 2022 1:23 pm

I saw a big SOLD sign up in the “free but hazardous for elderly ” lot across from the market building.

13 May 2022 11:43 am

I especially enjoy the 3 hour time limit to force small business owners to have to leave their store after 3 hours and move their car, and the no parking commercial vehicles and trailers downtown. Is a tradesperson supposed to carry all tools and materials from a parking lot a distance away?

Shows how little the Town cares about downtown businesses once again.

Pete M
13 May 2022 10:07 am

This brings to mind the song-Signs- by 5 man electrical band.
Do this, dont do that blowing my mind

Reply to  Pete M
13 May 2022 10:25 am

Formerly “The Stacatos”

13 May 2022 9:51 am

Good to hear that no ‘school buses’ will be allowed to be parked in residential driveways!

I’d be ashamed to bring my bus home and park it in our driveway!

Pete M
Reply to  Ken
13 May 2022 10:09 am

Colour would clash with rest of neighbourhood?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Pete M
13 May 2022 10:58 am

I suspect it might be more than that. It’s about shame.
Merriam Webster
1a. a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety
bthe susceptibility to such emotion
2 a condition of humiliating disgrace or disrepute
3a something that brings censure or reproach

Ken is very serious about this.
NO one in hoity toity town will ever grow corn on their front lawn — for shame, for shame.

Pete M
13 May 2022 9:25 am

Here is the definition of “Highway” as per the Ontario Traffic Act, which I believe the Town will copy for the definition part of the Parking By Law to define highway.

highway” includes a common and public highway, street, avenue, parkway, driveway, square, place, bridge, viaduct or trestle, any part of which is intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles and includes the area between the lateral property lines thereof;

Take note of the part ” between the lateral property lines thereof” of the definition

This means no parking on the grass boulevard, no putting the car on the boulevard to advertise for sale.

Once enacted it will be interesting to see if there is a warning/grace period or does the Town start ticketing right away?

I remember 20 yrs ago in Clarington, By-law would specifically have an overnite officer out tagging. The salary was paid for in the first hour.

They focused on those subdivisions where there was limited capacity to park two cars in a driveway and needed to.park on the road.

Pete M
Reply to  Pete M
13 May 2022 10:22 am

Oh for those who are thinking of parking your vehicle sideways at the end of your drive so ur not hanging out into the roadway over nite, your still on the
highway and could be subject to a ticket

Bill Thompson
13 May 2022 9:11 am

Does the four hour free parking for Veteran license plate owners still remain in effect ?

Wally Keeler
13 May 2022 9:05 am

Is a mobility scooter regarded as a ‘motor vehicle’?
Can a mobility scooter park on the sidewalk near a patio for free while the scooter owner enjoys a latte?
Can a mobility scooter park in the park for free while listening to a concert?
Can a mobility scooter occupy a parking space On King Street downtown if the space is paid for?
Can a mobility scooter park in front of Victoria Hall off the street for free while the owner attends a performance?

13 May 2022 8:57 am

I believe the Town is in need of $$$ as suggested by Carol
we are so far in debt its not funny . I also think its time to retire
some of those in the Parks and Rec . department
There has not been a fresh idea come out of there in over 10 yrs
short of the annual parking rate hikes and restrictions

Reply to  Sandpiper
13 May 2022 9:19 am

Speaking of fresh ideas Sandpiper, where are yours?

13 May 2022 8:44 am
  • No overnight parking on “highways” (not just winter) (Highways are any street, road or lane)
  • No parking a vehicle on any Town of Cobourg residential street for a period exceeding forty-eight (48) hours.

These seem somewhat contradictory. There are many streets in this town that have vehicles parked overnight. How are these to be enforced, outlawing the personal motor vehicle?
Many of these draconian regulations will go a long way to kill the economic activity in Cobourg.
Despite rising fuel costs, there are nearby alternatives supporting other local businesses & activities.
Certainly deals a death knell to Cobourg – “Ontario’s Feel Good Town”.

Pete M
Reply to  Gary
13 May 2022 9:33 am

It seems contradictory on its face but in fact covers all possible scenarios. If we cant get you one way, we get you another.

Scenario: Bylaw chalks tires at 2pm, but cant get back during the night, because nobody working overnite shifts. Comes back in 48 hrs at 3pm and sees vehicle hasnt moved-ticket issued.

Reply to  Pete M
13 May 2022 10:11 am

So hopscotch parking will be a solution?

Pete M
Reply to  Gary
13 May 2022 10:04 am

Time to move to Brighton?

13 May 2022 8:39 am

John – do I understand your 6th bullet to mean that overnight parking on ANY street in Cobourg will be prohibited?

Pete M
Reply to  John Draper
13 May 2022 9:56 am

So lets take a look at New Amherst…limited parking with the rear lane garages. Somebody complains about a car or car parked on Caddy. Dr. A ticket is issued. But no tickets are issued to violators on Smith or Lees or Wilkins Gate, so now we have selective enforcement. People will be up in arms complaining it being unfair.

Reply to  Pete M
13 May 2022 11:27 am

Let me be the first to complain about Smith Rd. then for you. I just love the new Bylaw The garages in New Amherst are perfect providing that people actually use them, i.e. so full of junk there are no room for their cars, or too many people live in one home, thus having too many cars for the allotted parking spaces. Can’t wait until this goes into effect, so our streets can remain uncluttered and Cobourg remains a “pretty town” and not a parking lot.

Pete M
Reply to  Tucker
13 May 2022 12:38 pm

Let the neighbour wars began.

Reply to  Tucker
13 May 2022 5:57 pm

Let me inform you further, when there are 4 cars parked in front of one home and the last one is over the slopped sidewalk and out into the intersection, then the snow plough comes along. He has to lift his blade, thus the road does not get ploughed, he leaves a 4ft. pile of snow in the middle of the road. When there is another car parked on the other side of the road, visitor or not, the plough can’t get through at all and has to go around the block and approach from the other direction and back out of the street. These owners have space in their garages, if only they cleaned them out. It’s a nuisance to have cars or trucks parked on a street that has ample parking on their own property.

Reply to  Pete M
13 May 2022 7:56 pm

Smith Rd. and others in New Amherst happen to be a metre narrower than other roads. That means a lot when trying to get up the street in the dead of winter. One January, the ambulance was called at 4:30 AM, the snow banks were 3 feet high on both sides, one neighbour continually parked his 3/4 ton Ram 3500 truck on the road, the fire truck, in response to the call, couldn’t get down the street because of the truck. They had to go around the block and come the other way. Those precious seconds lost could have meant death for that neighbour. Fortunately, it didn’t. But had a Bylaw been in place at that time, the seconds gained would have been well worth it. So, wonderful Bylaw, kudos to the Council.

Pete M
Reply to  Tucker
13 May 2022 8:37 pm

What would have been better -a proper sized street. You praise council, but this is a poorly engineered design approved by planning and council that now requires a by-law fix that wont be consistently enforced.

Reply to  Pete M
13 May 2022 11:13 pm

The Bylaw doesn’t just apply to New Amherst.

Pete M
Reply to  Tucker
14 May 2022 9:39 am

Yes, but the rest of the Town was better laid out and designed. In those parts, residents with more than 1 vehicle could park those vehicles in the driveway or infront of their residence. And not face the wrath of their neighors.

Reply to  Pete M
14 May 2022 12:02 pm

The rest of the town is old. What is the garage for, it isn’t for parking your kids bikes or your canoe or your golf clubs or in one case a bathtub. Park your car, get rid of your junk. You say, “park those vehicles in the driveway” then do that, get off the street.

Reply to  Tucker
14 May 2022 11:43 pm

Pre-bylaw….If you complained enough and got on the Councellor’s good side, you got a No Parking sign put on your street. There is no rhyme or reason why some streets in the West End have been granted No Parking signs and others have not. Fact.

Reply to  Pete M
14 May 2022 7:46 am

They manage just fine in Europe, with far narrower roads. We have oversized everything in North America to accommodate vehicles.

As was also mentioned, if you have a garage and don’t park your car in it, then expect to use the road. I do not see that as the towns problem. Most houses are built to accommodate 2 vehicles. If you exceed that, that is your own fault. I do feel for the issue of visitors, however.

Reply to  Ahewson
14 May 2022 9:32 am

Love your response, get going you people, spring cleaning is upon you this year. As far as visitors go, most condos and apartments have a designated “visitor parking” on site. If you have too many vehicles already that outweigh your allotted parking area, that’s your own problem, ask a neighbour to let your visitor park in their “unused” space, problem solved.

Pete M
Reply to  Tucker
14 May 2022 11:52 am

“You People”
this expression, however intended by the speaker, has sometimes been interpreted as indicative of racism when used in discourse with those of a race different from the speaker’s, or of discrimination on an ethnic or religious basis in analogous situations.

Pete M
Reply to  Tucker
14 May 2022 11:57 am

“You People” also
(derogatory) Any outsiders of a clique.

Im assuming this is what you were meaning Tucker that these neighbours are outside your clique

Reply to  Pete M
14 May 2022 12:57 pm

I don’t have a “clique”. But I also don’t have any junk, my car is in my garage. I think we should put this back and forth “to bed” before any more is said.

Pete M
Reply to  Tucker
14 May 2022 1:28 pm

My apologies Tucker, I didn t fully understand how much a clean and tidy garage meant to you. Best of luck in trying to get the neighbours to meet your standard.

Pete M
Reply to  Ahewson
14 May 2022 10:54 am

Yes and those same narrow streets have been around for 200, 300, 400 years or more. They have 4, 5, 6 storey apartment buildings fronting onto them with courtyards behind. The size of the apts about 800-900 sq ft and in most cases less. Everything is within walking distance in those 600 yr old neighbourhoods
Lets come back to Cobourg. Please explain to me why a a retired couple retired to New Amherst or for that matter any neighbour needs a brand new 1800 to 2400 sqft 3 or 4 bedroom home. Seems like an excessive waste of space, waste of energy for heating and cooling when we should be doing everything to reduce our environmental foot print.

With all that extra space available surely those home owners could take in a young person or couple who find themselves struggling to find affordable housing.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Pete M
14 May 2022 3:39 pm

Lets come back to Cobourg. Please explain to me why a a retired couple retired to New Amherst or for that matter any neighbour needs a brand new 1800 to 2400 sqft 3 or 4 bedroom home.

Nobody should have to justify why they “need” what they can afford. And if they were to rent a few rooms where would the young couple park their two cars?

Last edited 1 year ago by Ken Strauss
Pete M
Reply to  Ken Strauss
14 May 2022 9:21 pm

They could park on the driveway pad while your car is parked in the garage

Pete M
Reply to  Ken Strauss
14 May 2022 10:03 pm

I think really what ur justifying is a “want’ vs a “need”
A 2 bedroom condo of 900 will meet the need. A 3 bedroom 2200 sq foot two storey with 2 and 1/2 baths on a 50×115 ft lot for 2 is a want.

Our federal government is starting to tax those want items more.than a pick up trucks vs small fuel efficient cars; luxury suvs vs mall cars; cabin cruiser boats vs 12 aluminum boat, personal aircraft vs staying on ground or flying commercial

As well there is the long standing rumours of a tax at time of sale of your personal residence.

Just Libs and NDP trying to level the playing field for those that dont find themselves as well off or privileged.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Pete M
15 May 2022 7:27 am

Pete, your comments are great examples of completely unwarranted government intrusions into our lives. Just Libs and NDP fanning jealousy and attempting to buy the votes of those who don’t find themselves as well off or privileged. There is no need to justify anything that one can afford.

Pete M
Reply to  Ken Strauss
14 May 2022 10:20 pm

But now a family of 2 parents with 4 kids ages 18 to 12 yrs living in that same house with a garage full of bikes , golf clubs, hockey equip a canoe and three cars. They probably want a bigger house but cant afford. The current house is meting their need until the kids move off to college and their own lives, .Then.maybe the parents will get the junk out of their garage once their hectic lives slow down and they transition car.

Reply to  Pete M
14 May 2022 11:34 pm

When word gets around, I suspect everyone will start complaining. There are soo many people that have their garages stuffed so full, they can’t park in them. Maybe will force people to de-clutter.

Reply to  John Draper
13 May 2022 2:06 pm

That is nonsensical – so overnight guests, family staying for an evening or weekend, someone who is intoxicated? Who comes up with this stuff. Common sense is not so common…what is wrong with these people??

Reply to  Rob
13 May 2022 9:23 am

If there is a pass for residents, it must be more than seasonal. A person with limited mobility who still doesn’t qualify for accessible permit, can find walking half a block to the ticket dispenser and back in winter more than a little hazardous. Make it a year round pass for seniors at least.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Abby
13 May 2022 10:48 am

If it is an automobile, then there is room for a foldup walker to negotiate icy sidewalks.

13 May 2022 8:34 am

What a disgrace for the downtown why would anyone waste their time shopping downtown. This will discourage people from dining in the downtown as well. Does the town need the money that badly?

Reply to  Carol
13 May 2022 9:17 am

Please post signs on the 401. Pedestrians only allowed in Cobourg. Parking rates now equal those in Toronto. Kiss your tourists good-bye.

Small town lover
Reply to  Conor
13 May 2022 10:28 am

The tourists will still come. They love our beach.

Reply to  Carol
13 May 2022 9:17 am

Carol – I don’t see anything about lengthening the hours of paid parking, which end at 6 pm. So no problem dining downtown. If you can find a parking spot!

Reply to  GailR
13 May 2022 5:58 pm

I was also referring to lunch and breakfast dinning Not everyone dines after 6. Once the lots on Albert street are built and there are more residents just try getting a parking spot. I hate to see our down town empty again just when it is starting to rebound. 5.00 an hour seems a bit steep for any place when you want to encourage people to come. Keep in mind people come from surrounding areas (our neighbours) not just the pesky tourists (as everyone thinks they are) the town has been talking about a garage on covert street for at least 30 years. I don’t see it ever happening. So when the lots are build up on Albert street how much will the limited parking cost? This town is just not open for business