By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: March. 24, 2012
It’s a parking regulation that makes little sense, has no precedent, is unenforceable, and worst of all, it pitts neighbour against neighbour.
That is the view that Willow Village townhome residents take of a rule imposed on a trial basis by the district.
By this rule, only residents who live on Willow Crescent can park their cars along that road.
This effectively bans residents of Willow Village townhomes from parking their cars on Willow Crescent.
“This is so discriminatory. That is a public road, we pay taxes for it, and we should be allowed to park our vehicles out there,” said Jill Lee, a Willow Village resident.
Although these townhomes have a two-car garage, there are about 18 parking spaces in a subdivision that has 86 townhomes.
Jill Lee parks both her cars in the garage, but when she has to leave early for work, she parks on the road for fear of waking up her kids and the neighbours.
When she parked on Willow Crescent recently, someone left a note on the windshield reminding her of the new rule.
But not everyone has been as polite, the reidents say.
A few residents allege they have been verbally abused by Willow Crescent residents for parking their cars on the road.
The Squamish Reporter was unable to talk to residents on Willow Crescent.
“They (district) have simply turned neighbours against neighbours with this,” said Andrea Hockey, a Willow Village resident.
She said the bitterness was introduced last year when the district introduced the regulation on a trial basis.
The district sought their view, but never paid any heed to it, resident say.
Stewart Hughes said his wife, Carolyn Miller, spearheaded a letter-writing campaign and claim they went several times to meet Sam Skalsvik, the district official in charge of the regulation.
With no help coming from the district, Hughes says he and his wife decided to defy the regulation simply because it’s unfair.
“There are no permits for residents, so there is no way for them to enforce this. So, what’s the point of this bylaw?,” Hughes said.
There is a valid point for this parking regulation, district officials say.
Christie Smith, the district spokesperson said the parking regulations were imposed after area residents approached the district with parking concerns.
“After a successful trial period for the new parking situation, it was concluded this solution would ensure the best safety, security and functionality of the neighborhood,” she said.
As for precedence, she said this is a unique situation that enables the district to accommodate residents by regulating the East/West portion of Willow Crescent and opening parking on the North/South section of Willow Crescent to this area of the community.
The District of Squamish enforces parking violations upon complaint, she said. The district has not received further feedback from local residents since October of 2010, but it welcomes feedback on the issue.