An almost snowfall-free December has provided some extra time for Clarence-Rockland staff and council to do some further study on present parking regulations and penalties. Council reviewed a report on proposed revisions to the regulations during its December 16 regular session, before the Christmas break, but tabled it to allow administration to prepare a more detailed follow-up report in early 2020.
The City’s traffic and parking bylaw dates back to June 2007 and has gone through 20 amendment reviews since then. The main point of discussion between council members, over the preliminary report, concerned the regulation of overnight parking during the winter season.
The latest suggested revision of municipal parking regulations proposed allowing limited on-street parking from 1 to 7 a.m., during the period from November 15 to April 1, unless there was a heavy snowfall warning in effect.
The proposed change called for notifying residents “by various means” of overnight parking restrictions, to allow snow removal crews to work overnight without having to deal with vehicles parked on streets, in either Rockland or any of the villages. The current parking bylaw provides for an automatic ban on overnight parking during the winter season, to assist with snow removal work without the need to wait for a heavy snowfall warning.
Several councillors expressed concern about municipal liability in replacing the automatic overnight winter parking ban. The focus of concern was how administration could make sure that all residents were aware of the ban. A few councillors noted that not all residents make a habit of checking the municipal website for updates on local services, and there is no guarantee that residents will see notices on social media sites like Facebook.
Some council members also asked how far in advance notice should go out of an overnight parking ban, and would the city be liable for any vehicles still left parked overnight because their owners did not get notice of the ban.
Council decided to defer decision on any changes to the present traffic and parking regulations until administration can provide a follow-up report.