Street parking restrictions frustrate yoga studio owner
Nearby neighbours petitioned to get residential permits required in some spots
A Calgary business owner is frustrated about losing on-street parking after people who live in the area petitioned to have it restricted to residents.
The Bodhi Tree Yoga Centre on 14th Street near Eighth Avenue northwest has been relying on street parking for its clients for years, says owner Catherine Nelson-Reid.
But nearby residents, fed up with people parking in front of their homes, applied a few weeks ago to have about five spaces on the side street designated as permit-only parking.
"It doesn't seem fair and reasonable and neighbourly to mark off a chunk of territory as yours,” said Nelson-Reid.
Yogi Gita Varma said it can be very difficult to find parking in the crowded inner-city location.
“Where are people to park? Where should we park?” Varma asked.
The city says parking can be rezoned if 80 per cent of residents agree.
Chris Ollenberger, a developer who specializes in inner-city projects, says it’s unfortunate that the struggle over limited parking spaces so often results in permit-only designations.
“There’s actually probably at least a dozen of these areas where permit parking for residents only sterilizes an entire street from the street life we enjoy down in here in the beltline,” said the managing principal of QuantumPlace Developments Ltd.
“To exclusively say this street is only for the residents in front of it I think really goes against the shared model of vibrancy that Plan-It is looking for,” he said, referring to the city’s long-range guide to urban growth.
Ollenburger said too often complaints about parking are dealt with in the most politically expedient way by city councillors anxious to placate complaining residents.
“The alderman and the parking authority can go in, put up some signs, problem solved, no more phone calls,” he said.
Coun. Druh Farrell says it’s a citywide issue with no easy solution.
“We will be looking at reviewing our residential parking permit policy and trying to achieve that balance. But it’s a policy that many residents, all over the city, really value,” she said.