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Côte Saint-Luc may loosen its rules on temporary carports. ((Photo courtesy of Martin C. Barry/The Senior Times))

The City of Côte Saint-Luc on the Island of Montreal is looking at reversing a decades-old bylaw forbidding temporary carports — known as tempos — after some residents asked that the ban be lifted.

Tempos are not allowed to be installed in driveways unless the city grants an exception with a special permit. That exception can only apply to people with no garage.

"We've had about three or four residents that have come up to council meetings and asked us if we would consider opening up the laws allowing carports or tempos on their driveways," said Coun. Steven Erdelyi.

"Right now, our legal clerk is looking into it. We have a caucus meeting and we'll debate it further, and we'll come to a resolution," he said.

The white vinyl domes were banned for esthetic and other reasons, but Erdelyi said given the recent requests, city council is taking a second look at the policy.

'Sign of laziness'

"I just think they're an eyesore when you're driving around," said David Salkovitz, who admits he has indoor parking.

"I think people need to get out, and take care of their property and remove the snow. And how often do they have to really do it? I think it's just a sign of laziness," he said.

Another man admits the tempos are practical, "but let's face it, it's really ugly," he said. "So I'm kind of split."

He says he doesn't think it's the city's responsibility to dictate what people are allowed and not allowed to do on their own property.

"If I had to shovel every day, I would put up a carport too," said another woman.

Last year, an elderly resident appealed to city council on behalf of himself and a sick neighbour for special permission as seniors to be exempted from the bylaw.

Erdelyi said Côte Saint-Luc is studying that possibility, but he also said the bylaw is meant to apply to all 30,000 residents.

"We have laws and we try to enforce them because if we start granting exceptions, it becomes very complicated," he said.

"We want to make sure our residents are happy," said Erdelyi. "But obviously we want to make sure we follow the law, and we are not discriminating against any people."

Erdelyi added it takes time to change a bylaw. It has to pass through several motions before council and any policy change wouldn't be in time for this winter.