By Chad Ingram
Algonquin Highlands doesn’t have a parking bylaw but that is about to change.
Councillors discussed the creation of a bylaw regulating parking in the township during an April 21 meeting.
“It is time” township bylaw officer David Rogers told councillors. “We do have issues in different parts of the municipality.”
For years parking problems have arisen during the busy summer months with municipal roads and parks especially those near boat launches congested with parked vehicles.
As Rogers told councillors part of the problem is residents leaving their boat trailers in parking areas.
“Then the trailer sits there until Labour Day” he said. “That’s taking up space in the parking lot for someone who needs to park their car. Then the road gets congested.”
In particular the area near the Little Hawk Lake boat launch has been problematic for many years.
A draft bylaw deals with a multitude of parking scenarios from violating parking signage to interfering with snow removal to setbacks from fire halls and fire hydrants.
Deputy-reeve Liz Danielsen thought it was a bit much.
“I understand our rationale for needing to do this” Danielsen said. “I really do wonder if we have to go quite this far.”
“I would see it more as having a document that allows you flexibility” said Reeve Carol Moffatt.
The bylaw will be complaint-driven with violators’ vehicles ticketed and in some cases towed.
In the case of cars parked too close to fire hydrants “I will seriously look at whether I’m going to tow the vehicle or ticket it” Rogers said.
As for fines a report from Rogers showed that in other local townships fines range from $7 to $10 with a $5 late fee. Councillors found these figures low and requested that increased fines be included in an updated draft that is scheduled to come back to council for approval at its May 5 meeting.
It’s suggested the fine for parking illegally in a disabled parking space be at least $300.