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Summerland changing parking requirements

Proposed changes would remove minimum number of residential parking spaces downtown
Changes to Summerland’s downtown parking regulatons are u der consideration. (Summerland Review file photo)

The municipality of Summerland is working to ease its requirements for parking spaces with new apartment buildings in the community’s downtown core.

The change would remove the limit on the number of parking spaces for new apartment buildings, but Brad Dollevoet, director of development services, said the result will not be a shortage of places to park.

“Most likely the developers are still going to provide parking,” he said, explaining that parking stalls are a selling feature for housing units.

He added that a parking inventory was conducted for the municipality’s downtown neighbourhood action plan. The inventory showed the community will still have more than enough places to park in the downtown area, even without the requirement of parking spaces.

Summerland has been working towards increasing density in its downtown area. In late February, the municipality approved a development on Henry Avenue which will accommodate the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre as well as 60 units of affordable housing in a five-storey building.

In addition, the municipality is working towards allowing increased density and multi-storey, multi-family construction near the core of the community.

While the parking requirements are changing for multi-family residential units, Summerland will continue to have requirements in place for commercial units.

Under the requirements, parking is required for businesses, or funds must be paid to the municipality in lieu of parking spaces.

While the changes will impact development plans, Dollevoet said they will not result in immediate and drastic changes in the character of the community.

“Just because we are changing our planning documents does not mean our community will change overnight,” he said.

John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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