David Willows wrote a 53-page audit of Victoria’s accessible on-street parking downtown. (Keili Bartlett/News staff)

David Willows wrote a 53-page audit of Victoria’s accessible on-street parking downtown. (Keili Bartlett/News staff)

Accessible parking not optional, councillor says after province removes regulations

B.C. provincial government changing building code requirements to municipality-based

Municipalities across B.C. are now in charge of setting accessible parking standards for new developments.

Since the province passed the responsibility to individual municipalities on Dec. 10, councillors in Victoria are already concerned about how this will affect the amount of accessible parking — and the people who use it.

Coun. Marianne Alto said access to parking is a “basic human rights” issue for people who have mobility restrictions and may require accessible parking.

“I think it’s incumbent on all of us to make sure we do everything we can,” Alto said.

READ and WATCH MORE: Only half of Victoria’s accessible parking meets basic standards: report

The policy will not affect existing parking spaces or applications in process, but will apply to all residential and commercial developments going forward. Until Dec. 10, the building code was regulated on a provincial level and required at least one accessible parking spot for each building that has parking, with standards for dimensions and the surfacing.

A motion put forward by Alto and Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe noted many municipalities are not prepared, as many do not have bylaws about accessible parking. Alto said they have concerns about how the new policy could affect city planning, responding to land use applications and consistency city to city.

READ MORE: B.C. needs Disability Act: Victoria council

“That’s the root of some of our concerns, because when you’re building something new, that’s the opportunity that you have to make sure you have accessibility for people who need their vehicles in order to help them get around,” Alto said. “It’s a lot easier to do that when you’re building something from scratch, when you’re starting out rather than to try and retrofit something. Losing this requirement could be quite significant.”

Alto and Thornton-Joe will put forward the motion in the Committee of the Whole meeting on Thursday, Dec. 13, and direct city staff to investigate what this change will mean for Victoria. The motion also asks Mayor Lisa Helps to write a letter to the province and express council’s reservations about the new policy.

Alto said it would have been nice to have a heads up when the province decided to shift the responsibility onto the municipalities.

“I don’t believe anybody reached out to the City to say this is what’s happening. We learned about it fairly recently,” Alto said.

READ MORE: City of Victoria responds to blind community’s B.C. Human Rights Tribunal case


@KeiliBartlett
keili.bartlett@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City of Victoria

Just Posted

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

Thriving Toots Wilderness School is trying to buy a 98-acre plot of undeveloped land from the Boys and Girls’ Club of Greater Victoria in Metchosin. (Contributed/Thriving Roots)
Hopeful buyers of Boys and Girls’ Club land in Metchosin would keep it wild

Nature-based school, partners trying to secure financing to buy 98-acre property: school director

The District of Saanich has pinpointed funding requests to Oak Bay and Victoria to help offset the purchase price of the Kings Park greenspace and keep the property intact. (Courtesy District of Saanich)
Saanich requests funding help from neighbours to preserve Kings Road green space

District hopes Victoria and Oak Bay will join them in protecting urban green space

VicPd are asking for the public’s help in finding Camper, a lost pit bull who ran away after their owner’s van was reportedly attacked by a man with a hammer on June 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Edmonton man reportedly smashes van’s windows with hammer while woman and her dog inside

VicPD are asking for help to find Camper, the woman’s dog who ran away during the Friday incident

Victoria police are looking for Delmer Esau who was last seen in Esquimalt June 1. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Search continues for man last seen in Esquimalt

Delmer Esau, 35, hasn’t been seen since June 1

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read