You can own your piece of property and the house that sits on it, but not the parking spot in front of it.
“You don’t own the spot in front of your house,” explained Lorne Fletcher, manager of community safety and bylaw enforcement for the City of Langford. “Public parking in most communities is recognized as first come, first served.”
Parking issues tend to increase as a community grows, as is the case on the West Shore, he noted. “More density means more people, which means more vehicles.”
Langford deals with between 10 and 15 complaints about parking a week. One or two of those involve street storage of vehicles. To avoid difficulties with that, Langford’s traffic bylaw requires that vehicles be moved every 72 hours.
“We only respond to complaints, unless it’s a safety issue, such as someone parking in a bike lane,” Fletcher said.
Langford does not register plates.
Permit parking is issued in response to a neighbourhood’s request where there is general agreement among the residents, with typically three permits issued for each household.
There’s a system established by the city’s engineering department that lays out the guidelines for permit parking zones, Fletcher explained. “It’s not arbitrary, there’s a set protocol followed.”
Signs restricting parking and signs limiting the amount of time vehicles can park are established by the engineering department as well, Fletcher added.
Colwood is currently reviewing its parking bylaw to provide a report to council about current street parking regulations and areas of increased demand. The report will include recommendations about residential parking permits and parking management systems that may better serve the community for effective management without increasing staffing.
Rick Smith, a member of Colwood’s bylaw services team, stressed that although people often have preferred parking spots close to their home or destination, streets are public spaces for use by everyone, unless otherwise stated by a sign.
“Recreational vehicles are not permitted to be stored on Colwood streets,” Smith said.”On private property, residents may store up to two recreational vehicles such as an RV, camper, or boat.”
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