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March 2007

February 2007

Parking Permits

In recent weeks, a number of people have come forward to complain about the $35 monthly fee for overnight parking on the street. I really wish citizens would pay closer attention to publications such as the Côte Saint-Luc Courier, our website and the local press. From the outset of our mandate we repeated that overnight parking was under study. The only people we heard from were those who did not want to see any cars on the street. When we adopted the new rates, going from $10 to $35 in December, we waited an extra month after the initial debate at a public meeting to leave time for the public respond. Some did, but a tiny minority. Once the new bills were mailed out in January, the complaints picked up. I understand many of these individuals' concerns. I just wish they would have stepped forward much earlier. Prior to the forced mergers in 2002, there was no such thing as overnight parking. Those that proved they neeed to do so, paid $5o a month. Yes, $50!!!! The borough of Côte Saint-Luc-Hampstead-Montreal West lowered the fee to $10 and did not enforce the rules. Many of the people purchasing permits did so to simply save money from renting available spots in their buildings. A committee set up by the mayor actually suggested we return to the $50 fee. He pushed for a compromise at $35. The majority of residents did vote to demerge. That meant getting back the Côte Saint-Luc that was taken from them. Well, that included the $50 fee. Our mayor has listened to the protests. He is working towards a few potential resolutions, including making some public lots available. What else can we do? For starters, we have to ensure those people requesting spots on the street are doing so legitimately. Do they need to park on the street because there is no other option? That is the question.