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Delta to review parking rules for single-family neighbourhoods

Homeowners using their garages as storage while parking on the street has long been a thorny issue for neighbourhoods
The city will review its zoning regulations in response to recent provincial legislation that will allow more small-scale housing units on single-family detached lots. Sandor Gyarmati photo

The City of Delta will review its parking requirements for detached single-family houses as part of a zoning review.

That’s according to a staff response to a recent letter to council from a resident complaining about the current requirement for new houses to have enclosed garages, saying homeowners will simply end up using the space for storage and park on the street, exacerbating an already difficult parking problem many neighborhoods experience.

People are more likely to use their garage for parking if it is an open carport-style, the resident noted in their letter.

For single-detached dwellings, Delta’s zoning bylaw requires a home without a secondary suite to have at least one parking space in an enclosed garage, while a home with a secondary suite to have at least two parking spaces in an enclosed garage.

The province recently announced legislation on allowing small-scale, multi-unit housing on single-detached lots.

According to staff, that prompts a need to update the current zoning regulations, and that update will include a review of parking requirements.

A staff report in 2020 noted that, regardless of the design of a secondary suite parking space, it is difficult for bylaw inspectors to enforce tenant parking requirements.

“While staff continue to require the owners to identify a designated off-street parking space for their tenant, there is no requirement for the tenant to occupy that space nor for the owners to park within their garage. Where there are suites on any given street (whether authorized or unauthorized and whether occupied by a tenant or family), drivers will find parking spaces on their property or on the street which are most convenient to them,” the report noted.

The city, meanwhile, has amended regulations to reduce parking requirements for purpose-built rental apartments, projects along Scott Road and apartment visitor parking.

The city also recently issued a request for proposals for a consultant to undertake a study of off-street parking utilization in multi-unit residential and mixed-use buildings within Delta, to help inform potential changes to parking requirements for new developments.