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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The public will start to weigh in next month on the possible future uses of Oak Bay Lodge. In the meantime, a request to the province by the City of Victoria to intervene and allow use of at least a portion of the closed facility as temporary shelter space awaits an answer. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay Lodge redevelopment planning continues, request for temporary use awaits answer

Public consultation on future of CRD-owned site begins next month

A project on McCallum Road will add 227 residential units to Langford. (Photo courtesy of Highstreet Ventures)
Residential project slated for McCallum Road in Langford

Six-storey development will be built to highest energy-efficiency standards

Saanich golfer and top B.C. junior and juvenile player Willy Bishop was named to the 2021 Canadian National Junior Golf Squad on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy Jenny Bishop)
Saanich student to tee-off with national golf team

Willy Bishop, 16, named to Canadian National Junior Golf Squad in 2021

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Four new COVID-19 cases added to Saanich Peninsula Hospital outbreak

Inital round of patient testing is complete, staff testing continues

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Lake Trail Middle School in Courtenay has closed again due to a threat Friday (Dec 4). File photo
Island middle school closed for the second time in a week due to threat

On Nov. 26, Lake Trail Middle School was closed for a day while a similar incident occurred.

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week t

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

Watch Messiah at home with the Sooke Philharmonic

Concert available to stream Dec. 12

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo dismantles downtown homeless encampment after fire

Four to six tents burned up in Wesley Street fire Thursday, Dec. 3

Most Read