March 1, 2024

La Ronge Northerner

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Cities ban cars from their driveways

Cities ban cars from their driveways

Residents of a Montreal neighborhood are lashing out at a bylaw, applied for the first time in half a century, that prevents any vehicles from parking in the driveway in front of their homes now that the garage has been converted into a room.

“We thought they were sick! We’ve parked in our driveway for 50 years. We couldn’t believe it,” explains Monique Wyer.

Newspaper Mercier-Hoselaga-Maisonneuve (MHM) visited Rue Place de Boucherville in Barrow, where at least 11 owners are living the same dream. In August 2022, they received a notice in the mail warning them that it was illegal to park in front of their house.

And even if they park their car for decades without any problems.

“At first we thought it was a mistake, says Mrs. Wyer. The morning we got the letter we all went out into the street at once, wondering what we were going to do.

Monique Wyer, 78, converted a small studio in front of her garage, where her son once lived.

Photo by Martin Alary

Monique Wyer, 78, converted a small studio in front of her garage, where her son once lived.

Old rules are forgotten

Unfortunately for this 78-year-old Montrealer, this was just the beginning of this saga.

The owners of Place de Boucherville first received a notice of non-compliance from the City of Montreal under Ordinance 01-275. The latter, inter alia, was stopped before the residences from October 31, 1974.

According to Julie Bellemare, research officer at MHM, many of these owners have turned their garage into a “living room” to expand their home.

“Some of these developments were carried out illegally without a permit, while others were carried out with a permit which had the collateral effect of removing the parking lot. This type of intervention meant that the old access roads leading to the garage were not compatible because the garages no longer existed,” he says.

Julie Bellemare invites residents of the sector to park on the street for free, in front of their homes. But why did the metropolis of MHM suddenly decide to invoke this bye-law, which had been forgotten for decades?

“I was informed that the situation was brought to our attention following a complaint from a neighbour,” Ms Bellemare said, without giving further details.

City letter.

Image provided by Martin Garbeil

City letter.

‘No Common Sense’

11 residents of Place de Boucherville must now prove to the city that they had a parking space on their property before October 31, 1974, in order to receive a vested right. Law.

“I have parked my car at home for almost 30 years and no one has told me anything. Doesn’t make sense. Most garages, like ours, were renovated and converted before we bought the houses in the neighborhood,” deplores Martin Garbeil.

And the electric car?

This mom is not done with her struggles. She and five other neighbors have electric cars that need to be recharged using a terminal installed in their home.

“We can’t put our car on the street and recharge our electric car with a cord hanging from the sidewalk, that’s also illegal. The regulation is obsolete,” Ms. Garbeil dismisses.

Mayor’s radio silence

From September 2022, the owners of the Place de Boucherville are requesting an exemption or change to the regulations. However, MHM’s district remains intact.

Newspaper The Metropolitan Mayor of Mercier-Hoselaga-Maisonneuve, Mr. He also requested an interview with Pierre Lessard-Place. However, he did not respond to our queries on Monday and Tuesday.

Pierre Lessard-Blais.

Archive photo

Pierre Lessard-Blais.

“On the one hand, Valérie Plante’s administration promotes virtue through electric transport. But on the other hand, we are not supporting citizens by modifying this bylaw to ensure the success of the energy transition,” criticizes Julien Hénault-Ratelle, city councilor of the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough.

Mr. Hénault-Ratelle recalled that this case could serve as an example. According to him, hundreds of residences have illegal parking lots like Place de Boucherville in Montreal.

Julien Henault-Radelle.

Photo courtesy of Ensemble Montreal

Julien Henault-Radelle.

What is Popular Regulation 01-275?

  • Regulations prohibiting parking of vehicles in front of houses
  • Exception: Only residences with a driveway leading to a functional garage may park in front
  • Effective October 31, 1974 and introduced by Mayor Jean Trabio
  • If the parking space is owned before October 31, 1974, it is an acquired right
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Source: City of Montreal

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