The city has to take a no-nonsense approach to clean up the parking problem, one reader says. After 12 years of non-enforcement, it is time to get tough. (Photo: Now-Leader file)

LETTER: Surrey’s ho-hum approach has created parking hell in Clayton

The city must take a no-nonsense approach to fix it. After 12 years of non-enforcement, it’s time to get tough.

The Editor,

Re: Surrey cracks down on illegal suites in Clayton, the Now-Leader, Sept. 13.

The parking issue is way out of hand in this neighbourhood, and has been for about 11 years – and it keeps getting worse.

Many original owners have sold their homes and investors scooped them up just before the foreign-buyers tax was implemented. As a result, many of these investors have rented out these homes which have two or three suites in them.

These homes have been reported as having three suites and nothing has been done. The city bylaw department has been aware of the issue for years and has allowed it to go on, ignoring legitimate complaints.

Many things have contributed to the parking issue – multiple suites; owners not allowing their tenant to park on the outside parking space on the lot and using it for themselves; owners using their garage for storage instead of parking their vehicles in it; garages too small to accommodate some vehicles; people taking their work vehicles home and parking them on the street.

Another culprit is the bylaw department. It does not enforce complaints – and it hasn’t for 11 years. For example, if someone has a suite, they are supposed to, by law, supply one on-property parking spot. This is not being enforced even when it is reported.

Many homes in East Clayton have only two parking spots in a garage and they are allowed a basement suite. How does that make sense? Where is the basement tenant supposed to park? In the garage with the owner?

I have a neighbour who rents out a coach home and has four parking spots – and does not allow the tenant to park in one. They use the four spots for themselves, therefore contributing to the problem.

Here’s a few ways the city can fix the parking issue:

  • Put up parking meters (this will clear the streets fast, and people will clean out their garages quickly)!
  • Take out the grass boulevards (which many do not take care of – they are full of weeds and dog poop, or not mowed), put in angle parking stalls or driveways for each home (this will also take care of the people that double park to hold spaces for their other vehicles when they could be parking in their garage).
  • Ensure those who have suites can provide an on-property parking spot – and if they can’t, start fining them and remove the suite.
  • Yearly parking passes. You have to pay to park on the street.

The city has to take a no-nonsense approach to clean up the parking problem. After 12 years of non-enforcement, it is time to get tough.

Going after just the illegal suites is not going to solve anything. Because it’s not just illegal suites that are creating the problem.

Elliott W., East Clayton

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