Letter: Penticton parking policy unfair

I am trying to understand how and why it becomes the homeowners’ responsibility to pay to park in front of their own homes.

I am among the many homeowners who recently received a notice from the City of Penticton saying that I will soon have to pay to park in front of my own house. (Penticton Western News, Nov. 11, Penticton parking problems)

The city implemented paid parking near downtown, along Okanagan Lake and at Penticton Hospital. So, people who normally parked in those areas for work or pleasure began to park in the surrounding areas blocking up residential streets. The response by the city has been to implement resident-only parking in those areas — a reasonable solution for residents. However, the homeowners and renters in these areas have now been notified that they will have to pay an annual fee to park in front of their own homes.

I am trying to understand how and why it becomes the homeowners’ responsibility to pay to park in front of their own homes to help cover the costs of enforcement of these new parking rules. The city will now be collecting revenue from both the parking meters and from the citizens who happen to live in the adjacent areas. I am wondering why it would become the responsibility of a select few owners and renters to cover the costs of this already unpopular policy and its enforcement.

We live in the older downtown area where most houses do not have driveways and many don’t have garages, so our only option is to park on the street. It’s certainly an unfair outcome for only the residents of the newly restricted parking areas to have to pay for a policy that affects (or questionably benefits) all citizens and visitors.

In addition, the city has encouraged the development of multi-housing in both the lakeshore and downtown areas, but will now penalize people for living in these areas.

We were given no prior knowledge of the potential for this bylaw and no option to discuss or consult regarding it. I’m not aware of any other city that does this and I would strongly encourage our mayor and council to re-think this unfair policy.

Allison Howard

Penticton