Sun Peaks council passed a new parking bylaw in Sun Peaks Dec 20 to take care of parking issues that may arise in the resort specifically during the winter season.
Mayor Al Raine said the creation of a parking bylaw may help solve some problems the community has had in the past regarding giving access to snowplows for regular snow removal and clearing the way for fire trucks during an emergency.
In the past, both the Ministry of Highways and Sun Peaks Fire Rescue have had authority to deal with illegally parked vehicles. Under the Sun Peaks Improvement District, Sun Peaks Fire Rescue was given authority to remove vehicles when they were blocking the firefighters’ access. With the municipality in place, the fire department has kept this authority under both the parking bylaw and the fire and life safety bylaw.
Under the new bylaw, no vehicles are allowed to park on the side of the road in the winter. It’s important that roads are clear of any blockages so a snowplow can pass through without problem.
“(The Ministry of Highways) have informed us that they will not pass through any narrow areas where there’s cars parked on the road,” said the mayor. “That means all the people past that point will have no snow removal.”
When cars are parked on the side of the road, there’s a huge possibility that a snowplow could damage the vehicles. It’s a huge risk and expense that the ministry is not willing to take.
In addition, the roads are made even narrower in the winter when vehicles park on the side of the road. This practice makes the road unsafe for drivers, as there’s less room for two vehicles to pass through. On some roads, a two-way is reduced to only one lane.
However, parking will be allowed on the even numbered side of the road only from May 1 to Oct. 31.
The snow clearance portion of the bylaw is a contentious issue among residents. The bylaw’s initial draft included a section that prohibits dumping snow onto the highway right-of-way and onto other private property, which was later scrapped.
“We removed that recognizing that historically that’s what people have done,” said Raine. “But council is reminding those people who push snow across the road and into the roads’ right-of-way, they should not be doing that. They may not be allowed to do that in the future. We permitted it for this year.”
He also added that strata companies need to be given time to budget for snow removal so they can comply with the bylaw.
“These are all things that we’re going to monitor and see how effective they are,” Raine reiterated.