Date: June 4, 1999
Author/Local: Ralph Yeomans 257-8726
RTS No: 492
CC File No. 5651
T&T Date: June 22, 1999
Standing Committee on Transportation and Traffic
General Manager of Engineering Services
Parking Restrictions for Large Vehicles
A. THAT the Street and Traffic Bylaw No. 2849 be amended to exclude vehicles of less than 2.2 metres in height from the definition of large vehicles.
B. THAT the Street and Traffic Bylaw No. 2849 be amended to permit on-street parking of large vehicles, excluding trucks, for up to 3 hours, between the hours of 6:00 am and 10:00 pm, abutting property used for residential, public park, school, or church purposes.
C. THAT the Director of Legal Services be requested to prepare the necessary amendments to the Street and Traffic Bylaw.
Council's Street and Traffic Bylaw regulates the use of streets in the City of Vancouver.
This report revisits the 1997 Bylaw that restricted vehicles longer than 6.4 metres (21 ft.) from parking on City streets, to determine if these regulations should be amended. Concerns had been raised over the restrictive nature of this Bylaw, particularly with regard to recreational vehicles.
On October 28, 1997, Council approved an amendment to the Street and Traffic Bylaw (Appendix A) intended to restrict the on-street parking of vehicles longer than 6.4 m (21 ft.).
At the December 9, 1997 meeting of Council, the Mayor directed staff to report back on the experience of that Bylaw change. In particular, staff were requested to determine if there are certain circumstances where exceptions to the Bylaw can be made. In the meantime enforcement action is being withheld as directed.
Reason for the Bylaw
The impetus for the current Bylaw arose from a community desire to remove several large and obtrusive vehicles from neighbourhood streets, including a prominent converted white bus stored on a residential street. The 1997 Bylaw amendment had provided a means for resolving neighbourhood concerns related to on-street parking shortages, view obstructions, and on-street storage related to large vehicles.
Experience with the Bylaw
The Bylaw has proven successful in being able to resolve neighbourhood concerns related to the on-street storage of large vehicles. Following adoption of the Bylaw, staff responded to an initial 18 requests for enforcement by issuing warning notices to vehicles in violation of the new Bylaw. Sixteen of the over-length vehicles were removed from the street voluntarily upon receipt of the warning notice. Of the remaining two, the problematic white bus was removed only after a ticket was issued; this is the only ticket issued under the Bylaw provision. A motorhome on Adanac Street was moved to an adjacent street where it was less of a problem. This latter vehicle has not been ticketed and is discussed in greater detail in the following section.
Motorhome on Adanac Street
An 8.4 m (27.5 ft) long Class C1 motorhome, usually parked on Adanac Street, was the source of many complaints. However, the owner's property does not have a driveway or off-street parking and there is no lane access. Frequent use of the vehicle for travel within the City also makes storage in a remote off-street parking facility impractical. Although this vehicle has not been ticketed, its owner objected to the new Bylaw, indicating that the motorhome is the owner's only vehicle and that it is used regularly for travel within the City. In light of this particular circumstance, Council directed staff to suspend enforcement and to determine if exceptions should be made to the Bylaw.
Complaints related to the motorhome on Adanac stopped after the owner moved the vehicle to an adjacent, wider street. The adjacent land use at this site is a fenced soccer field next to a High School.
Concerns With the 1997 Bylaw Amendment
Concerns for the restrictive nature of this Bylaw include the following:
· No allowance is made to enable vehicle owners to load/unload their recreational vehicles (RV's) near their homes on the street.
· No allowance is made for out-of-town visitors arriving in their RV's.
· Low tolerance levels and conflicts between neighbours sometimes lead to excessive calls for enforcement.
· Some oversized vehicle owners may not have suitable off-street storage space available.
· Inappropriate vehicles could potentially be targeted by the bylaw.
Several options to address these concerns are discussed in the following sections:
Establish a Permit System
If exemptions were to be granted for some vehicles considered oversize under this Bylaw, a set of criteria would need to be established and those criteria used to evaluate each special case. In most instances, it would not be possible to objectively assess the validity of a request for an exemption since the reasons most often cited by vehicle owners cannot be determined independently or would be extremely time-consuming to investigate.
It is also apparent that applications for exemption permits would come from owners whose vehicles generate the most complaints. Therefore, a permit system is not recommended. A better more effective definition of a large vehicle, in conjunction with realistic time exemptions, is considered more appropriate.
The existing regulations could potentially restrict owners from parking their units on residential streets, even for short periods of time. This was not the intention of the Bylaw. Allowing large vehicles (other than trucks) to park for up to 3 hours during daytime hours would accommodate vehicle owners needing to prepare their RV's for a trip, or out-of-town visitors stopping in for short visits.
Visitors and Short-Term Parking
Visitors arriving in RV's, intending to stay in Vancouver a number of days, are not permitted to park their vehicles on-street under this Bylaw; however, the Bylaw is only enforced upon receipt of a complaint. In most situations, infrequent and short-term parking is viewed with tolerance by area residents who would not normally lodge a complaint with the City. In addition, first complaints are followed up with a Parking Enforcement Branch information notice identifying the relevant By-law Sections.
Thus, in most instances, short-term visitors will not draw enforcement; furthermore, the warning notice would give them an opportunity to respond to the impact that their vehicles have on neighbours and on other street users.
The intention of the bylaw is to limit the parking of large vehicles on streets where the community has identified large vehicles to be a concern. Continuing to act only upon complaint, provides a straightforward and responsive approach to large vehicles parked throughout the City of Vancouver. It is recommended that this continue.
Large Vehicle Definition
The current bylaw implies that commercial vehicles, regardless of their size, are subject to these parking regulations. Some businesses use passenger automobiles, vans and pickup trucks as commercial vehicles, which as a result are not permitted to park on City streets overnight. It was not the intention of this bylaw to regulate small vehicles in this manner.
At least one passenger vehicle (Ford F350 crew cab pickup) has been identified as having a length slightly greater than 6.4 metres and it is known that some persons choose to customize and stretch vehicles so that they exceed 6.4 metres in length. It was not the intention of this bylaw to regulate passenger automobiles, regardless of their length.
Both situations can be resolved through a redefinition of the vehicles which are regulated by the large vehicle regulations. A height of 2.2 metres (7 feet) seems to be the maximum for any passenger-style vehicle and is recommended to be included in the new definition of large vehicle.
Concerns from the community pertaining to sight obstructions and the reduction in the available on-street parking caused by the long-term parking or storage of recreational vehicles and converted buses, were some of the reasons for the parking restrictions directed towards vehicles exceeding 6.4 m (21 ft.) in length. The Bylaw provision has been successful in addressing these concerns.
This Bylaw approaches the issue of oversized private vehicles responsibly in that enforcement is done on a complaint basis only. In this way, oversized vehicles can be evaluated for their appropriateness in a particular situation by the community at large.
However, it was not anticipated that small commercial vehicles and personal vehicles, such as extended cab pickup trucks or custom made "stretch" vehicles, would be regulated to this extent; they should be exempted.
The current bylaw unreasonably restricts access to on-street parking for short term needs such as the loading and unloading of RV's. An amendment is recommended to permit on-street parking of up to 3 hours.
The resulting provisions are listed in Appendix B.
* * * *
20.1 Except for
a. a private vehicle2 which is designed primarily for the conveyance of passengers and has a seating capacity not exceeding 9 people and an overall length not exceeding 6.4 m and
b. a truck3 with a licensed gross vehicle weight not exceeding 5 500 kg and an overall length not exceeding 6.4 m
no person shall park a vehicle on a street
c. abutting premises used for business purposes for more than 3 hours unless the person, or an employer of the person, owns or leases the premises,
d. abutting property used for a public park, school, church or residential purposes, unless the vehicle is needed for a service call or at a construction site, or
e. between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day;
Suggested Wording of Amended Bylaw
1. No person shall park a vehicle4 on the street:
c. between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day;
d. abutting property used for a public park, school, church or residential purposes, for more than 3 hours between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.;
e. abutting premises used for business purposes for more than 3 hours unless the person, or an employer of the person, owns or leases the premises;
if that vehicle:
f. has a length that exceeds 6.4 m and an overall height that exceeds 2.2 m; or
g. has a seating capacity exceeding 9 people.
2. No person shall park a truck5 on the street:
a. between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day;
b. abutting property used for a public park, school, church or residential purposes, unless the vehicle is needed for a service call or at a construction site;
c. abutting premises used for business purposes for more than 3 hours unless the person, or an employer of the person, owns or leases the premises;
if that truck:
d. has a length that exceeds 6.4 m; or
e. has a licensed gross vehicle weight that exceeds 5,500 kg.
1 Class C motorhomes look like a truck with a camper shell and are the most common type of motorhome. Class A motorhomes look like buses on the outside and have driving compartments integrated with the living quarters. Class B motorhomes are camper vans.
2 private vehicle - means any motor vehicle other than a commercial vehicle.
commercial vehicle means a vehicle that displays a valid plate or decal identifying it as being registered and licensed purusuant to the Vehicle Licensing Bylaw and which is engaged in carrying merchandise or other commodities in the ordinary course of business.
3 truck - mean a motor vehicle designed and used primarily for the transportation of property.
4 For the purposes of this section, a vehicle means any vehicle other than a truck.
5 Truck means a motor vehicle designed and used primarily for the transportation of property.
(c) 1998 City of Vancouver