Harmonizing the Rukes for Front Yard Parking

7 May 2019

While reviewing a complaint about a front yard parking pad, we found two problems with the City’s front yard parking by-law (Chapter 918). First, although the By-law required applicants to maintain a certain portion of their lawn as grass or other absorbent material, the landscaping requirements were unclear. Second, there was a possible conflict between the landscaping requirements in the front yard parking By-law and in the City-wide zoning By-law, which also has landscaping requirements for the private portion of front yards. It was unclear how staff should process applications for front yard parking permits and apply the correct landscaping requirements.

We spoke with management in the Transportation Services division about our concerns, and requested that they clarify the landscaping requirements then seek amendments to the front yard parking By-law. As a result, they submitted a report to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee and then to City Council, recommending amendments to the By-law to clarify the landscaping requirements for front yard parking pads. City Council adopted the staff recommendations and amended both the front yard parking By-law and the City’s zoning By-law to make the rules clear and consistent.