© Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer
Recent winters have seen less snow, so changing Charlottetown's overnight winter parking ban makes sense, says Mayor Clifford Lee.
Charlottetown city council is expected to reconsider the city's winter overnight parking ban.
That ban is currently in place right now but politicians are starting to question the sense of forcing people off the streets when there isn't a flake of snow on the ground.
Coun. Rob Lantz asked the city's police committee to look into alternatives last year but the matter never went anywhere.
Lantz said he's been getting emails from residents who feel they've been "unfairly targeted'' when they wake up to find a $25 fine tucked under their wiper blade.
Lantz is suggesting Charlottetown adopt a system like Halifax has brought in where people can park on the streets year-round except when events like snowfalls deem it necessary to get the cars off the streets.
Mayor Clifford Lee agrees council needs to re-examine the situation.
"I think that makes lots of sense,'' Lee said. "If you look at the last number of winters and the limited amount of snow that we had it really makes sense. You don't need cars off the streets every night.''
Right now, police in Charlottetown can issue a $25 fine or have a vehicle towed if it's left on the street overnight.
As chair of the urban beautification and forestry committee, Lee says it makes no sense to enforce the rule when the ground is bare. On top of that, it's destroying properties.
"What we're forcing people to do right now is to move their cars off the street and, in a lot of cases, onto grassed-in areas of their property. In the spring time, their side yard or front yard looks like a mud field.''
Halifax Regional Municipality has amended its overnight parking ban. HRM now issues a news advisory and posts information on its website when it needs to get its snowplows out.
Coun. David MacDonald, chair of protective and emergency services, said he takes full responsibility the issue was dealt with sooner.
"I dropped the ball on this issue. We will put it on the agenda and deal with it,'' MacDonald said.
Lee said the issue would likely get dealt with right away.
"I think city council can probably suspend the overnight parking ban immediately for the upcoming season,'' the mayor said.
The protective and emergency services committee would still have to work on amending the bylaw in the meantime.
That creates a bit of a gray area right now. The appetite to lift the ban is there but nothing officially has been done to do just that. Therefore, police are still authorized to ticket and tow.
"In the meantime, until a bylaw is passed (the ban) remains in place and I would hope our police department would use common sense in its enforcement.''