Inner-city Calgarian says changes to residential parking permits will ‘destroy’ communities

Changes are coming to Calgary’s residential parking permit program and one inner-city resident says he fears the new rules will push people out of their communities.

Anthony Wecels has lived in Mission for 17 years — five years were spent in a one bedroom apartment on 22nd Avenue southwest, and the last 12 in a two bedroom apartment directly across the street — and he loves where he lives.

“The community is vibrant. It’s wonderful. It’s got all the potential amenities that anybody would be looking for,” he said.

But Wecels says changes coming to the Residential Parking Permit (RPP) program expected to begin next year will make it a difficult community to live in.

Anthony Wecels says both he and his wife have vehicles, but they have only one parking spot at their home, and once their street permit expires they won’t have anywhere to park their second vehicle. (Submitted by Wecels)

“It’s going to destroy the entire property values of the whole community,” he said. 

The Calgary Parking Authority says the plan was approved by the city’s previous council, and it means that starting January 2023, people living in large, multi-residential buildings — four stories or taller or with more than 20 units — will be ineligible for street parking permits. 

Earlier this month council voted to allow qualifying building residents without permits to apply for the two year passes until Dec. 31.

“Residents of large, multi-residential buildings built before 1945 who currently have a permit will be able to renew their permits until Dec. 31, 2022,” the CPA said in statement. “After those permits expire, residents of large, multi-residential buildings built before 1945 will be eligible to apply for a maximum of one permit.”

The CPA added that further details will be shared with permit-holders at these buildings prior to the expiry of the permits.

But Wecels says not only does that mean a lot of existing owners and inhabitants would eventually lose parking too, but those who eventually move to the area would be even worse off.

“Anybody who is new, who comes into the area, anybody who buys a new vehicle or secondhand vehicle will not be able to register and get parking for that. So again, that wipes out most of the people,” he said. “For this community, most of the units are double occupancy (per unit) and the buildings exceed 20 units.”

He hopes to mobilize his neighbours, and convince city council to reevaluate this plan, or he worries what might happen to his beloved community.

“There’s a lot of people who would have to reconsider their their living status,” he said.

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