Parking seems to be a recurring theme in many discussions and protests concerning building projects in Thorold, particularly downtown, as they likely are just about everywhere that’s growing these days.
Tuesday night at Council, there were two public meetings. One concerned a proposed apartment building on St. Davids Road East, which will provide 21 spaces for 23 apartments, and the other concerned another proposed apartment building on Ormond Street North, with one spot per apartment in underground parking. In both cases, one of the first questions concerned parking and neither was answered to the satisfaction of those asking. The same thing happened in General committee during discussion of another apartment building which has been proposed for Ann Street, which will provide 1.25 spaces per apartment and is counting on on-street parking to meet any further requirements, which at least one Councillor claimed is already pretty full.
Apparently, each building is required to provide either 1.25 or 1.5 spaces per unit, depending upon one’s source, so all of these builders are expecting a bit of give from the City Planning Department. Unlike other projects, such as the building going up on Front Street where the hardware store used to be, there was no talk of “cash in lieu of parking”. Not that the cash will make up for the lack of parking for tenants who more often than not will likely require two spaces for a working couple. Our side streets just continue to clog up with extra cars which have to be parked somewhere.
It’s time for our Council to stop accepting answers like was given by one developer’s representative. He said that he expects that those who require more spaces than is being offered just won’t rent there. That’s some expectation. Mine is that they’ll rent anyways and find an unrestricted side street for the other.
It’s time to demand that the developers provide a reasonable amount of parking for their projects. If they don’t have the land, they can’t build. Simple. It’s time the rest of us taxpayers stopped paying for new parking lots and unsafe cluttered streets for the benefit of developers.