New parking bylaw passes planning committee

The City of Ottawa is closer to curbing its aging parking bylaw.

On Tuesday, the city’s planning committee approved changes to a 1960s-era bylaw that imposes minimum parking requirements for new buildings in the inner urban core.

Under the new bylaw, developments within a 400 to 800 metre walking distance from most light rail transit stations would not need parking, except for apartment buildings greater than 12 units.

Some artist studios and offices on urban main streets would also be exempt from parking requirements, as would low-rise apartment buildings. The rules apply to non-mainstreet developments in the inner core, too, including the same 12-unit residential exemption already mentioned.

The planning committee also approved College Coun. Rick Chiarelli’s motion that the Centrepointe community be exempt from the zoning amendments, as parking remains a sticking point for residents in the area.

City staff say the current bylaw discourages people from leaving their cars in the driveway and taking transit.

Graeme Hussy, of the Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation, said minimum parking requirements can also be a costly burden on affordable housing providers. Even if the current plan is approved, many such providers will likely seek minor variances for parking reductions, he said.

Council will vote on the new parking bylaw on July 13.

This article originally appeared on on June 28.