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LETTER: Secondary suite parking requirements make little sense

I read and reread the article in the Jan. 20 Oak Bay News about secondary suites policy. It wasn’t making sense.

Not only will the parking requirements disallow many possible secondary suites, they also sound plain crazy.

The policy described wants to reach into households, challenging who is sharing a roof.

Imagine my house: it has four bedrooms. There easily could be a family of five or more, two adults and three or more children, all of whom might own a car. That could put five or more cars at my house. (This scenario was highly likely a few decades ago, but now unlikely as young adults are less likely to own cars.) Then the children grow up and leave.

Now we have empty bedrooms. Maybe a boarder is taken in, to provide a little income. Adding a boarder would mean new off-street parking is required. Or maybe an interior wall is built, for a suite to rent out. Again this means new off-street parking is required.

If I had to provide more off-street parking, how would I do it? Tear my house down and rebuild it with a two-car garage?

Even though people object to increasing density, it is necessary. Higher density lowers our shared environmental footprint and supports services and businesses, to everyone’s benefit.

The relationships of the people sharing a roof: be they family, boarder, or renter, should not determine the requirement to provide off-street parking. It’s counterproductive, and terribly unfair.

Ann Tiplady

Oak Bay