By Jonathan Dalton
Published December 12, 2013
As of this morning, the parking lot at 20 Jackson Street West, on the site of a recently demolished office building, is still open to the public. Two signs advertise parking by the day or by the hour.
Parking lot at 20 Jackson Street West (Image Credit: Jon Dalton)
David Blanchard of property owner Wilson-Blanchard claimed in a Spectator article that the parking was provided for tenants in the neighbouring office buildings, which he also owns (presumably 25 Main Street West). As such, Blanchard argued the new lot is exempt from the City's bylaw prohibiting new surface parking in the downtown core.
However, the public parking signs clearly indicate that the lot is for public use, and not dedicated to the tenants of Wilson-Blanchard's other properties.
This claim itself has been discredited by RTH writer Nicholas Kevlahan in examining the text of the parking bylaw, and at last night's Council meeting, city staff confirmed that the parking lot does contravene the zoning bylaw.
Whether or not Wilson-Blanchard's defense held any water, what we have clearly before us now is a willful contravention of the City's rules and a brazen defiance by the owners of the City's and community's efforts to rein in their harmful practices.
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