By J.W. Schnarr
A change could be coming to Vauxhall’s Land Use Bylaw which would allow for more parking opened up for local semi-truck drivers.
During their regular meeting on Feb. 17, council passed first reading of the amendment, which is generally considered the first step to making any changes to the bylaw. A public hearing is then required to gather input from local residents on the feelings of the community in regards to the proposed changes.
“We’re looking at it, whereas the purpose of the proposed bylaw is to allow for a parking facility as discretionary use in several non-residential land use districts,” said Mayor Margaret Plumtree.
The current wording of the Land Use Bylaw does not allow for parking lots or truck stops in industrial areas, with the idea being the industrial district is intended to accommodate industrial commerce and business. Currently, parking lots are only permitted in the retail commercial district, which is intended to allow off-street parking to accommodate businesses in the downtown area. An update to the bylaw in 2009 did not include parking issues, and consequently no changes were made to parking.
While the amendment to the bylaw was removed from the council agenda package provided to The Advance, it is expected the changes will involve adding parking allowances to a number of district definitions within the bylaw, including highway commercial, industrial, and public institutional designations. That would expand the areas within which the municipality could consider parking of any type of vehicle.
The main issues involved in creating a parking area for big trucks would include possible nuisance issues for vehicles idling all night near residential areas, as well as disruptions in the flow of traffic and access requirements. The goals of the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan would also have to be considered for any development in the area, specifically minimizing land use conflict adjacent to industrial development.
Following discussion, council agreed to hold the public hearing on March 16 at 6 p.m. in council chambers, and all are welcome to attend.