Looking south on Bessie Street
The implementation of paid beach parking in Port Stanley has accentuated an already
existing problem of parking space shortage on Bessie, Maud, Erie and William Streets,
and in the Grimmonds Beach area - a problem which will get even worse once the Prespa
property at 355 Edith Cavell Blvd is developed and no longer functions as a parking
The problem has always been that, when there is a shortage of free parking near
the beach, visitors park on the narrow side streets surrounding the beach area,
often blocking access for the residents and cottage renters in the area. When the
cottages in these areas were originally constructed, they were allowed far more
lot coverage than would be allowed today, and many have no driveways or space to
create even one on-site parking space.
At the request of Judy Durham, owner 163 & 165 William Street, Francie Dennison
read a letter, written by Norm and Judy Durham about the problem, to Central Elgin
Council at their meeting of August 26, 2013.
We feel parking for the home owners of Port Stanley should be addressed. There are
some properties with no laneway and no possible space to put a laneway. One solution,
we think, would be on-street parking permits for the tax payers of Port Stanley.
As it stands now, on sunny weekends the beach goers come and take any free parking
spaces first, leaving the paid parking lots for a last resort. The beach people
do not support our community! They generally come with their coolers and everything
they need for the day. The home owners and renters are the ones to shop, dine and
enjoy the theatre and all Port has to offer.
This congests our tiny streets - example: Maud, Bessie and First Streets - making
the owners with laneways next to impossible trying to leave their homes. Most of
their laneways are very narrow. This is dangerous situation, especially to the children!
Home owners with no laneways are also afraid to leave for a quick trip to pick up
an item forgotten. This being because they know when returning to their home or
cottage, the space they were using will be occupied.
Property owners say on Front Street or Orchard Beach who need to visit Home Hardware
or would like to have lunch on the beach should not have to pay for parking. Some
of these owners are also elderly and find it difficult to walk.
We feel as tax payers of this quaint village our needs should be priority. Perhaps
if our streets were on-street permit parking, then the parking lots would generate
the moneys you're looking for.
Norm and Judy Durham
165 and 163 William Street
Port Stanley, ON
But Judy had not stopped with just a letter to council. She had also gone around
the affected areas in Port Stanley with a petition requesting On-Street Permit Parking
and On-Site Lawn Parking, and collected 216 signatures. Ms. Dennison also handed
in the petition to Council.
Petition for On-Street Permit Parking and On-Site Lawn Parking (216 Signatures)
The implementation of paid parking in the main beach area of Port Stanley, has created
untenable parking problems for residents who live on William, Maud, Bessie, Erie.
Smith and Sydenham Streets in Port Stanley, and for those who live in the Grimmonds
Beach area of First, Second, Third and Fourth Streets.
With visitors to our village trying to avoid paying for parking in the main beach
area, it has added to the congestion of these residential streets. Simply posting
these streets, or parts of them, as "No Parking" merely penalizes the residents
who live there and/or the owners who rent out the cottages.
What we hereby petition for is on-street "Permit Parking Only" for these streets
such as is done in Toronto and other cities where development did not take into
account the automobile. Owners of the properties could purchase a year-round permit
for an on-street parking space directly in front of their own property. All vehicles
parking in these spaces without the permit sitting on their dashboard would be ticketed.
There would be room for only one on-street parking spot per property. Therefore,
we also petition for properties on these streets to be allowed to utilize front
lawn space to create an on-site parking spot, recognizing that these would have
to be paved (asphalt, interlocking patio stone/brick, or cement) to prevent them
from becoming unsightly.
Without these provisions for dedicated parking spots in these areas, homes decrease
in value and cottages become unrentable, both of which negatively impact the economy
of the village.
Council was advised the Durham's were also suggesting a windshield dashboard Permit
Only parking sign, much like the ones used for handicap parking, so that they could
be loaned by the property owners to people to use when they rent a cottage. The
Durham's also suggested making Maud and Bessie Street one way traffic (going south
on Maud and going north on Bessie seems the most logical), because the streets are
so narrow and this way on-street permit only parking would not impede the flow of
Deputy Mayor David Marr said making Maud and Bessie Streets one way had been tried
in the past and the residents didn't like it. He did not recall which street had
flowed traffic south and which one had flowed it north. He said Council needed to
talk to the residents in the area to see if they wanted this. Ms. Dennison advised
him that the one-way streets concept had not been part of the petition which had
just been presented to council, but was something the Durham's thought of after
Mayor Walters said that Council would soon be doing an end-of-season review of the
paid parking and the entire concept of parking in the beach area, and that the Durham's
letter and the petition would become part of that review, as would re-investigating
making Maud and Bessie Streets one way traffic.