LETTER: Permits may help solve Surrey’s parking problem

The Editor,

The high price for building or owning a home is a struggle for all but the wealthy or long-time residents like myself who have paid their mortgage off.

Even so, it is not fair or justifiable for single-family dwellings to have to accept non-availability of curbside parking space for guests and family as needed.

I am lucky enough to have sufficient on-site parking space for several guests and rarely need curbside parking. But due to the added suites from both neighbours either side of me, there are times when my own access to street parking would be impossible.

And if an owner of one of the larger tenant houses holds a party, the entire street becomes strangled for street parking. As a senior myself, I worry that if I require fire or medical help on such a night, where would such help park?

I have a sister living in New Westminster and her street parking is by permit, issued by the city. Each licensed family member requires a permit to park on the street, within the boundary of their frontage.

The permits are renewed annually by the house occupants. Guests like myself must find alternate parking space further away from the house when visiting. Perhaps if Surrey issued parking permits solely for the use of home owners and possible renters, an excess of resident permits registered with the city would show an obvious overload of householders and evidence of a secondary rental suite.

By early evening, it is quite clear by the number of cars parked on a quiet "single family residential area" street such as mine, that there are far more residents than the number of houses in the neighbourhood would imply.

While this may not prove to be a perfect solution to the parking problem, it may better clarify households with excessive or repetitive requests for permits.

This would certainly be a clue that there may be extra renters living at the address, as would excessive use of hydro and heating, if such accounts were available.

S. Weishuhn, Surrey