A winter parking solution for residents on Sideroad 7B remains elusive for Grey Highlands council.
The issue was once again before council on Dec. 21, as local resident Vojka Glazar made a presentation to council and asked for the municipality’s assistance in finding a solution to an ongoing parking issue.
Sideroad 7B does not receive winter road maintenance and as a result, several local residents cannot directly access their properties during the winter months. For many years, the local residents were able to park at the Old Baldy parking lot, which is owned by the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority. Recently, the conservation authority asked local residents to enter an agreement for parking with fees to be charged to those using the lot to park their cars.
In October, Grey Highlands council agreed to pay the fees for local residents who entered a parking agreement with the authority.
At the meeting, Glazar said she will not sign a parking agreement with the conservation authority and said that should be the municipality’s responsibility. She said some local residents have signed the agreement, while others haven’t.
“It is (the municipality’s) responsibility to find permanent parking spot on the top of the hill, as they gave building permits for the six lots on the Sideroad 7B with no winter maintenance,” she said.
Deputy mayor Dane Nielsen asked Glazar why she wouldn’t sign the agreement to use the conservation authority lot. He noted that council had agreed to pay the fees for local residents as a way of solving the parking/access problem.
“There is no cost to you to sign the agreement. We have challenges with 7B, it’s not feasible to be plowed. Council tried to be supportive by covering the costs of the agreement,” he said.
Glazar said she doesn’t like the wording of the parking agreement.
“I cannot sign it the way it’s written,” she said.
Coun. Dan Wickens suggested the whole issue would be resolved if the municipality began maintaining the road in the winter.
“A better solution would be to plow the road. We have other roads as steep or steeper,” he said. “I don’t see anything stopping us from maintaining it.”
Council considered referring the matter to a committee of the whole meeting for more robust discussion about the issue. However, CAO Karen Govan intervened and said council had already asked staff to look into options for maintaining the road. She suggested council wait to receive that report.
“This is on our docket,” said the CAO.