Burnaby residents told they won't be able to park on their own street

Homeowners near Brentwood Mall dealing with influx of workers parking on narrow street

New parking rules that one Burnaby man feared would slash his property value by hundreds of thousands of dollars are on hold, as the city tries to address an influx of cars choking a narrow residential street. 

Residents of Brentlawn Drive, a block north of Brentwood Town Centre, were recently issued a notice from the City of Burnaby informing them they would soon be limited to three hours of on-street parking during the day.

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The time limit, planned to come into force in the new year, was designed to deter construction workers from the nearby mall from parking on the street.

Eric Anderson, who has lived on Brentlawn since he was a child, said there had never been serious issues with parking and traffic on the street until major construction started on Brentwood Town Centre about a year ago. 

Since then, he said workers lining both sides of the road with their cars have made it difficult for vehicles to pass one another going opposite directions.

He said Brentlawn also serves as a bus route, and transit operators find it almost impossible to cross paths.

“We quite often have duelling buses,” Anderson said.

But, he said, the three-hour rule would simply push construction workers to nearby streets while negatively impacting residents like himself. The inconvenience of having to move one’s car would make the homes along Brentlawn much less attractive to potential buyers and drive down their property values, Anderson predicted.

“This will cost home owners several hundred thousand dollars,” he said.

While most homes along Brentlawn, including Anderson’s, have parking in a back alley, he said many don’t have enough spaces for their cars. 

It would cost some a lot of money to dismantle concrete walls and install more parking space, he said.

He also said both he and his wife’s car have been burglarized when parked behind his home. 

Anderson sees two potential fixes to the problem: the city designate Brentlawn as residents-only parking or it ask TransLink to move the bus route to nearby Highlawn, which is wider and better able to accommodate both on-street parking and east/west traffic.

The existing plan, he said, leaves residents on both streets unhappy.

“Highlawn residents will be angered by the worker parking and Brentlawn owners will be angered by the loss of property value,” he said. 

“Angry people don’t vote for the incumbent.”

But Coun. Pietro Calendino said the three-hour limit is not written in stone.

He said the letter sent to Brentlawn residents was meant to start a conversation and elicit feedback. 

Calendino said when he heard about the proposal earlier this week, he told staff “you’re not going to do that, because the residents don’t want it.”

“So nothing is going to happen for now,” he said.

Calendino said a process to determine a better solution to the parking issue is underway. He said city staff will ask the Brentwood developer whether it can open up underground parking for its workers, to keep them off the streets in the area.

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