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Opinion: Burnaby Cadillac, Rolls-Royce collector ‘hogs our street’s parking’

Vehicles not meant to stay in same spots for years

Out of all of the messages and conversations I’ve had with Burnaby residents about parking issues in the city, they’ve all centred around people parking a single vehicle on a public street.

But what if a person is parking a large car collection and taking up a ton of spots – leaving other residents without anywhere to park?

That’s what is happening in the Brentwood area, where one street is filled up with vintage stretch Cadillacs, plus Rolls-Royces – all lined up neatly on both sides of the street.

Not everyone is happy about it.

“When they are all lined up and parked on the street, there are seven Cadillacs and two Rolls-Royces,” wrote a neighbour. “Today, I saw one had a flat tire.

This guy is a rental hoarder and will tell you he drives them all but they have sat on the street for years. If you look in his backyard, there is another old vehicle, maybe a Honda or Toyota? Someone needs to ticket him and get them off the street. It’s ridiculous. If it’s not legal, why hasn’t the City of Burnaby ticketed him?  Look forward to hearing what happens.”

According to what I’ve seen on the City of Burnaby website, it’s really a complaint-based system. Some people have written that they sometimes leave their vehicles on a public street for days at a time and have had no problem until a neighbour reports them.

Then a city bylaw officer comes by and issues a notice.

But that’s for one vehicle. Imagine what would happen to this car collector if they were reported. I’ve been a pretty staunch defender that people should be allowed to park on a city street without getting harassed, but if you’re a homeowners who has 10 different cars, I’m not so sure you should be allowed to take up so much of a street.

Streets are not exactly meant for storage.

What do you think?

Others have written in on this topic about people leaving vehicles sitting in the same spot for months or even years.

“We’ve had three unlicensed vehicles parked since 2019,” wrote one resident. “Recently removed via tow truck the weeds growing from the debris underneath were three feet tall. There was a fourth but my next door neighbour got insurance prior to and wasn’t towed.”

Other people have written in with parking thoughts.

“I do not understand, are there no alleys in Burnaby? Don't most homeowners have parking at the back of the house? Give a renters a little break people. I am a homeowner and it's not easy to survive around here for new people. So take a deep breath and maybe dump that stupid car if you do not really, really need it.”

“I recently saw your article on parking in Burnaby Heights. The party should be thankful they don’t live where I do. I have a woman who rents a room in my basement. And the neighbours across the street called the police on her the day before yesterday because they hadn’t seen her car move for four days. Yet they see people come and go from my house all day long. Even after one of my friends advised the two women that my friend is fine. They insisted on calling police anyways.”

People keep asking me why I have written so many columns lately about parking. Well, people keep writing in with interesting tales and different perspectives.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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