Kingston Council to debate parking bylaw amendments

Tuesday’s City Council meeting will see members debate several parking-related bylaw amendments, including new regulations for electric vehicle charging spaces. Kingstonist file photo.

Drivers of non-electric vehicles who park in electric vehicle recharging spaces could soon face fines of up to $125, thanks to new regulations which will be debated by members of Kingston City Council at its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023. During Tuesday’s meeting, councillors will vote on several amendments to the municipal parking bylaw including new regulations for electric vehicle recharging spaces.

According to a staff report circulating ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, current municipal bylaws “do not reserve parking spaces solely for use by electric vehicles.” In an effort to keep non-electric vehicles from occupying spaces intended for electric vehicle recharging, City staff are proposing to add definitions for “electric vehicle” and “electric vehicle charging station space” to the City’s parking bylaws. 

If approved, the bylaw would be amended to define an electric vehicle as “a battery electric vehicle that runs only on a battery and an electric drive train, or… a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that runs on a battery and an electric drive train, and also uses an internal combustion engine.” Meanwhile, electric vehicle charging station spaces would be defined as “a publicly or privately-owned parking space that provides access to equipment that supplies a source of electricity for charging electric vehicles.”

To prevent unauthorized vehicles from taking up the spaces reserved for electric vehicle recharging, staff are also proposing to add the following regulation to the bylaw: “No person will park a vehicle or part of a vehicle in an electric vehicle charging station space that is identified by signage unless the vehicle is an electric vehicle, and the electric vehicle is attached to the station’s charging equipment and is charging.” 

In an effort to maintain a steady supply of electric vehicle recharging spaces throughout the City, staff are also recommending a regulation to prevent electric vehicles from continuing to occupy the spaces once they have been fully charged. “Where electric vehicle charging station spaces are located in metered parking zones, a charging session must not exceed the maximum stay in effect in those zones,” the report adds. 

Example of the Ontario government’s prescribed signage for EV charging station parking spots. Graphic via Government of Ontario report.

While the proposed regulations would apply to recharging station spaces on both public and private property, the report notes enforcement of the bylaw on private property “is contingent on the prescribed signage being in place and the property owner having been authorized to issue City of Kingston parking tickets on their property.” Recently, the City of Kingston changed all signage at its electric vehicle recharging stations in order to comply with the new provincially prescribed sign “indicating that parking in the space is prohibited except for electric vehicles (EVs) while charging.” 

As for the fine imposed on those who violate the new regulations, staff are proposing a set fine of $125 “for unauthorized parking in an electric vehicle charging station space.” An early fine amount of $90 is also being recommended, “due within seven days of ticket issuance.” 

In addition to new regulations for electric vehicle recharging spaces, the staff report also includes a recommendation to establish a “no parking before 9 a.m. zone” on weekdays on Clarence Street. Parking on Clarence Street is currently prohibited between 2 and 7 a.m.; if approved, the five angled on-street parking spots between King Street East and Wellington Street would see their parking bans extended to 9 a.m. on weekdays. According to the report, the new regulations are meant to “facilitate the emptying of large recycling bins” at the rear of the City-owned British Whig Building.

The staff report also includes a new accessible parking space on William Street, outside Sydenham Street United Church (also known as The Spire). According to staff, there has been demand for an accessible space “for persons with disabilities attending events [throughout] the week.” If approved, one of the on-street parking spaces on the north side of William Street, adjacent to the venue’s accessible entrance, would be designed as “accessible parking only.” 

While parking on William Street is currently prohibited on weekdays from 8 to 9 a.m. and 12 to 1 p.m., the report notes accessible parking will be permitted during both periods. The new accessible space will also be subject to a three-hour maximum stay, “to provide sufficient time for users of the space while also ensuring the space is available to multiple parkers,” staff note in the report. 

The staff report will be presented to Council for debate during its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023, at 7 p.m. inside Council Chambers. Full meeting agendas are available on the City of Kingston website. Meetings are open to the public and can be streamed live (or viewed later) on the Kingston City Council YouTube page.

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