Staff and volunteers with an Old Strathcona bike shop have been left with spinning wheels after a city bylaw forced them to delay the store opening due to—ironically— car parking.
A place for people to fix, swap or talk about bikes, Bikeworks South officials—which is managed by the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters’ Society (EBCS)— were told they needed five more vehicle parking spots according to the city’s bylaw as part of the development permit process.
“The city would be willing to give us a variance but it costs us extra money and the city has to notify everyone within 60-metres that they’re going to grant this variance and everyone within 60-metres gets two weeks to object,” said Christopher Chan, executive director with EBCS.
Although no one objected to the parking variance, Chan said the two-week delay forced them to hold off on their grand opening, set to happen this weekend.
Bikeworks isn’t the only one to face bylaw issues around parking, with Meat owners delaying their restaurant opening for over a year after they were also told they needed more parking.
“The restaurant was over one and a half years in the works. The community rallied so hard for us,” said Saylish Haas, co-owner of Meat.
City councilor Ben Henderson says Old Strathcona is an area different than any other part of the city, and the parking bylaws should acknowledge that.
“It’s hard to say for a lot of these business that you have to have parking for your business. It’s not going to happen in an existing neighbourhood,” he said.