Protecting City Council’s Authority to Regulate Front Yard Parking Pads

November 17, 2020

10th floor, West Tower, City Hall
100 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Attention: NancyMartin

RE: PH18.3 Protecting City Council’s Authority to Regulate Front Yard Parking Pads

The Federation of North Toronto Residents Associations represents residents associations in the area bounded by Bloor, Sheppard, Bathurst and the Don Valley. Front yard parking pads are permitted in some of our neighbourhoods not in others.

The Front Yard Parking Bylaw permits parking pads despite the Zoning Bylaw prohibiting parking in front of a house. The Front Yard Parking Bylaw specifically lists neighbourhoods where parking pad are permitted. Such areas will have been included following a public consultation process prior to City Council approval. Then the licensing of each pad must be separately approved by the City. Detailed requirements must be met, such as the actual size and location of the pad, distances from trees, provisions for permeable paving and the requirement that the rest of the front yard area remain landscaped.

FoNTRA was therefore concerned about the recent Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) decision to authorize a variance to permit a front yard parking pad, despite the Zoning By-Law prohibiting front yard parking and further, that the Front Yard Parking does not permit a pad at that address. The TLAB’s approval of a front yard parking pad was based only on the request for a variance to the Bylaw in order be able to provide a charging station for an electric car. That car may never appear or a future owner may not have an electric car. No consideration was made of the need for a license that assured that the detailed requirements for the location have been met.

FoNTRA believes it is not acceptable to vary front yard parking rules on the basis of providing an owner to the ability to charge a car on site. The number of publicly available chargers are rapidly increasing. They are available in business and retail locations, and are now being required in new multi family developments. Further, the City is currently beginning to implement a program to add public charging locations across the City. These stations must easily accessible. As well the charger must be fast chargers so charging is like going to a gas station, not ones that take hours.

FoNTRA therefore urges the Committee to support the following motion recommended by Councillor Gord Perks that consideration be given to ensure how City Council can retains control over the issue of front yard parking pads:

  1. The Planning and Housing Committee request the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the General Manager, Transportation Services in consultation with the City Solicitor and other appropriate staff to report by March 2021 on what changes can be made to the City of Toronto Municipal Code and/or to City Planning or other processes to protect City Council’s authority to regulate front yard parking.

Geoff Kettel
Co-Chair, FoNTRA

Cathie Macdonald
Co-Chair, FoNTRA

c.c.: Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning Division
Barbara Gray, General Manager, Transportation Services Division