The proposed Clive redevelopment will have a covenant preventing tenants from owning a car once all of the parking stalls are allocated, but two Oak Bay councillors don’t think the rule is enforceable.
Clive owner Nicole Roberts plans to demolish the current eight suite apartment building located at the corner of Oak Bay Avenue and Clive Drive, and replace it with a 17-unit building.
She is seeking a number of zoning variances, mostly having to do with setbacks, but one is to reduce the required 39 parking stalls to 17. A parking study was conducted and found 17 parking stalls are enough. She has agreed to sign the covenant.
“It will be written in the tenancy agreement,” Roberts said. “It would be just like if you can’t have a pet.”
The current Clive has eight parking stalls and only three are being used, said Roberts.
“I would be taking a major risk as a developer, building a building without adequate parking,” she said, adding that each unit comes with a membership with the local car co-op. “The location makes it appropriate to have a smaller parking ratio.”
However, Oak Bay Coun. Kevin Murdoch doesn’t think kicking out a tenant who buys a car after moving in is the answer.
“The right thing to do is to have enough parking spots. That’s the obvious solution,” Murdoch said. “Car usage, according to the recent CRD (Capital Regional District) study has been going up, not down.”
Coun. John Herbert said enforcement would essentially fall onto the district and would involve going to court.
“The only way it sounded like it could be enforced, is if the municipality wants to go to court,” Herbert said. “That would probably cost $25,000 – and we might win or we might not win.”
Paul Woolley, communications director for the ministry responsible for housing, said the Residential Tenancy Act does cover car ownership and a tenancy agreement is strictly related to the rental unit, common areas of the building and property owned by the landlord. Woolley said if a tenancy agreement does not include parking, it is up to the tenant to find parking elsewhere.
A date for the public hearing on the proposed Clive redevelopment has yet to be confirmed.