Sleeping cars will still earn you a ticket in Victoria

Council postpones decision on bylaw change until May

People who sleep in their cars will continue to be ticketed — at least until May.

Council recently voted for staff to report back on a motion to amend the city’s streets and traffic bylaw to halt handing out tickets to people for sleeping in cars, during its next quarterly update on Thursday, May 25.

According to staff, the issue is much more complex than simply deleting a rule, as there are two bylaws that would need to be amended.

“There are essentially two things at issue that both apply, one talks about licenced vehicles in the CRD — campers, trailers, motor homes, and then section 84 applies to sleeping on the street,” said city clerk Chris Coates.

“There are two different things that interrelate quite closely and they can, and also with the notion that the larger the recreation vehicle, it’s more difficuult to determine if it’s being occupied at night.”

Mayor Lisa Helps and Coun. Chris Coleman brought forward the motion in an attempt to deal with the affects of the region’s housing shortage.

With the city’s vacancy rate sitting at 0.5 per cent, more people are being forced to seek shelter in their cars. It’s a number that is only going up, according to a staff report. Last year, bylaw officers issued 176 tickets to people for sleeping in vehicles — more than double the 62 tickets issued in 2015. The highest number of tickets issued were in June, July, February and December.

The proposed motion would take affect when the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s vacancy rate remains below three per cent, and only between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

It’s an idea Coleman believes should at least be explored in response to the city’s low vacancy rate.

“The motivation to bring this forward in the first place was to try and find that balance, to show compassion … The intent was not to say bring your RVs down to Dallas Road,” Coleman said. “Would there be specific areas in town where we might completely exempt the bylaw? We need to find out what other options have been used in other areas and whether they have failed or worked.”

The fine for sleeping in a car is $75.

kendra.wong@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria police search for missing senior last seen in James Bay at noon today

Elsie Habbick, 75, is quite mobile, despite suffering from dementia

Petition puts Haro Woods cyclists on notice

Locals say Saanich sends the wrong message by allowing cyclists in Haro Woods

City of Victoria looking for mural artists to work in Rock Bay

Concrete Canvas project aims to help beautify industrial neighbourhood later this summer

PHOTOS: 120th Annual Victoria Day Parade

Check out the photo gallery, watch our live feed of the festivities

Reporter gets serious with Tour de Victoria’s 140km ride

Travis Paterson’s training blog for Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria on Aug. 18, Volume 1

Oak Bay optometrist challenges community to target 100 for Ride Don’t Hide

Annual event to raise funds, awareness for Canadian Mental Health Association June 24 in Windsor Park

Saanich and Victoria councils to meet next month to discuss steps to amalgamation

Issues likely to loom large in the June 26 meeting include the perceived clarity of the question

Canada’s G7 goal on development: luring private capital to poor nations

G7 finance and international development ministers convene in British Columbia next week

Congressional leaders to review information on Russia probe

Trump said he will “demand” that the Justice Department open an investigation into whether the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign

Canadians stranded in Cuba after plane crash returning home

Montreal-based travel agency says hundreds of Canadians who were stuck in Cuba since a plane crash last week are returning home

As summit looms, North Korean media return to angry tone

North Korean media are stepping up their rhetorical attacks on South Korea and joint military exercises with the United States

Maple Leafs lose another executive after parting ways with assistant GM

The Toronto Maple Leafs say club and assistant general manager Mark Hunter have mutually agreed to part ways.

SAR scaling back in Kilmer search, but friends will keep looking

Search for 41-year-old Cobble Hill dad hits six-day mark

Rachel Notley to skip premiers conference to focus on pipeline deal

Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline project until it receives assurances

Most Read