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Wellesley looks to extend ticketing powers to tackle illegal parking

Drivers parking illegally on private property in Wellesley Township now face new fines and higher likelihood of being ticketed.

Reacting to business owners’ call for solutions to people who ignore “parking for customers only” directives, for instance, councillors meeting this week agreed to draft a new bylaw that will allow operators to ticket vehicles on their properties.

Such cases of illegal parking aren’t unusual, bylaw enforcement officer Todd Loveday told council Tuesday night.

To avoid these disruptions, he recommended a new bylaw to allow business owners to ticket vehicles parked in spots marked as customer parking or where parking is prohibited, for example. The fine was set at $35, with bylaw allowing for the vehicle to be towed from the property, as well.

The idea met with unanimous approval from council, which agreed to push ahead with a new bylaw to regulate parking. With winter on the horizon, the issue was deemed even more pressing.

Letting business owners hand out tickets to any vehicles illegally parked on their properties, whether commercial or residential, in essence extends the reach of enforcement measures, said Loveday.

“You give the authority to the owners because I’m not here seven days a week.”

The township will have ticket booklets available. As well, it will arrange for proper signage at the owner’s expense.

While some will be authorized to issue tickets, the towing of vehicles would have to involve township bylaw enforcement or the police, Loveday noted.

Additionally, councillors indicated they will be looking into giving authority to snowplow operators in Wellesley, who’ll be able to ticket vehicles but not have them towed.

“During snow removal these vehicles pose a problem for our operators,” said Loveday.

The township is looking to model its bylaw on similar provisions in Woolwich where some apartment complexes and the likes of St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market have designated people with the power to hand out tickets.

Councillors directed Loveday to review the draft bylaw and make some tweaks ahead of the November 5 meeting, at which point they could make it official.

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