Calgary councillors have another decision to make this month that could affect pocketbooks: how much to charge for users of the Residential Parking Permit program.
A briefing provided to the city’s infrastructure and planning committee proposed charging an annual fee of $30 for the first parking permit and $45 for the second, with visitor permits also costing $45 a year.
Those costs are down 40 per cent from previously-approved fees for the program that are expected to go into effect in early December.
The fees are designed to pay for the administering residential parking restrictions around the city.
Over the summer, Calgarians identified areas of the city where parking restrictions are no longer needed, city officials wrote in their briefing. After nearly all of the 550 requests to change the restrictions were reviewed, officials found more than four kilometres of curb space no longer need permit parking restrictions.
“Coupled with a reduction in permit use, a smaller and more efficient program will be provided, with overall annual cost savings of $619,000,” the briefing reads.
City data shows homes in Calgary have an average of 3.3 parking spaces and only two per cent of households use residential parking permits.
In October, there were over 53,000 residential parking permits issued by the city, at a 2:1 resident-to-visitor ratio.
After the signage change requests and introduction of the fees, the city estimates the number of permits would likely cut in half, to 26,700.
Officials looked at other fee options. A flat fee of $20 a year for all types of permits would require city council to cover some of those costs with the city budget.
A scenario that had the first permit be offered free to a resident would operate at a loss, requiring city budget funds.
Pre-pandemic, the residential parking program cost the city around $1.4 million per year, paid for by the city’s budget. A modernization effort was started in 2021 to make the parking program more efficient.
City council resumes its budget deliberations on Nov. 20.
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