Limited parking along Kensington Road frustrating business owners – Calgary

A squeeze on parking along Kensington Road in Calgary’s northwest has some business owners calling on city officials to step in.

Telesa Brown, who operates a hair salon at The District Studios — a collective of small businesses inside the legion building — said limited long-term parking in the area has become a growing concern.

“The biggest thing is there is no other option, and there’s no long-term option,” Brown told Global News.

With underground parking in the building limited and shared amongst the businesses inside, customers and clients have relied on street parking on 18A Street N.W., and in the westbound lanes of Kensington Road.

However, construction of a new development next door has taken up those parking spaces for equipment.

Brown said in the short-term, she’d like the city to open up street parking in the eastbound lane of Kensington Road across from the development.

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But Brown also wants to see a longer-term solution in place for when the mixed-use building opens its doors for residents and businesses, and feels her concerns haven’t been heard.

“I would like to see some permanency because when that building goes up, there is also going to be retail space at the bottom of it, it would be nice for those businesses as well to add extra parking,” Brown said.

Ward 7 Coun. Terry Wong, who represents the area, said his office has been in contact with the city’s mobility department on temporary solution, with the issue exacerbated by the construction.

“We’re waiting for mobility to confirm a solution strategy that they’re about ready to release to us,” Wong told Global News. “That’s the reason I haven’t been able to get back to the businesses there.”

Wong said he expects the temporary solution strategy will be ready by the end of the week.

Truman Homes, the developer building the mixed-use development, did not respond to Global News’ request for comment.

With many new developments popping up in the area, Brown said she’d like for a review of the city’s parking guidelines when approving mixed-use developments.

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“This issue is getting worse all across the city,” Brown said. “It’d be nice for city council to review and add a minimum requirement for parking.”

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According to Wong, city councillors make the determination on development permits and parking requirements depending on the property’s of land-use designation as well as density and occupancy.

“There’s always that proverbial question of how much parking is required. Standard land-use will give you a certain ratio of parking to square footage or parking to the number of units of residents,” Wong said.

“Ultimately, you don’t really know until you build it out, and when you build it out, that’s when the challenges in the community come in.”

Wong said he hopes establishing improvements to the 5A transportation network in several areas, including Kensington Road, may help with longer-term solutions for access to businesses and neighbourhoods in the area.

He added there is also work underway between city officials and several of the city’s business improvement areas to help guide changes to street parking policies, which is expected later this spring.

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