Skip to content

Opinion: Our Burnaby street parking is 'eaten up' by illegal ‘sixplexes’ and broken-down trucks

Too many vehicles and not enough spots
Many Burnaby neighbourhoods see residents fighting over spots. iStock photo

Last week I wrote about a car collector parking as many as 10 vehicles on one Burnaby streets – basically hogging up all the spots for months at a time.

Now I’ve been contacted by Byron, who is fed up with all the illegal homes and businesses that have made the parking situation a nightmare in his neighbourhood.

One problem is that some of the homes have been crammed full of people in illegal suites where homes have been divided into tiny micro-units.

“The house next to mine has been turned into a sixplex,” said Byron. “Yes, that is correct, a duplex has been turned into a sixplex. Almost all of my neighbours have illegal suites or businesses. I know that many of them are illegal suites and have not followed the safety rules. For example, they don’t have a separate entrance and exit and don’t have a separate electrical panel and aren’t claiming them to pay the proper taxes. Why should I pay the same taxes as someone who has multiple families and certainly using more resources then my one family home?”

Those homes don’t have enough parking spots on their property and so they take up much of the street parking spaces for days at a time.

And then there is the neighbourhood mechanic who parks his customers’ vehicle on the street for long periods, including “parking a broken down pickup in front of my garage.”

“My neighbour has an illegal car repair business that he runs from his garage,” Byron said. “It has caused endless issues. He continually parks his customers’ vehicles in front of my house. Once it was for more than three weeks over Christmas, as the owner didn't want to drive in the snow. It was lots of fun carrying presents back and forth further away from my house. On one occasion a friend of this neighbour’s vehicle had been parked in front of my house for an entire long weekend and I had the city give it a warning ticket as I didn't recognize the car and I knew that they didn't live in the neighbourhood. When they returned from holiday, they asked if I had called the city. I said ‘yes’ as this car had been parked in front of my house for a number of days. They then with their friends proceeded to yell and swear at me for quite a few minutes. I asked why they always park cars in front of my house and never bother to ask if it is OK. They asked why I didn't just park in front of their house - I said out of respect to you that is your parking and the only vehicles that can park in front of your house are with your permission.”

Now you might respond to Byron by saying that he doesn’t own the parking spot in front of his own and so anyone can park there. Byron responds that when someone parks in front of his home, he has to park somewhere else and that leads to issues.

“I once parked in front of the house across the street. The landlord called the city and had me ticketed. I called the city and they said there was nothing that I could do about it because according to the bylaw you can’t park in front of someone else's house for more than three hours without their permission. I kindly explained that I had only parked there because the tenants from that house were illegally parking in front of my house. This apparently didn’t matter. I was quite pissed.”

Byron has also had double-parked vehicles in front of his house for hours at a time as people just thumb their noses at any form of decency.

It seems the parking issue isn’t always just about parking, it’s also about other folks not complying with various housing and business bylaws.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.