HARVIE HEIGHTS – One of the main streets in Harvie Heights will now have parking restrictions.
Blue Jay Drive will not allow parking on either side of the street after council approved it following a recommendation from the Streets and Roads Committee and hearing from residents.
“The roads in Harvie Heights are narrow, even in summer, any vehicles parked along the street restrict access to one lane,” wrote a letter from the Harvie Heights Community Association (HHCA). “There are no shoulders and no sidewalks. In the winter, with snow piled on the side of the road, any vehicles parked on the street reduce the width to one lane or block passage.”
The move comes after a request from HHCA to have parking restrictions throughout the hamlet.
Based on the feedback, administration found while residents supported parking restrictions, the business community was not in favour. As a result, the Streets and Roads Committee recommended parking be restricted along Blue Jay Drive only.
Administration felt the functionality of Harvie Heights Road would not be significantly improved with the addition of no parking signs.
Coun. Joss Elford asked how much time is spent on administration dealing with parking issues in the MD.
“It is a common discussion. It affects administration, senior administration,” said Bill Luka, director of operations for the MD. “How much time, it is hard to gauge, but it is a discussion we have quite frequently.”
Coun. Jan Smith asked if parking pads would be impacted by the decision. Smith was told it would not as the parking restrictions would only apply to Blue Jay Drive.
“We did look at these letters in support and opposed to the different restrictions of parking in Harvie Heights,” Reeve Lisa Rosvold said. “We also, through the committee, talked to our bylaw officers regarding infractions in the past and there have been very few infractions.”
Bighorn council also approved a $660 reimbursement to HHCA after it hired a consulting company to visit the hamlet to examine potential crime prevention and reduction strategies at community facilities.
The consulting firm recommended security cameras, which could be a first for Harvie Heights.
“I have heard community associations discuss these sorts of things to respond to security issues in neighbourhoods,” said Doug Saul, community services coordinator for HHCA. “The RCMP gave some thoughts on this as well. It is part of a larger plan for security. It is one of a larger integrated plan.”
Administration said in its recommendation it supported reimbursement but would not support HHCA in placing security cameras on municipal property.
“I know they mention garbage and recycling facilities but is this something that administration still thinks we can support?” said Rosvold.
Saul said the surveillance items would not be on MD property and “part of that is how would the MD be able to review that data”.
Coun. Rick Tuza asked if this was just a request for consulting fees. Tuza was told the funds had already been paid and the concerns of administration regarding the security cameras were about privacy and security rather than a monetary issue.
“This is only if it was on MD infrastructure,” Rosvold said. “If they were to install at the community association hall, would that be appropriate? What if it was a camera on the playground, would that be appropriate? It is hard to know where that line is.”
CAO Robert Ellis noted it would not be on MD infrastructure.
“It is no different than if they want to put a security system on their home,” Ellis said. “They are legal title owners to the property that they have, it is in their rights to install their cameras. Right now, we are just reimbursing them for their security consultant.”