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Montreal mayor wants review of old bylaw banning residents from parking in their own driveways


Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante wants a review of an old bylaw that has prevented some residents in an east-end neighbourhood from parking their cars in their own driveways.

"It is clear that the bylaw needs to be reviewed so that it better reflects today's needs, particularly with regard to electric vehicle owners who must park near their charging stations," said Plante's press attaché, Catherine Cadotte, in a statement to CTV News on Thursday.

On Wednesday, CTV News reported Nicole Gagnon has been parking in her driveway for more than 40 years. When she bought the house, the garage had been turned into a living space.

However, a neighbour complained about a violation of a decades-old bylaw that prohibits parking in front of a living space.

The mayor's office said complaints are dealt with on a case-by-case basis and that inspectors are asked to be "flexible" in applying the bylaw.

"In this particular case, the bylaw was applied following a citizen's complaint concerning work done without a permit," added Cadotte.

Gagnon said she was shocked to learn she was breaking the law.

"When we bought the house in 1981, it was like this," she said in an interview steps from her driveway on Wednesday. "Why is this a problem now?"

In a statement to CTV News, a spokesperson for the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough said, "The regulation is still relevant today, to protect green spaces, prevent floodings and increase pedestrian security.

We are actively evaluating the possibility to modify the regulation, especially to better include issues related to electric vehicles, without generating new problems."

Monique Voyer is another one of the 11 residents affected by the regulation.

"They say it's a question of safety for pedestrians," she said, "but if we back out of a garage, or a driveway, it doesn't make a difference."

Voyer has lived there for more than 40 years and said she was stunned to receive the letter.

"I understand that there are laws, but it's our house," she said. "We should be able to do what we want."

In the meantime, the residents are being encouraged to park on the street for free or risk getting a fine.

With files from CTV's Amanda Kline Top Stories

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