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New zoning by-laws in Waterloo could limit parking

The new rules are said to make way for the opportunity for more economic development for new tech companies
uptown waterloo
Uptown Waterloo. Blair Adams/KitchenerToday

A few changes to the city's zoning by-laws is said to be helping modernize the City of Waterloo.

But with those changes could limit the amount of parking spots at new developments in Uptown.

The thought is to attract more tech companies to the city, companies that may not need a significant amount of parking.

Any time a new building is proposed, it needs a minimum number of parking spots --- for example, most residential apartment buildings need spots to cover for tenants/visitors, commercial buildings need a minimum for employees, consumers, clients, etc. --- but the new by-law reduces the minimum amount of parking spots, making it easier for new businesses wanting to move their operations and don't want or need parking.

Let's use new tech offices built near Uptown Waterloo's rail transit stations as a specific example.

They would only need to provide parking for 28 per cent of employees, a massive drop from the 85 per cent required beforehand.

The city says it's to "reduce reliance on automobiles, support investments in transit and active transportation, foster transit, supportive development and mitigate climate change."

On that environmentally-friendly topic, natural areas are said to be protected with "environmentally sensitive landscape zones," and will incorporate recreational lands and floodplain zoning.

The changes have been about three years in the making, following "extensive public and stakeholder engagement."

(With files from Jeff Pickel)


Mark Pare

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