A growing number of London homeowners are exploiting loopholes in the city's zoning bylaw in order to park more cars in front of their house.

But that may be about to change, as city staff suggest ways to clarify the rules around the size of driveways.

Currently the maximum width for a driveway is 19'8" at the property line.

No one knows how many may exceed that limit, but John Dolenuck's likely does, and he says "I don't think they should discriminate against people with large lots."

Single-car and most double-car driveways meet the requirement, but three-car driveways often start hitting widths of 30' and city inspectors are finding an increasing number that don't comply.

That can impact the amount of street parking available and make utility placement more difficult.

Lou Pompilii with the City of London says "In newer subdivisions it is becoming an issue where there are larger, wider garages."

Some homeowners are finding ways around the bylaw, widening their driveway just past the property line or applying for a minor variation permit.

In older neighbourhoods homeowners are using pavers or walkway additions to widen their driveways.

A new report to city hall suggests updating the bylaw by loosening some rules and tightening others, including:

  • allowing larger lots to have up to 26'-wide driveways
  • adding the width of adjacent patio stones or walkways into the overall measurement

Ultimately the goal is education, as Pompilii says "One of the worst things for anybody is to go to the extent of installing a driveway only to find its not in compliance. It can create a lot of anxiety."

City staff are asking council to schedule a public meeting on the issue of driveway size for the end of May or early June.