Tenant parking lot result of illegal conversion by landlord of apartment towers, according to city staff
A parking lot created for tenants of three apartment buildings in the Old East Village is the result of an illegal conversion, according to London, Ont. city staff.
A report to the Planning and Environment Committee reveals that seven residences were incrementally demolished from 2009 to 2016 and, “illegally converted to surface parking to serve the (three) residential apartment buildings at 690, 696, 698, and 700 King Street and 400 Lyle Street.”
The high-rise buildings are operated by Medallion Corporation.
A re-zoning is being requested to permit a temporary parking lot to operate on the site for up to three years.
However, city staff recommend council refuse the change because it is inconsistent with The London Plan’s intensification goals for the Old East Village.
The report also stated that a temporary surface lot, “continues to foster the use of automobiles and is a use that conflicts with the long-term planning of the subject lands for development which promotes mobility alternatives that are transit-supportive and pedestrian-friendly.”
“I understand staff’s concerns about policy,” Councillor Susan Stevenson told CTV News. “In this particular case it truly is a temporary parking lot.”
A map of residential zoned properties being used as a parking lot. (Source: City of London)
Stevenson said an approved development plan for Medallion Corporation to build another apartment building at the corner of Dundas and Hewitt Streets will add to the overall parking capacity.
“They’re putting a couple of more floors of underground parking into the new building to meet the parking demand. We just need a temporary extension on this parking lot to let these residents who are already having some struggles keep their parking,” explained Stevenson.
Dale McCutcheon said even with the lot at King and Hewitt, it can be difficult to find a spot to park his SUV, “There’s not enough parking at all, not for any of the residents that live here.”
In August 2022, city council reduced the minimum parking requirement for high rise apartment buildings to one spot for every two units.
The planning report explained that measured against the new parking minimum, the 566 parking spots already approved for the three existing Medallion Corporation buildings should be sufficient for the 916 apartment units.
“I understand the vision of having reduced parking, but until we get the [bus rapid transit] up and running fully, we need to have other things in place to accommodate people,” said Stevenson.
“Municipal Compliance is aware of this matter and other potential illegal commercial parking lots in the general vicinity,” Wade Jeffery, manager of Municipal Compliance & Animal Welfare Services told CTV News in a statement.
The city refused to say if there has been any enforcement activity to date.
Medallion Corporation has not yet responded to a request for comment on the situation potentially facing its tenants.
The Planning and Environment Committee will consider the rezoning on Monday.
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