Diverse Range of Parking Needs
Religious assemblies, including churches, mosques, synagogues and temples, are required to provide a certain amount of parking in Edmonton’s Zoning Bylaw.
Parking needs for religious assemblies are highly variable. For example, parking needs for mosques on Friday evening are usually higher than at other times during the week. The parking needs for churches around Christmas is usually much higher than the rest of the year.
At these peak times, the required parking for religious assemblies may not meet all the demand and result in people parking on adjacent streets.
The frequency of service, the size of the congregation, the time of year and even the location of religious assemblies makes it difficult to set a single requirement for the right amount of parking. Administration is currently considering how to set appropriate parking requirements for future religious assemblies.
At the June 21, 2016, Executive Committee meeting, administration (Report 6.6) to manage parking requirements for religious assembly uses. Executive Committee voted in favour of the approach to base the parking rate for religious assemblies on the size and location of the building.
The parking rates are set so that 80 per cent of the existing religious assemblies will conform to the parking requirements, and to ensure that parking requirements are sensitive to adjacent neighbourhoods. More information can be found in (item 6.6).
Any Zoning Bylaw changes will not affect existing religious assembly uses. The new regulations will only apply to new religious assembly uses, or when existing religious assemblies want to expand the size of their existing buildings.
The current parking requirements for religious assemblies are based on the number of seats (one parking spot for every four seats). However, the number of seats and room arrangement can vary substantially day to day. Some religious assemblies may use benches or no seats at all.
Given the diverse ways people use religious assemblies, the existing parking requirements are difficult to apply and may not reflect actual parking needs.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our online general parking survey. The survey is now closed. Your feedback was used to inform the discussion at the June 21, 2016 Executive Committee meeting.