Dentists seek closer look at parking limits in downtown lot



By Ron Giofu


Local dentists Chad Denomme and Stefano Storey are hoping the town can take a closer look at time limits for parking near their recently-purchased building.

The owners of Storey and Denomme Family Dentistry recently bought the building at 79 Richmond St. and are currently renovating it so it becomes their new home. They had originally requested that a few spots in the adjacent public parking lot at the corner of Richmond St. and Ramsay St. be dedicated for their business, but modified their request and instead wanted council to take a closer look at time limits in that lot.

“As soon as we discussed (having dedicated spots) as a team, we thought that may open up a can of worms for other businesses,” said Denomme.

However, they have noted that many vehicles park there all day and suggested that putting time limits on spaces could produce a better flow of vehicles in the lot and increase availability of the spots.

“It’s the same cars there for eight or nine hours a day,” said Denomme.

Director of planning, development and legislative services Mark Galvin suggested that spots in that lot could be designated for two-hour limits but “the question is the mix.” He said they could look at best practices and come up with something with regards to what percentage of spots could be on a time limit.

Councillor Jason Lavigne opposed any idea of another parking study but did say the municipal lot across the road in back of the Heritage Plaza building is “empty all day.” Amherstburg is a tourist destination, Lavigne continued, and that “if we switch lots to two-hour parking, it’s going to create issues across the board.”

Dentists Stefano Storey and Chad Denomme are asking the town to take a closer look at some time limits for some of the spots in the lot at Richmond St. and Ramsay St.

Lavigne said there has been debate with the Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce on the matter over the years but believed there are enough spots downtown.

“There is a ton of parking down there,” said Lavigne. “Some is a stone’s throw from businesses.”

One of the issues with the parking lot at Richmond St. and Ramsay St. is nearby residents, such as those in the Navy Yard condominium building, parking there.

Councillor Rick Fryer also pointed out the parking behind the Heritage Place and that people can “park here and walk a little bit.” He said something has to be done to alleviate parking concerns, and wondered if a “pay for parking” scenario would work though admitted people would be “up in arms” at first. He believed such a plan could force residents who use public lots while at home to move their vehicles out of the lot.

“There’s got to be something done,” said Fryer.

Councillor Leo Meloche stated that short-term parking has to be closer to businesses and that those who park downtown for eight hours or so should be “pushed out to the outlying areas.” That said, he maintained his belief that “Amherstburg doesn’t have a parking problem.”

Lavigne cautioned that if parking limits are placed in the Richmond St./Ramsay St. lot, there could be more funding requested by the bylaw enforcement department. He also pointed out the traffic committee could have looked at the matter but it was dissolved several months ago.

Councillor Rick Fryer’s motion to deny dedicated spots, allow administration to enter into an encroaching agreement for a sign over the sidewalk and to have administration come back with suggestions for the Richmond St./Ramsay St. parking lot was approved.

“We’re going to have to do something to help the businesses,” said Fryer. “We can’t have spots tied up by those in the apartments next door.”

Town to study downtown parking issue, may or may not earmark $35K in ’17 budget


By Ron Giofu


Town council wants a closer look at previous parking studies for the downtown core before spending any more money on the matter.

Council received a report from director of planning, development and legislative services Mark Galvin which, if it had been approved, earmarked as much as $35,000 for a parking study in the 2017 budget. He said it may not have cost that much but noted his report was generated by a previous council question.

Galvin added he was not advocating the money be spent, but suggested what a study of that nature could cost.

Councillor Rick Fryer wanted no part of a new study, quoting a $1.5 million figure for the construction of parking lots, in the downtown area. He added a study was done during his previous term on town council.

The town of Amherstburg might take a closer look at the downtown parking situation, though have yet to earmark any money in the budget just yet.

The town of Amherstburg might take a closer look at the downtown parking situation, though have yet to earmark any money in the budget just yet.

“We keep beating the same horse,” said Fryer, believing that spending $35,000 on another study would be “a waste of taxpayers’ money.”

Galvin noted that report was from 2008 and that he had concerns with it, including that it factored in spots on private property which is something he said should not be done. CAO John Miceli added that report might not have all of the “appropriate information” it should have.

“It’d be nice to know how many reports are out there and if they are outdated,” added Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale.

DiPasquale said he would like to see the issue looked at eventually so that the issue could be put to rest.

Councillor Leo Meloche noted he has lived in cities like Toronto and Montreal and that he doesn’t see Amherstburg as having a parking problem.