Parking can quickly become a source of conflict between neighbours. But before you get angry with the guy who keeps parking his truck in front of your house, let’s review the rules.

First of all, you don’t own the parking spot in front of your house, the city does. Street parking is just that: on the street. The city sets the rules through traffic safety bylaw 5590. And as tempting as it may be to prevent other people from parking in front of your house by placing objects or signs on the road, keep in mind you can be charged for doing so.

Erin Blaine, coordinator of parking enforcement services for the city, explains street parking.

“Everyone has the right to park on a city-owned street, even if it’s right in front of your house. People can park on your side of the street, even if they live on the other side, down the block, on the other side of the city, or the other side of the country. As long as people are parked legally, they are allowed to be there.”

And what about your own property? Anne Stevenson, the city’s senior planner at sustainable development, said “In residential areas, people are allowed to park in their garage, on a parking pad, or on their driveway.”

That said, there are some limits.

Restricted residential zones allow only vehicles with residential parking stickers to park in that area during events. | Adam Millie

“People are not allowed to park on their front lawns and are not allowed to rent parking spaces on their property for people who work nearby or are attending an event in the neighbourhood, such as a football or hockey game,” explained Stevenson.  

Other residential street parking rules include a 72-hour (three day) limit. Move your vehicle before then, otherwise it is considered abandoned and can be ticketed and towed. This rule is in place to prevent people from using the street as a storage space and to reduce crimes such as vandalism and theft.

It’s important to be aware of changes coming to residential zoning that will require each house to have fewer mandatory parking spaces.

“Right now, every single detached and duplex/semi-detached house, as well as most row houses, have to provide two parking spaces on their property. If someone has a secondary or garage suite, they have to provide a third parking space,” said Stevenson.

But with the change, only one parking space per home is required, with an additional space required if you have a secondary or garage suite on your property.

Property owners who want to have two or more parking spaces on their property can still do so and existing parking spaces will not be lost as a result of this change,” Stevenson added.

Our community also includes restricted residential zones; only vehicles with residential parking stickers can park during events near Northlands and Commonwealth Stadium, or during the week near NAIT.

Permit applications are available at by searching “Annual Residential Parking Permits” or call 311.  

Call 311 for more information or to report illegal parking.

Header image: Knowing parking rules can help clear up misconceptions. | Adam Millie