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Waterloo proposing changes to zoning bylaws for parking in Uptown

The councillor for Ward 7 says it's all in a bid to attract tech companies
Uptown Waterloo
Uptown Waterloo. Blair Adams/KitchenerToday

Waterloo City Council is proposing some new changes to the city's zoning bylaws centred around the uptown core.

Specifically, in regards to how much parking is needed for certain companies and building projects.

Melissa Durrell is the Waterloo Councillor for Ward 7 and she says it's all in a bid to attract tech companies.

"Our zoning bylaws are almost 50 years old. We've been amending it to bring it up to date around certain issues but we really had to basically start fresh. We've been doing community consultation over the last five years," she told The Mike Farwell Show on 570 NEWS. She mentioned that the outdated laws didn't take into consideration tech companies that are renovating old buildings into tech spaces.

"According to our own zoning by-laws, you have to have a space for per square footage. We're saying that's not reasonable anymore," she says. According to her, the by-laws are off putting to tech companies who can't afford to put more parking spots in as part of their renovations. Durrell hopes they can attract them by cutting down the minimum parking spots needed.

Durrell emphasized that this does not change parking in the Uptown core. They will remain available, but pointed out that the Uptown is changing and getting more dense.

"You go to any city, any big city, and you're expected to walk. I think we just need to start to change that mentality a little bit," she says.  

With the changing scenery and density building up around Uptown Waterloo, she hopes people will turn to alternative modes of transportation or even just walk instead of taking the car.

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