Visitor Parking Wars Rage On
There have been several parking cases at the CAT since its jurisdiction was originally expanded. In many cases the owners denied that they were improperly parking on the property and argued the rule was unenforceable. In some cases the CAT members felt there was insufficient evidence to support the condominium’s allegations against the owners. In other cases the conduct was not contrary to the rules.
In a recent case a condominium argued that three owners were parking in the visitor parking spaces, which was prohibited by the rules. The owners admitted that they were parking in the spots. They argued they had been doing so for many years without incident, so they should be entitled to continue doing so. They argued the rules were inconsistently enforced and no longer served their condominium community.
The CAT member reviewed the governing documents, including Rule 2.18 that stated the parking lots at the front and rear of the building were “reserved for visitors and guests only”. The rule stated that the owners must use the designated spots in the underground parking garage. The owners parked in visitor spaces because their vehicles were too large to fit in the underground parking garage.
The owners argued that they should be able to continue to parking in the spots because they had been doing so for several years. They also argued that they were being targeted for enforcement while others were violating the rules. They also argued the rule was unreasonable as it had not changed in 30 years. In response, the condominium stated it was prompted to enforce the rules after receiving several complaints about misuse of the visitor parking. The condominium admitted that the rules were not enforced in the past, but the current board had given owners ample notice of their intention to enforce the rules. The CAT member was not persuaded that the condominium’s enforcement was unfair.
The CAT member also disagreed with the owners regarding the reasonableness of the rule. While large vehicles may be more popular now than when the rule was created 30 years ago, that did not render the rule unreasonable. The owners ought to have investigated the designated parking space for their unit before purchasing it. “If they owned or chose to purchase a vehicle that did not fit into the spot, this was their choice”.
Lastly, the owners argued that the condominium had acted improperly in not accepting any of their proposed solutions. The CAT member disagreed. “While I commend the parties for their attempts to resolve this matter through discussion and negotiation, the fact that a resolution was not reached is not evidence of wrongdoing by either party.”
The CAT member gave the owners 90 days to remove their vehicles from the visitor parking lots. After the 90 days the condominium could continue its efforts for enforcement.