Duncan’s Joel Morrison wants to know why the City of Duncan appears to be picking on him.
Morrison, who said he is on disability insurance due to severe osteoporosis, moved to Duncan to retire almost two years ago and chose to lease a residential unit on Fourth Street.
He then went to city hall to apply for a disability residential parking permit that would allow him to park in front of his home 24/7.
Morrison said he paid his $25 permit fee for a parking permit and had no problems until he went to city hall to renew his permit when it expired.
“I was told that it couldn’t be renewed at the time because the city was making some changes to its regulations around downtown parking,” Morrison said.
“But I was told by a bylaw officer that if I would bring in any parking tickets I received while parking in front of my house, they would be considered null and void. I got one ticket that I brought in and they null and voided as they said they would.”
Morrison said he received four more tickets over the next four months and, instead of making four separate trips to city hall, he decided to bring them all in at once to be voided.
“I was shocked when I was told that they wouldn’t be voided,” he said.
“They wouldn’t even tell me why they changed their minds regarding these tickets. Now I owe almost $400 in parking tickets that I can’t afford to pay and ICBC won’t insure me until I pay the tickets.”
He said the car, which is also used by two other people he lives with that also have disabilities, is used a lot to help local charities and he can’t offer that service anymore as he can’t legally operate the car.
“Why are they picking on me?” he asked.
“I’m so sick about this that I had to go to the doctor.”
Garry Kerr, Duncan’s bylaw enforcement supervisor, said there is no such thing as disabled residential parking permits in Duncan, just residential parking permits.
He said, ultimately, it’s the responsibility of the landlords in the city to provide parking for their tenants, and applicants for residential parking permits in Duncan must show there’s a demonstrated need for one.
Kerr said adequate parking is provided for the tenants in a lot adjacent to Morrison’s residence on Fourth Street, and there are no stairs involved.
“Joel was down on his luck when he first came to see me, so I gave him a six-month residential parking permit that could not be renewed,” Kerr said.
“He said he had some mobility issues, but I’ve since see him running around with his dog. I did cancel a few tickets for him at first, but that couldn’t continue.”
As for Morrison’s claim that he can’t insure his car due to the tickets, Kerr said ICBC doesn’t deny coverage due to unpaid parking tickets.