City of Regina parking by-law threatens local medical clinic – Regina


A Regina medical clinic says it may have to relocate or even close due to a city by-law requiring its parking lot to be paved.

Queen City Medical Specialists is a clinic located on 11th Avenue in Regina. They currently use an unpaved parking lot behind the building as a parking area for staff and patients.

However, a municipal by-law requires that all non-residential parking lots be paved. The city gave the clinic a 9/11 deadline to comply and pave the land, but owner Johnathan Richardson says they won’t pave it.

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Richardson says he tried to work with the city to find a solution but was unlucky. The city says the responsibility for paving land rests solely with the company that owns it. They offer no help paying for paving services and failure to comply could result in fines of up to $25,000.

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« The intent of the bylaw is to ensure that there isn’t a lot of granular material on the city’s infrastructure and to keep the city’s sidewalks cleaner, » said Ben Mario, director of the planning for the city.

Richardson says the paving could cost the clinic up to $150,000.

« The financial hardship of doing so would be catastrophic for the clinic itself, » said Johnathan Richardson, owner and director of the clinic. « I know a lot of small business owners have struggled over the past few years and coming up with over $100,000 in a few months is going to be a very tough ordeal. »

If the lot is not paved before the deadline, it cannot be used as parking. Richardson says losing the lot could have serious consequences for the clinic.

He stressed the importance of using the land for patients with accessibility issues. Since 11th Avenue is often filled with cars already parked along the street, Richardson says he wouldn’t want to risk hurting a patient trying to get to the clinic.

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“It’s for our patients who have accessibility issues so they’re close to the doors. The fear is that if we are ordered to stop parking here, then 11th Avenue will be overcrowded with cars and bus routes and this could create potential harm for patients walking long distances or possibly walking through traffic. They deserve not to walk two or three blocks to get to their appointment.

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He says if that happens, the clinic should seriously consider moving or even closing for the safety of its patients.

“It would be very difficult for the demographics of people in this region who depend on the clinic. It is close to the general hospital, which makes it easy for everyone to get around.

Richardson also has 1 Stop Vacuum Centers next to the clinic. This building includes an unpaved parking lot which they also use. Although they have not yet been asked to pave this land, Richardson says that if he had to, it would most likely result in the closure of the business.

« If they asked us to comply to have this land paved, it would really hurt this business as a whole where we could close. »

But Richardson’s parking lots aren’t the only unpaved lots in the area. He wonders why small businesses are forced to invest their money in paved lots when nearby Impark car parks continue to be unpaved.

« I just feel like there’s a bit of a bias that they’re really pushing local business owners here, but maybe not big business. »

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The city says these Impark lots may have been grandfathered and exempted from the settlement.

« All I can say is that we would look at each individual situation separately and if we receive any complaints or questions, we follow up as we deem appropriate, » Mario said.

Richardson hopes the city will allow them to either keep their land unpaved or offer a grace period. He also hopes the city will work first with local businesses on 11th Avenue to revitalize the area before making them invest in parking lots.

« I think lobbying local businesses that may not have the funds to pump money into parking lots doesn’t strike me as an appropriate revitalization plan, » Richardson said. « I think you have to create a balance where the city and the owners are working together on a common goal to improve the area. »

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