Fenelon Falls business owners get a break as council rescinds cash-in-lieu of parking bylaw

Council voted to save business owners thousands of dollars by doing away with a long-standing cash-in-lieu of parking bylaw in their most recent meeting Aug. 23.

The cash-in-lieu of parking bylaw was put in place for Fenelon Falls in 1989 and saw building owners and operators on the hook for $4,000 per required parking space if they did not have the land to create off-street parking themselves, reads the report written for council by Richard Holy, director of development services.

The policy originated from the Village of Fenelon Falls Official Plan and allowed council to come to such agreements with downtown building owners, effectively exempting them from providing and/or maintaining parking facilities. Money collected through the cash-in-lieu of parking policy had been paid into a separate account dedicated to the acquisition of lands for off-street parking facilities by the municipality, according to Holy’s report.

More than three decades later however, the City revisited parking in downtown Fenelon Falls as part of a Downtown Parking Strategy prepared by IBI Group in Lindsay, Bobcaygeon and Fenelon Falls starting in 2018.

“The study examined the utilization rates of the municipal parking system within the Fenelon Falls downtown area and concluded that the system exhibited substantial excess capacity, even to 2041,” reads the staff report.

“With no demonstrated need for additional parking in Fenelon Falls downtown area, the study recommended that the system did not require the support of a cash-in-lieu of parking policy.”

The Downtown Parking Strategy that came out of the study was adopted by council in 2021.


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