City residents get more time to comment on amended parking meter by-laws

Citizens desirous of commenting on the new metered parking by-laws will now have until May 8th to do so after the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) extended the time for public comment.

On April 4th, the M&CC by majority approved the new by-laws for the controversial metered parking project, which has been suspended since March, 2017.

The amended by-laws were approved despite pleas from three councilors to halt the process until such time as a decision is delivered in the High Court on a challenge raised against the municipality’s contract with concessionaire Smart City Solutions.

King told Monday’s statutory meeting that the city has received lots of comments on the by-laws, including a submission from the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI).

“These comments will be forwarded to the minister with the by-laws. It is not for council to debate the merit of these comments,” he explained to Stabroek News.

The High Court had previously declared the decision by Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan to approve the previous by-laws null and void.

In his ruling, Justice Nareshwar Harnanan noted the minister’s failure in following the procedure mandated by the Municipal and District Councils Act for bringing the by-laws into force. The New Building Society had contested the legality of the by-laws, arguing, in part, that the procedure for their approval, as stipulated in the Act, had not been followed.

The NBS had argued, also, that by failing to gazette its intention to apply for Bulkan’s permission, City Hall, the second named respondent in the action, acted outside the law. While the court did not take particular issue with the notice of intention not being gazetted, it noted that newspaper publications on it were not sufficient notice as prescribed by the Act.

The most recent by-laws have been displayed since April 5th, 2018.

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