What if you could make a few extra dollars renting your driveway to individuals for space to park their cars? Some people already are.
Toronto is known for its congested roads and lack of parking spaces. We have all driven around in Toronto looking for a close parking spot without having to pay a small fortune for a few hours. Some home owners decided to offer their driveway space for rent via a phone app called Rover parking app. The app allows individuals to rent a space and pay for it online; the rate reflects the general rate in Toronto, $2 per hour.
Sound familiar? It sounds a lot like Uber doesn’t it? Similar to Uber, this app is also facing bylaw conflicts. Rover parking app has been deemed illegal and could result in a $5000 fine. Klaus Lehmann, a bylaw official stated that renting out driveways can constitute a commercial lot which conflicts with the city bylaws.
Co-founder of Rover parking app, Tim Wootton has a different perspective. Wootton believes that his app is within the bylaws of the city as he does not believe that a driveway constitutes a commercial parking lot. Furthermore, he believes the bylaws are meant to deter individuals from parking on lawns rather than prohibiting homeowners from making some extra money.
Wooton goes on to argue that earlier in the year, drivers were permitted to pay for parking at Green P via phone transactions. During the time, Mayor John Tory had encouraged Torontonians to embrace innovation and developments. He went as far to state that it was time to embrace the future rather than fight it. Wooton believes this is exactly what he is doing.
With new apps developing every day, it is challenging for bylaw officials to ensure that all apps are following legal protocol. As new technology is produced, government officials are forced to continuously update municipal, provincial and federal laws through a lengthy legal process.
Conversely, many individuals create apps without considering legal implications of their innovative ideas. In particular, bylaws are generally overlooked as many individuals do not consider the implications bylaws may have on their product. For instance, setting up a simple facility can contradict with multiple zoning bylaws. Many individuals are unaware that legal professions, including paralegals can assist their clients in determining what bylaws apply to your particular case.
Points of Discussion:
1. What do you think of the Rover App?
2. Would you use the Rover App?
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