Regarding snow clearing from parking lot. What are the best communication practices to make sure the parking lot is clear of vehicles during the 2-hour scheduled clearance window? Is it possible to tow and charge, or charge fines for violation?
Good question for Manitoba winters. First let us ask ourselves why owners are not moving their cars. Is it for a lack of alternative parking? Where will cars have to move? Is there enough space? Are there any owners who may have mobility problems making the walk back to their condo challenging, especially in the snow? Is it related to the time of day? Many snow clearing contractors are entrepreneurs who clear snow before and after their regular shift work. These might not be convenient times (too early or too late). A short survey or quick meeting of owners to get some feedback may help find solutions.
Second, if the snow clearing is scheduled, and depending on the size of your condo, distributing a flyer 24-48 hours before the event may be a way to ensure that everyone is aware. A larger flyer posted near entrances and the elevator will provide more virility. Also, a note could be left on car windshields. Email notification is an efficient means of communication, but not all owners have email access.
Thirdly, is towing and/or fines options? Towing is always an option but may create more problems than it would solve. Having a vehicle towed will be inconvenient, cost of retrieval upsetting, being late for work or a healthcare appointment will not make add to positive morale in the community. This would be a solution of last resort.
The Condominium Act allows a board to impose fines for Bylaw violations, however certain procedures must be followed. Bylaws must have a provision that allows fines, fines must be reasonable, and notice must be given to an offender outlining the infraction, the consequences of non-compliance and provide an opportunity for an explanation. Before going this route, legal advice might be wise.
A personal approach explaining why it is important to have a clean parking lot would be my first step. Safety should be at the top of the list. If anyone was to fall, the corporation could be opening itself up to liability for not maintaining the property properly. In addition, if the contractor must return to clean the previously occupied spaces, costs will be greater. Good Luck!
TIP: When snow clearing, make sure that there is a place to put the snow pile and that it does not take away designated parking spots.