‘So relieved’: Management of Saanich apartment complex walks back rule sparking mobility concerns

'So relieved': Management of Saanich apartment complex walks back rule sparking mobility concerns

A resident of the Fraser Tolmie Apartments in Saanich is relieved after a new rule sparking mobility concerns for residents using mobility scooters has been reversed.

On Sunday, CHEK News aired a story about how FirstService Residential, the management company for the apartment complex, was taking away a parking stall residents had used to store and charge their scooters for more than 10 years.

READ PREVIOUS: Saanich tenant concerned about reduced mobility services in apartment parking lot

On Jan. 8, the property management sent a letter to tenants stating a recent inspection found items like boxes, tires, personal items and scooters in parking stalls.

“We would like to remind all tenants that parking stalls are to be used for parking on insured vehicles only and may not be used as a storage space,” the letter reads.

“Please have these items removed from your parking stall no later than Tuesday January 16th, 2024. Failure to remove these items will result in cancellation of your parking agreement and privileges along with removal/ disposal of all unauthorized items without any further warning.”

On Sunday, resident Howie Allan said this was concerning because some residents have nowhere else to store and charge their scooters.

He explained his unit is on the second floor, and his scooter is too big for the elevator, so he can’t take it to his unit.

“My scooter is my legs. Every day, I’m on my scooter, or I might as well stay in my room and rot away,” Allan said.

He explained he sent a letter to the management company stating his concerns for all who use mobility scooters.

On Monday morning, Allan called CHEK News to say the new rule had been reversed for mobility scooters.

“I got a knock on the door about 11 a.m. from the office manager and told they are restoring all the services, restoring the spot back to us, I couldn’t be happier,” Allan said. “I’m just so relieved, I was stressing.”

FirstService Residential senior vice president Sean Ingraham sent a statement saying the company was unaware of any residential complaints until it received CHEK News requests.

“We sincerely apologize to Mr. Allen for the disruption this notice has caused and are now working directly with him to find a solution to safely support storage of his mobility scooter,” the statement reads. “We encourage residents to speak with management should they have any concerns or require special accommodations so we can identify a solution.”

Allan said it’s a huge relief to know he and the other tenants in the apartment complex with mobility scooters will once again be able to park and charge the scooters they rely on to get around.

“It’s huge,” Allan explained.

“People don’t know how bad it is for us to get around when you’re handicapped. It’s life-changing to have mobility issues and be stuck in a house or an apartment the rest of your life, but now we don’t have to be.”

Mackenzie ReadMackenzie Read

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