Dorval backtracks on plans to charge residents a fee to reserve picnic tables

A Montreal suburb’s plan to welcome residents to reserve picnic tables has been anything but a walk in the park.

After plans to charge people to use picnic tables in city parks caused an outcry from the public, the city is now backtracking on the proposal.

A notice on the city’s website on Tuesday said, “After listening to its citizens over the past few days, the City of Dorval will finally make several adjustments to the picnic table reservation policy at Pine Beach and Walters parks.”

Those adjustments -- which only apply to the two parks -- include allowing only Dorval residents to reserve a picnic table -- for free this time.

The tables can only be reserved from Monday to Thursday at 12 p.m. only for the following weekend.

A draft bylaw from city council had earlier proposed a $10 fee for residents to reserve a picnic table for four hours and a $25 fee for non-residents.

The city said the thinking behind the original plan was to respond to the alarming surge in demand for picnic tables last year and to give local residents priority access. 

Under the new plan that will go before council on May 17, table reservations would be displayed on site to let people know when they will be allowed to use them.

Picnic table reservations for the two parks will be open first for the June 5-6 weekend.

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