Living across the road from a school is a luxury for parents with young children, and a nightmare for others.

A long list of complaints keeps growing as more students join the Foothills School Division and space for parking, pick-ups and drop-offs becomes more limited.

Tasha Yanikyan's family home is located across the street from an elementary school in Okotoks and she says people block her famiy's driveway or even worse, use it without permission all the time.

"We've had a ton of people parking in our driveway for a couple of minutes just to pick-up their kids, but when we say 'hey we've gotta go' and ask them to move, their general answer is 'I'll only be a couple of minutes' ."

Yanikyan laughs with disbelief as she recounts a time where a school parent backed his horse trailer and truck into her driveway and refused to move.

"My mom came home from work and she sees a horse trailer that's been backed into our home parking space," she says. "When she asked him to move he said no because he had to wait for his child and it took him so much time to back in this trailer, it was too much of an inconvenience for him."

The schools in town make an effort to remind parents to be courteous of home owners in the area, using tools like e-mail and newsletters to keep reminding parents to use the proper areas for parking.

Yanikyan says there is one easy solution, all it takes is communication and mutual respect.

"Some parents will actually knock on our door and say 'hey can we block or use your driveway?' We always answer 'YES! Please do, that's fine!' It's when they do it without asking, and we have to go out for dinner or an appointment, and that's the worst."

Many parents have found what they thought were alternate solutions, like parking in alleyways or parking lots close to school, but Town bylaw 10-10 says that's not allowed either, and parents can be ticketed.

Yanikyan says most of the parents are great, it's just a few that cause a stir.

School parents are saying they don't really have anywhere else to go since many schools in Okotoks do not have public parking for them or room to park anywhere else.

Some have taken to social media saying the short fall lands on civil planning not accounting for the rise in population Okotoks has seen in recent years.

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

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