Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Consultation on Parking ahead as Public Hearing planned to hear from residents on proposed policy changes

Residents of Prince Rupert will have a chance to comment on the'
latest plan for parking in the city as part of a future Public Hearing 

The Outgoing Council has set the stage for some public consultation on Parking for the incoming council,  moving forward on Monday night to try to address an issue that has dogged the elected officials over the last eight years.

As the last item of official business of the term for Mayor Lee Brain, Councillor Blair Mirau and those councillors returning in November for a new term, the prospects of finding a solution to the city's ongoing parking woes was given some direction.

The potential solution comes out of report from Planning for Council's review on Monday, with City Planner Myfannnwy Pope taking those in attendance on the night through the document and a proposal towards a revision of the existing Bylaw and modification of the current city approach for the Downtown core.

The proposed policy change has four elements:

1. Establish an area where no minimum off-street parking requirements are in effect with the exception of exclusive residential uses (single, duplex, and multifamily buildings). 

2. Maintain any existing off-street parking in this area (no loss of off-street parking). 

3. Maintain existing parking regulations outside of the specified area. 

4. Ensure that all other sections in Section 9 of the Zoning Bylaw regarding standards and ratios for bicycle, disabled parking, loading, and electrified parking requirements are applicable in and outside of the PSA.

The report also outlines what the planning staff has in mind towards what the cost of non-compliance would be for property owners or developers.

In lieu of providing the required on-site parking in the Downtown Core Areas (as defined by the Official Community Plan Bylaw #3460) excluding new office, commercial, and mixed-use buildings in the Parking Specified Area (as defined in Schedule “D”) an Owner or developer shall pay to the City twelve thousand five hundred dollars ($12,500) for every parking space not provided in compliance with the requirements of this Bylaw.

The conclusion to the report, explores what the planning office believes could be achieved for the city towards the question of parking and downtown revitalization.

The waiving of parking minimum requirements indicated in the Prince Rupert Zoning Bylaw No. 3462, 2021 within a parking specified area (Attachment 1) is a key step in incentivizing development. 

Enacting this element of the IPMS is a first step in responding to Council’s 2022 strategic direction for a parking strategy, and an important step in helping to meet goals for downtown revitalization and those developed through the Redesign Rupert process and Official Community Plan.

 The Details towards the Parking requirements can be reviewed from the final pages of the Monday Council Agenda page available here.

Councillor Mirau was the first to speak to the topic, offering his support to the motion and observing of the long standing concerns over parking that have been brought to council since 2018, noting of the opportunity for the Public Hearing to offer for a full discussion to the topic.

Mayor Brain also spoke in favour of the motion, noting how it has been a big barrier to development in the past and how the recommendations are exactly what needs to happen.

The timeline for the Public Hearing on the topic will be set by the next City Council, they take office with the November 9th Council session. 

The Report and Discussion of it can be viewed through the City's Video Archive starting at the 16 minute mark.

The City has provided some further notes on the parking proposal which you can review here, as well the topic is part of their Rupert Talks engagement process.

More notes from Monday's Council Session can be explored through our Council Timeline feature.

The past work of City Council can be reviewed through our Council Discussion archive.

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