Friday, June 30, 2023

City's relaxation of measures on Parking in specified areas gains third reading, with more work ahead on parking issues

Of the list of topics that can make for some extensive conversation at a City Council session, Housing and Parking top the list of those that make for the most challenges and the most in talking points.

Monday night Council members tackled a Zoning Amendment for a bylaw that began its journey in 2022 as they moved forward on the relaxation of required Parking spaces in specified areas of the city. 

The main thrust of the amendment will see those who are looking to develop mixed use properties in the community no longer have to provide for parking spaces or payments in lieu of towards it.

Councillor Cunningham put much of his focus for the discussion on what would be the state of Parking on Third Avenue; though as Mayor Pond observed that larger issue is part of a broader approach that Council will be taking on later in the summer. 

The Mayor cited a report from Planning Director Myfannwy Pope, that Council received earlier in the session and accepted as part of the consent agenda observing on some of the elements, including the possibility of parking meters,  that may address those kind of parking issues.

"Interestingly in a report they touched ... you know when you gather a group of business people and building owners to talk about parking. They not only talk about the Bylaw that you're considering they talk about broader Parkin issues.

So in the report, you'll see that there seems to be a favourable view towards some sort of parking management system, that's code for meters.

Something that takes away from having to have two hours, five hours or three, and just says pay for it, you want to stay for three, pay for three. 

You know people often confuse parking meters as some sort of cash grab, but honestly they are the best way to manage parking in any tight situation. Because it allows individuals to determine how long they want to stay and how much they are prepared to pay for that' -- Mayor Herb Pond

Towards when the larger parking strategy will be brought forward, Ms. Pope offered up a review of the path taken so far by Council, noting that when the Transportation plan comes forward it will have more a more extensive section on parking, something anticipated to be brought forward for consideration of Council this summer. 

Councillor Niesh also spoke to the topic noting of the challenges of the amount of land available to allocate towards parking and how it impacts on redevelopment of the downtown area.

Councillor Adey also observed of the past actions related to consultation with property owners in the community and spoke towards some themes related to the Fraser street area and other elements up for review as part of the parking management review. 

The details to the amendment that gained third reading can be found from the agenda package starting on page 174

The full discussions on Monday released to Parking can be reviewed from the City's Video archive starting at the 2 hour eight minute mark.

The report from Monday and the Transportation plan will serve as Council's blue print for further discussion in the months ahead on the issue of parking in the community and you can review the details to it below:

click on above to enlarge

Past notes on parking themes can be reviewed through our Planning/Sustainable Development Archive page.

Further background on Monday's Council Session can be reviewed here.

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