White Rock city council reached a compromise Monday night on its plans to raise summer parking rates along the waterfront. Rather than $4 per hour during the peak season, the cost to park for one hour will rise from $3.25 to $3.75 from April to September. Council will vote on the rate change on July 8. (File photo)

White Rock council opts for compromise in waterfront parking fee hike

Amendment calls for hourly rates of $3.75 instead of $4 from April to September

White Rock council has balked at raising summertime parking rates at the waterfront to a high of $4 per hour.

But it has endorsed a new compromise proposal from parking task force chair Coun. Christopher Trevelyan that would see summertime waterfront parking – April through September – rise to $3.75 per hour from the current $3.25 rate.

At Monday night’s meeting council voted down third and final reading on a parking bylaw amendment that would have imposed the $4 rate, but would also have provided free weekday parking in the winter between November and February.

“It still feels too much to ding our residents and visitors for $4 – it seems too much,” said Coun. Scott Kristjanson, during extended debate on the issue.

The amendment was ultimately rescinded, council instead giving first and second readings to a new amendment proposed by Trevelyan, setting the $3.75 rate, and limiting free winter weekday parking to December, January and February.

Final reading of the new amendment would have to be given at the next regular council meeting, on July 8, after which, if passed, the new rates would come into effect immediately.

Trevelyan said rates would “otherwise be the same” as the earlier amendment, which had been re-endorsed by the parking task force after a recent meeting to review the matter.

That would include the same day rate of $15 for the new parkade, falling to $7.50 during ‘shoulder’ months of October, November and March, as well as a $2 per-hour rate during winter weekends, and all week during the shoulder months.

READ ALSO: White Rock council driving at two months of free waterfront parking

READ ALSO: Free hospital parking a non-starter in White Rock

The rate of $3.25 would remain during the summer in ‘value priced’ parking west of Oxford Street, Trevelyan said.

He rejected impassioned arguments from Coun. David Chesney that raising parking fees was being done only to enable free winter parking – which Chesney continued to assert had not been conclusively proven to have any value in helping waterfront businesses.

“It’s a factor, but not the only one,” said Trevelyan, who pointed out that staff would likely recommend an increase in parking rates sooner than later.

Financial services director Sandra Kurylo confirmed that costs of providing waterfront parking – including operating the new parkade, which will cost $101,000 for 2019 – make a deficit more likely.

“At $3.25 (per hour), with no free parking, we will not make budget,” she said. “It would have to go up to $3.75.”

But, in answering questions from council, Kurylo stressed the virtual impossibility of predicting how the public will respond to the new parking provided this year, or other impacting factors such as weather conditions. Estimates based on 2016 parking usage, she said, show a close margin between making a profit and running a deficit.

“There are so many variables,” she said.

Chesney, who voted against the new amendment, said he believes an upward creep of parking rates is dangerous for the city.

“As we push up the prices higher and higher, people are not going to come here,” he warned. “We should be working to get parking rates to go down, not up.”

“I love coming to White Rock, but I hate pay parking,” Kristjanson said, noting that it makes White Rock less attractive in contrast to competing destinations such as Crescent Beach, Fort Langley and even Whistler, where parking is free.



alexbrowne@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATE: One woman taken away on stretcher after three-vehicle collision at Maclure and Clearbrook Road intersection

Abbotsford emergency crews are on scene but traffic is slow eastbound on Maclure

Mennonite Central Committee hosts 50th annual Festival for World Relief

All the funds raised are going towards helping vulnerable people across the world

Zumiez coming to Abbotsford’s Sevenoaks Shopping Centre

Action sports retailer opening soon in Abbotsford mall

Missing man last seen in Chilliwack Sept. 7

Friends concerned for well-being of 44-year-old Jean Pierre Baril

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Pedestrian struck and killed by vehicle in Surrey

Investigators were asking anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Vancouver’s Tristan Connelly shocks the UFC world

Late replacement upsets big favourite Pereira, main event sees Gaethje stop Cerrone in round one

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Most Read