City of Penticton parks portion of parking strategy

The City of Penticton is easing off on its plans to introduce pay parking in major parks and recreational areas.

The City of Penticton is putting the brakes on a portion of the overall parking strategy.

The City of Penticton is putting the brakes on a portion of the overall parking strategy.

The City of Penticton is easing off on its plans to introduce pay parking in major parks and recreational areas, but they are not giving up on the overall plan.

The new plan removes Skaha Lake Park from the work plan and limits pay parking to the commercial area of Lakeshore Drive, west of the Power Street intersection, up to and including the SS Sicamous and the parking lot in front of Loco Landing parking lot. Skaha Lake and the remaining portion of Lakeshore Drive will remain as options for expanding the pay parking program at a later stage.

To date, there has been little formal consultation with the public about the pay parking strategy, including the businesses in the area covered by the new plan.

“We certainly talked to a lot of the business owners along lakeshore. But we haven’t done any real, formal consultation with them,” said Blake Laven, city planning manager.

Diana Stirling, owner of the LocoLanding Adventure Park, said she was only informed on Sept. 3 that the lot in front of her business, which also serves the Rose Garden and the SS Sicamous, would be converted to pay parking in mid-September.

“I was disappointed in the fact that we had not been consulted about this. I wish that we would have had more knowledge,” said Stirling, who consulted with other stakeholders including the Sicamous and Salty’s Beach House. “None of us knew that it was going before council. We haven’t been able to form an opinion, because we don’t know how this is going to roll out.”

Stirling said it is hard to say how pay parking will affect her business, which employs about 70 people over the summer season. She wishes the situation could be different, but understands the economic realities facing the city driving the pay parking strategy.

“As a business that is working so hard to bring locals and tourists to that part of town, we just would have liked inclusion. I just feel like we are a little bit behind,” she said.

A tourist on their way to the beach, LocoLanding, or the Sicamous isn’t likely to change their mind based on having to pay parking. It’s the return visit, said Stirling, that might change.

“One of the unique things about Penticton is that we are so accessible. Time almost stands still for us, when you are a tourist. The thought of people having to think about the time on the meter or getting a ticket, or staying longer because they are having so much fun and getting a ticket, completely changes the experience,” said Stirling. “There is a chance that we have taken away that experience they are currently having. We don’t know what that change then means.”

Many other tourist destinations have pay parking, Stirling concedes, but that shouldn’t be justification for the City of Penticton adopting the strategy.

“I don’t believe that just because somebody else in some other cities are doing it, it is OK for us to do it,” said Stirling. “I always feel like we should be different, we should be unique. This is maybe one of those things. What we have is amazing right now, along the lakefront, the fact that people can park in our lot and we are not continually asking them for money.”

The parking strategy was first introduced in 2012, with the 2016-17 work plan endorsed by city council last January. Pay parking  would have extended the length of Lakeshore Drive and parking lots made in Skaha Lake Park. Staff estimate the full implementation of the parking strategy could generate almost $500,000 per year.  City staff justify the change as allowing them to better estimate the impact of pay parking and the possible revenue. Implementing pay parking in Lakawanna Park has already generated $5,000 since June.

Laven admits they aren’t sure how accurate their estimates, based on projected usage and comparisons with other metered areas, are.

“We really have to build the business and see in real life what those numbers are going to be,” said Laven. “We know they are going to be large numbers, there is a lot of revenue there.”

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit characterizes the amended strategy as a compromise, taking into account the opposition they have heard from the community.

“I think there will be some growing pains, but it is a fair compromise. Parking has always been a controversial issue, but is also a significant generator of revenue,” said Jakubeit, adding the city needs to generate more money to pay for upgrades and repairs to the city’s aging facilities and infrastructure. “We are looking at every opportunity, especially when it is more user pay and it is not on the backs of everyone.”

Jakubeit said as the 2017 budget discussion develops this fall, no stone will be left unturned when it comes to ideas to generate revenue.

“We want to go out to the community, informing them of the reality of our situation and throwing out different revenue opportunities and get their feedback on whether this makes sense to explore, or are things off limits, or is there a middle ground on some of those things,” said Jakubeit. “Parking is one example, and over the next few months we will unveil some other things and get more clarity on why they should exist.”

As part of the amended parking strategy, council also approved the expansion of residents-only parking in neighbourhoods near the beach, the hospital, and put hiring a new bylaw enforcement officer to deal with parking on the agenda for the upcoming budget talks in November.

Just Posted

Lightning in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms overnight

Justin Fotherby,17, and Ashley McMillan, 17 have been chosen for an invitation only competition that sees 20 of Canada’s top swimmers per event vying for a spot at the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. (Submitted)
Penticton swimmers off to Olympic trials

The pair are eyeing a spot on the Canadian team heading to the Tokyo Olympics

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Outdoor skating rink back at Penticton council

City staff recommend going forward with rink which could host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read