Motorists parking in the South Pandosy area of Kelowna will soon have to pay for on street parking.
City Council Monday approved the installation of about 240 on street parking metres at a cost of $602,000.
The parking meters, part of Phase 1 of a city-wide parking strategy, are expected to be operational in November.
Derek Edstrom, Director of Real Estate, says business owners have been complaining for several years that short-term, on street parking spots have been utilized by long-term parkers.
"This has led to concerns by business owners in the area and is the reason this was the first area to be studied under the city-wide parking management strategy," says Edstrom.
The parking study, prepared by Urban Systems, confirmed those concerns.
"We find their area does have a very high occupancy of on street and off street parking," says James Donnolly with Urban Systems.
"Very limited turnover of those most desirable parking spaces and, in many cases, some of the most desirable spaces are occupied all day."
The City expects to realize net revenues of more than $300,000 a year meaning it will take until 2019 to pay off the original investment.
"This is not a cash cow," says Councillor Luke Stack.
"When I look at your projections it is going to take five years just to pay back the investment it takes to initiate the plan."
In order to support the new pay parking zone, Parking Operations Manager, Dave Duncan, says two hour parking restrictions will need to be implemented in residential areas around the South Pandosy Village.
"We would allow the residents of those areas to obtain residential parking permits to exempt them from the restrictions.," says Duncan.
He says off street parking will also be beefed up with the addition of 101 stalls at the new SOPA Square development. A further 110 stalls could open up at that development, if the demand is there.
In order to accommodate staff parking needs, Duncan says a lot on Osprey and a smaller lot off Cedar Avenue would be made available for longer term and monthly parking.
He says transit improvements will also be implemented to encourage staff to leave their vehicles at home.
Once the new parking initiatives have been paid off, Duncan says the City will look at other possible options including construction of a parkade in the area.