Parking plan stalled

The City of Penticton may be taking another look at how it manages vehicle parking.

City staff are asking council to support a review of Penticton’s current parking plan, first drafted in 2012.

“With efforts to revitalize the downtown, increase densification, develop the South Okanagan Event Centre campus, attract festivals and events, pressure on parking is building,” reads a report going before city council on Tuesday.

The report estimates the downtown area has lost 250 informal free parking spots in recent years, with another 250 in danger as new developments move ahead and densification increases.

As the review takes place, staff are recommending the city put plans to expand pay parking along Lakeshore Drive on hold. While administration is recommending expansion to the resident-only downtown parking program go ahead, a proposed $30 annual fee that was scheduled to become active in 2017 is on the chopping block.

Nine additional streets near the beach and Main Street were slated to be added to “resident only” parking zones.

“When residents in the affected areas were notified or became aware of the changes, many sent emails or spoke with Council members to express their concerns about the changes,” the report to council states, adding that businesses also voiced concerns.

If approved by council, the review of the 2012 parking plan will likely come with further public consultation, with the report leaving the door open to “new ideas” such as a parkade.

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