Parking changes proposed

The City of Penticton will try to make better use of underutilized parking spaces in the downtown, with proposed changes going before city council next week.

After about three months of outreach this spring and summer, city staff are coming back to council with community feedback and several tweaks to the downtown parking system.

Residents have been loud and clear, there is a strong desire to keep parking along the lakeshore free.

That desire, the staff report states, “is not out of thriftiness, but reflects widespread concern about the affordability of Penticton for all of residents and the desire to be welcoming of tourists.”

Staff are, however, suggesting three hour parking be brought to Lakeshore Dr. between Winnipeg and Power St., to bring the street in line with areas closer to the downtown.

“As is stands right now, during the week many employees downtown park in in these spaces and take away availability for tourists,” the report states.

To make up for the loss of employee spaces, staff are proposing converting the 70-spot $1/hr lot at the end of Martin St. to reserved weekday parking between October and May. As it stands now, the lot goes mostly unused outside of tourist season.

Four city-owned parking lots (85 stalls) on Backstreet Blvd. and Ellis St. are currently reserved 24/7, but are proposed to be made public on the evenings and weekends.

Angle parking is also being floated for Westminster Avenue East between Ellis Street and Norton Street, where 30 stalls are often filled in the evenings by patrons to Cannery, Mile Zero and FitKidz.

Staff are recommending the resident only downtown parking areas remain unchanged, and the city spend about $20,000 on better signage to promote parking locations.

Downtown Penticton will be losing an estimated 250 stalls in the near future due to development, and city staff have also recommended policy changes in that department.

Right now, a developer not meeting parking-stall per unit bylaw requirements is on the hook for $6,000 per missing stall. Staff are recommending jacking that fee up to $20,000 a stall.

Council will debate the changes Tuesday.

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