Tourists face $400 fines for reportedly using 1 parking pass for 5 motorcycles in Harrison

Visitor to Harrison Hot Springs calls the fairness of bylaws into question

The motorists have the right to debate their $100 fines but they could face additional fines if an adjudicator finds the violations took place. (Contributed Photo)

Creativity pays off in a lot of ways, but it may not help with parking tickets.

An angry motorist recently wrote in to The Observer after being hit with four $100 parking tickets over the peak tourism season at Harrison Hot Springs after they and their friends elected to pay for one parking pass and park five motorcycles in a single parking stall along Esplanade Avenue.

According to the August 11 ticket, the reason for the fines was “Failure to display valid receipt.” Under remarks, it reads “Payment is required for each motorcycle.” The motorist told The Observer they purchased and displayed one pass, believing paying for and parking the motorcycles each in their own separate spot would have caused other visitors grief, especially during the busy season.

RELATED: Harrison Hot Springs resumes paid parking

“We all feel that this is unreasonable as well as illegal for [the village] to ticket us in this manner when signage does not indicate the necessity to pay for multiple vehicles in one parking spot,” the letter to The Observer reads. “Further, our implied parking contract with [the village] upon buying a permit for rental of one parking space and parking in it and otherwise meeting all posted conditions has been met.”

“I feel absolutely sure a reasonable person, given the same circumstances, would have done the same thing as we did,” they added.

Was the motorist in the right? Not according to the current local bylaws.

Community services coordinator Rhonda Schell said the village’s pay parking program is not based on renting out stalls and that all vehicles in the pay parking zones are required to purchase a ticket. Furthermore, under Section 27.w. of the Highways and Traffic Bylaw (on page 10), it states that a motor vehicle cannot be parked “in such close proximity to another vehicle as to obstruct or unduly restrict movement of other vehicles.”

Schell stated that there are several smaller stalls along the waterfront reserved for motorcycles, identified with signage and painted decals on the ground.

Had the parking fines paid in seven days, they would be reduced by half to $50 each. The motorist and their friends intend to dispute the tickets, according to the letter to The Observer.

Disputing is well within the motorists’ rights, and the village has a procedure in place for such an occasion. If a motorist were to dispute the ticket, a report of the incident would be forwarded to the local screening officer. The screening officer is independent from the village government and acts as an arbiter for the dispute.

RELATED: COVID-19 impact on tourism communities like Harrison ‘devastating’

When a screening officer contacts a disputing motorist, they will ask for basic information such as the circumstances of the alleged violation. Should the screening officer be unable to settle the dispute, the disputer can then file for a bylaw adjudication hearing. If the adjudicator finds the alleged violation did in fact occur, the motorist would be subject to an additional $25 adjudication fee to be paid immediately.

This year, the Harrison Hot Springs Village Council voted 4-1 to approve the following fee structure: $2 for the first hour, $3 for the second and $4 for the third.

For five parking passes – one for each motorcycle involved in this incident, assuming the three-hour limit was paid for, this would’ve cost a grand total of $45 for the day.

Schell said the main purpose of the pay parking program is to fund maintenance of the waterfronts, playgrounds and other amenities around the village during peak tourist season.


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
news@ahobserver.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Harrison Hot Springs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Five Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures, including another at Panorama Ridge

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

BC Liberal Surrey South candidate Stephanie Cadieux and supporters rally in Grandview Corners in the lead-up to the election. (Contributed photo)
BC Liberal Stephanie Cadieux on track to reclaim Surrey South seat

Final results won’t be known until after mail-in ballots are tallied

Surrey-White Rock front-runner Trevor Halford, who is represented by the BC Liberal Party, watches the election results come in Saturday evening. According to The Canadian Press, Halford is expected to be the MLA for the riding. (Contributed photo)
BC Liberal Trevor Halford expected to take Surrey-White Rock seat

Halford says he’s ‘absolutely thrilled’ with preliminary results

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

file
One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Most Read