In a move to address ongoing parking concerns in the city, White Rock council has endorsed an increase in equipment operating costs, and requested a preliminary report on the possibility of a city-wide parking review as part of strategic planning discussions.
In a unanimous vote on Monday (June 29), council approved the recommendations of a report from financial services director Colleen Ponzini, who is also responsible for parking and enforcement.
The recommendations include an additional $10,000 in operating costs, which will come from the city’s operating contingency budget.
Ponzini told council that while current ticketing figures show enforcement is taking place at 2018 and 2019 levels, continuing complaints show that increased enforcement is necessary in the short-term, particularly in light of recent COVID-19 changes to parking on the waterfront and development-related parking issues in the uptown area.
Using budgeted temporary staff, she said, the increase will enable the city’s parking enforcement division to have two more officers to schedule over the next three months.
“There are currently two parking officers on at one time who perform all parking-related functions throughout the city,” she noted.
“The additional staff will require some equipment to perform their role, which is estimated to cost approximately $10,000 for the three months.”
Ponzini said staff believe many issues related to parking – including a significant amount of parking stock added since 2014, plus updated pay parking at the hospital, arena and the new waterfront parkade – are ripe for a city-wide parking review that could best be completed with outside consultant expertise on best practices.
“Such a review would consider the current parking regulations, oversight, and technology which are interrelated and involve all sorts of topics such as – but not limited to – signage, bylaws, demand management, equipment, software, rates, enforcement practices, bylaw adjudication, customer service, and management,” she said.
A motion before council from Coun. Scott Kristjanson to re-open the waterfront parkade was defeated on a split vote, however.
Staff told council that while physical re-opening of the parkade could be accomplished within two days, a number of reports on managing physical distancing, cleaning, signage and other safety considerations for use of the parkade are still pending.