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Courtenay to ban hospital pay parking

Record staff

 

The City of Courtenay is following the lead taken by the City of Campbell River, and moving forward with a ban against pay parking at the new hospital.

Campbell River council voted unanimously on Feb. 20 to adopt a bylaw amendment prohibiting pay parking at its new hospital.

At an in-camera meeting on Monday, March 6, Courtenay city council voted commence proceedings to do the same.

A March 8 press release stated council “voted to make public its decision

directing to staff to prepare a zoning bylaw amendment restricting pay park- ing in Public Use and Assembly Three (PA-3) and Four (PA-4) zones. The new Comox Valley hospital falls within the PA-4 zone.”

“Definitely, our intent is to have a bylaw which would prohibit pay park- ing in public assembly zones P3 and P4. Prohibit. Not allowed,”said Mayor Larry Jangula, when asked to clarify the term “restricting.”

Jangula said the council vote came after considerable discussion and review

of legal advice on the implications of prohibiting pay parking.

“We know the pay parking debate has been a big issue in this community. We believe this decision reflects the best interests of our citizens as well as our municipality.”

Pay parking can result in costs being inadvertently transferred to local government, with parking spilling over into nearby neighbourhood streets and businesses, and greatly increasing the need for bylaw enforcement.

“The City has already had to increase parking enforcement in the area,” advised Jangula. “At times during

hospital construction, our parking and bylaw enforcement staff were patrolling the area up to seven or eight times a day.”

City staff will be presenting the bylaw amendment to re- strict paid parking at the March 20 regular council meeting. A public hearing will be held at a later date.

“Island Health and the hospital project staff have been great community partners with this project, and we anxiously await the opening of this in- credible facility,” said Jangula. “We look for- ward to continued dialogue with the hospital team and our citizens on the parking issue.”

The PA-3 zone covers school properties, including the North Island College Courtenay campus. Ac- cording to the Local Government Act, the current paid parking at North Island College would be considered a non-conforming established use and could therefore continue.

–With files from City of Courtenay

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