Mindful of the gradual reopening of shops and restaurants as B.C. enters phase two of its Restart Plan, White Rock council has decided to extend temporary 30-minute parking on the waterfront to a two-hour pay parking limit.
The new extended time should be implemented by the end of the week, according to financial services director Colleen Ponzini (also responsible for parking and enforcement), who told council at Tuesday’s meeting that it only required printing some new stickers to modify existing parking signs.
She said the extension to two hours for the spaces currently open on the waterfront was to have been suggested by staff as part of a broader reopening plan for the city – including a phased reopening of the promenade, the pier, the West Beach parkade and city buildings and services – that will be outlined to council at the May 25 meeting.
But the motion to move up extended parking by a week came from Coun. Anthony Manning, who said that non-restaurant businesses would suffer from inadequate parking time for customers.
“I really want to do everything possible to help the handful of businesses that are starting to reopen,” Manning said. “They’ve been without income now for nearly two months. For some of them, (it will be) a week or two longer, before they can get more customers into their establishments, and maybe longer than that.”
“(Businesses) are really, really hurting,” said Coun. Scott Kristjanson. “One week makes all the difference – people are talking about closing up, right now.”
The motion followed discussion of businesses giving customers temporary official placards – either from the city or the BIA – to place in cars so that parking enforcement officers would know which shops they were visiting and could refrain from writing tickets.
But Ponzini said that having conflicting rules for different segments of the public would create problems for enforcement staff, and that she favoured an overall extension of parking time as an easier way for the city to support business.
Four-hour reserved parking continues to be available on the West Beach to residents with yellow, annual parking decals (for 2019 or 2020).