Elk and Beaver Lake Park was among nine additional Capital Regional District parks that had been recommended for new parking fees. The CRD board rejected new fees for now, but asked staff to include parking revenue options in the regional parks strategic plan expected back at the board in 2022. (Black Press Media file photo)

Elk and Beaver Lake Park was among nine additional Capital Regional District parks that had been recommended for new parking fees. The CRD board rejected new fees for now, but asked staff to include parking revenue options in the regional parks strategic plan expected back at the board in 2022. (Black Press Media file photo)

Absence of new parking fees at Greater Victoria regional parks confirmed

CRD board rejects ‘modest’ interim fee structure, won’t see new options until 2022

Parking fees at Capital Regional District parks where none currently exist aren’t coming anytime soon.

On Wednesday, CRD board members approved a committee recommendation to have staff report back with new options for expanded parking fees, during the regional parks strategic planning process. With that plan not expected to return to the board until 2022, people who drive to CRD parks other than Thetis Lake and Sooke Potholes can park for free for the immediate future.

RELATED STORY: CRD parks committee rejects new Greater Victoria parking fees – again

Mirroring the decision at the recent CRD parks committee meeting, the board rejected a move to institute fees at other parks, this time at a “more modest” level than previously recommended by staff.

At the March 10 meeting, Salt Spring Island director Gary Holman lobbied for a “more modest parking revenue strategy” to be used in the interim until the strategic plan came forward. Ultimately that motion failed, with the board electing to stick with Victoria director Ben Isitt’s approved motion from the committee meeting, which put discussions over new fees into the strategic planning process, and emphasized property taxes as the preferred method of paying for CRD parks operations.

Isitt suggested that if the board’s preference was to go with a “user pay” system at CRD parks, “why stop at nine?” Noting he was skeptical about such an approach, he pointed to the potential fallout of such a decision.

“The benefit to the CRD of a little bit more revenue is outweighed by a controversy that is not supported by residents,” he said.

The idea of expanding parking revenues to help defray the rising costs of maintaining and operating CRD parks has been brought forward multiple times now by parks staff. Each time it has been discussed by elected officials, however, it has not received support, largely because of public outcry.

LETTER: CRD should scrap plan for parking fees at parks

CRD board vice-chair Rebecca Mersereau of Saanich reminded her colleagues that the public needs to be encouraged to visit parks using such alternatives as car pooling, transit or active transportation. She raised the spectre of clearing ever-increasing areas for parking, when the CRD needs to find new ways to address its climate goals.

Director and Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps offered her view of using new fees to shape park users’ behaviour.

“While this was brought up as revenue generation, it really is about demand management,” she said, noting the most frequently visited parks require the most maintenance.

She gave a Victoria anecdote as further explanation: “When we wanted to distribute parking (around downtown), we started charging on the street in front of businesses and made it free for the first hour in parkades.”


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CRD

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

Just Posted

A total of 10 flight exposures have affected the Victoria International Airport in April so far, making it the highest monthly total since the start of the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hits record-breaking number of monthly COVID-19 flight exposures

As of April 21, 10 flight exposures reported for the month

Victoria police are searching for Andrew Swanson who was last seen in Victoria April 7 and is wanted on warrants for choking and obstructing police. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police searching for missing man wanted for choking police

Andrew Swanson, 47, last seen in Victoria April 7

The Esquimalt Fire Department was called to a residence on Glengarry Place Tuesday afternoon for a fire that has displaced two families. There were no injuries and damage is being assessed. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt fire displaces two families

Fire damage at residence on Glengarry Place still being assessed

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of UVic varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read