Soloman and Zev Nagler enjoy time on the beach at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park on a summer day. The Capital Regional District is in the process of determining whether to institute parking fees at this and eight other CRD parks. (Black Press Media file photo)

Soloman and Zev Nagler enjoy time on the beach at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park on a summer day. The Capital Regional District is in the process of determining whether to institute parking fees at this and eight other CRD parks. (Black Press Media file photo)

CRD parks committee rejects new Greater Victoria parking fees – again

More arguments against fee hikes, pay parking at nine parks, brought forward by committee members

The idea of using seasonal paid parking in nine additional Capital Regional District parks has been shelved.

After defeating motions that would have seen new parking fees implemented in nine parks, and gradually increasing fees at Thetis Lake and Sooke Potholes parks – the only two without free parking – CRD parks committee members voted unanimously Wednesday on a motion that ultimately pushed fee discussions into the regional parks strategic planning process.

Focusing on the fact property taxes, not parking revenue, makes up the vast majority of the operating funding for the parks system, Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt’s motion took the ‘yes or no’ decision away from instituting new fees and broadened the recommendation. Not only did it call for an endorsement of the appropriateness of using tax money to fund parks, it directed staff to report back on additional parking revenue options, “with a view toward maintaining accessibility for diverse parks users and ensuring fairness for users across the regional parks system.”

RELATED STORY: Greater Victoria politicians ditch plan for $7 daily parking at Thetis Lake

Parks that were on the list of nine recommended by CRD staff for seasonal parking fees in 2022 were Devonian, East Sooke, Elk/Beaver Lake, Francis/King, Horth Hill, Matheson Lake, Mill Hill, Mount Work and Witty’s Lagoon.

The recommended schedule called for 2021 parking fees at Thetis Lake and Sooke Potholes to be $2 for two hours or less, $4 per day and $30 for the season. Those rates would follow at the nine new parks the following year and all would rise to $7 a day and $60 a year by 2023.

“I can’t imagine pushing this through without any consultation,” said View Royal Mayor David Screech, whose municipality is home to Thetis Lake Park. While the current $2.25/day rates at Thetis are a “token” amount, he said, “if you look at $7 for a family or $60 a year, that’s a whole other issue.”

Island View Beach in Central Saanich, and Albert Head Lagoon in Metchosin were not on the list of nine parks identified for possible fees as their parking lots are not on CRD land. The report called for discussions with those respective municipalities in 2021 about the options, but Central Saanich council voted unanimously Monday to oppose parking fees for the beachfront park.

RELATED STORY: Proposed parking fees for Island View Beach under fire

CRD staff had brought forward a revenue generation strategy last November, but were sent back to the drawing board by the committee. Directors asked for revisions including options for lower fee increases, short-term paid parking, gradual or accelerated paid parking plans and the revenue implications of year-round paid parking.

Parking revenue accounts for approximately $200,000 in a total parks budget of about $14 million, directors heard. Seasonal paid parking at Thetis, Sooke and the nine other parks could generate an additional $1.9 million a year. But Larisa Hutchison, CRD general manager of parks and environmental services, called that figure “very much an estimate,” made without knowledge of how the public might respond, especially to fees being instituted in the nine new parks.


 

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

Some Saanich firefighters have expressed concerns about first responders in the Island Health Region not being prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as an outbreak at a fire station would make service delivery a challenge. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich firefighters not prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine despite working on frontlines

Members express frustration, department calls on Island Health to take action

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 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 related to a domestic assault and obstructing police. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police searching for missing man wanted for domestic assault

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

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

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

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

Most Read