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Pay parking coming to Panorama, Deep Cove and Whey-ah-Wichen (Cates) parks

A motion to waive the $10 fee for passes for North Vancouver residents was defeated
Pay parking in Lynn Canyon was made permanent last year. | Paul McGrath / North Shore News

For those driving to the most popular parks in the District of North Vancouver this summer, don’t forget to bring your wallet.

At a meeting on Monday, June 3, council approved a plan that would introduce pay parking at Panorama, Deep Cove and Whey-ah-Wichen (Cates) parks.

Council passed an amendment to change the hours of effect from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. across all the parks, instead of running to 8 p.m. at some of them.

Council also directed staff to consult with Deep Cove Stage Society, with the purpose of making accommodations so the changes don’t negatively impact the small community theatre.

Couns. Lisa Muri and Jim Hanson tried to make another amendment that would waive a $10 fee for district residents to buy an annual parking pass. But that change to the motion was defeated, as the rest of council thought the charge was reasonable and helped to cover the cost of administering the passes.

After a successful 2021-22 pay parking pilot in Lynn Canyon Park, the district made that program permanent in 2023.

During a presentation at Monday’s meeting, district staff said the change at Lynn Canyon was evidence that pay parking is an effective tool to manage parking at peak times.

Pay parking encourages park visitors to use means other than vehicles to get there, and for drivers it encourages a higher rate of turnover, said Nicole Foth, parks planner for the district.

The program is expected to roll out this summer, and run March 1 to Oct. 31 annually after that. Fees will be waived for visitors with the appropriate disability pass.

Pay parking in the district is expected to bring in gross revenue of $800,000, which will be subject to a 24-per-cent tax that goes to TransLink. Leftover profit will go back into the district’s park fund, Foth said.

Council split on fee for residents' pass

Muri said she was concerned about how the local theatre in Deep Cove would be affected.

“Usually those shows start at 8 p.m., but people arrive there at seven … for dinner,” she said. “I’m not sure that we can’t align this with the Lynn Canyon parking hours and keep it at 6 p.m. and look to see if we can adjust in the future.”

Considering residents have recently received their tax notice, Hanson said residents shouldn’t have to pay an additional $10 for a parking pass.

“I can’t imagine the amount of money that’s raised from this $10 fee,” he said.

While Coun. Catherine Pope said she had no problem with the amendment, she asked staff if the fee was tied to the cost of administering the passes.

Mayor Mike Little responded: “If I recall the report at the time, we believed that about $20 would have been cost recovery at the time that was originally brought in. The $10 was a moderation on that."

He added that $10 is a modest charge and isn’t going to cause anyone grief when the regular parking rate is $3 per hour. Also, the charge would help pay staff to verify that pass applicants are actually from the district and not selling or sharing them, Little said.

Ultimately, an amendment to waive the fee was defeated by a majority of council.

Coun. Jordan Back asked if funds from the pay parking could go toward new active transportation infrastructure, like bike parking.

The response from staff was yes.

“When we went to pay parking for Lynn Canyon, we also looked at improvements for active transportation there such as installing bike racks, putting in a Lime bike grove, things like that,” Foth said.

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