Neighbours irked by suspension bridge overflow parking plan

A proposal to demolish townhouses and build an overflow parking lot for the Capilano Suspension Bridge brought forward by Capilano Group earlier this year has caused ripples in the community.

An application for a temporary use permit to allow parking at 3438 Capilano Rd.  has been submitted to the District of North Vancouver. The lot will act as an overflow parking lot in an attempt to alleviate traffic, according to Capilano Group spokeswoman Sue Kaffka.

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Not all neighbours are on board, however. Residents are concerned that more parking will invite more people to drive to the tourist attraction instead of taking public transit or the free shuttle the suspension bridge offers.

At a meeting held March 13, hefty discussions were had by residents, according to Ridgewood Gardens resident Bonny Ball.

“I can’t think of anybody who wanted a parking lot who was in the audience,” Ball said.

According to Kaffka, the new lot would merely replace an overflow parking lot at Handsworth Secondary that they have lost due to the school’s pending redevelopment.

The townhouses that are on the property currently have been vacant since the land was bought by Capilano Group.

“Right now we’re sort of in limbo,” Kaffka said.

Kaffka said that it would be ideal to have a permanent parking lot in the future, or maybe turn it into an underground parking lot, but it is unclear at this point.

“We will always be looking at a solution, working with the neighbours because we do need their support,” Kaffka said.

The initial estimate is that an additional 80 to 100 parking bays will be available on the lot.

 “[Visitors are] going to park somewhere and they’re going to come and we want to make it as easy for the guests and the neighbours to all get along,” Kaffka said.

Some neighbours are welcoming the proposal.

Gloria Chao, who lives in a cul de sac that visitors often misuse as an overflow parking lot, said that this plan will help to alleviate the problem.

“This is our home, our castle. And it’s just frustrating to have all these cars park in front of our home,” Chao said.

Both Chao and Ball said they have a positive outlook on the park itself and what it offers.

“We must remember that two of the top attractions in B.C. if not Canada are in Capilano road,” Kaffka said.

At this point there are no plans to expand the park itself, according to Kaffka.

“Our experiences are improving but the park the way it is, is perfect,” Kaffka said.


Suspension bridge parking
The townhouses that may soon be demolished. Photo supplied.

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