Shelburne residents will be seeing changes to parking in the downtown core.
Shelburne town council, during their meeting on Monday (Jan. 25), approved a “hybrid” solution to parking in the William Street lot following a report from Clerk Jennifer Willoughby. The hybrid solution, based on recommendations from the Shelburne BIA, will see 19 of the current 28 permitted spaces at the William Street parking lot become public.
“Parking in the downtown core has continued to be challenging for many years in Shelburne,” noted Willoughby at the beginning of her report to council.
Shelburne’s BIA, approached town council at their last meeting on Jan. 7, looking to modify parking in the downtown core after concerns were raised about employees of local businesses parking on Main Street and Owen Sound Street in spaces intended for customers.
The BIA in 2017 requested Town staff seek solutions to the three-hour parking limit in the William Street parking lot and in consultation with the BIA and Economic Development Committee (EDC) approved a parking permit system as a pilot project.
Shelburne BIA, in their proposal, are now suggesting eliminating parking permits in the William Street lot, allowing for maximum time of four-hour free parking for community members to access stores and restaurants on main street.
Parking at the Wellington Street lot would remain free all-day with residential tenants having the ability to purchase overnight parking permits. Parking permit holders at the William Street lot would be transfered to the Wellington Street lot and overnight parking permit would be valid from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. On street parking would remain at a three-hour maximum.
The town receives an annual revenue of $4,980.53 from parking permits at the William Street and Wellington Street lots.
“Staff are recommending an increase in the monthly permit parking fee to $35.00 per month which is approximately $1.17 per day, there is an opportunity purchase those permits at $420.00 for the year, inclusive of HST,” said Willoughby. “The loss of revenue from the William Street lot will be collected by the additional permits to be sold in the Wellington Street lot.”
According to the report the increase in fees per month are based off of fees in surrounding municipalises.
Following the report, Coun. Walter Benotto and Mayor Wade Mills brought up some concerns of mobility for residents with permits and the shift to the Wellington Street parking lot.
Mills noted that two residents living on Main Street have reached out, concerned with the shift in parking lots creating inconvenience for those with children or mobility issues.
Willoughby said that currently there is one accessible spot permit in use at the William Street lot and that there is parking available for them at 126 Main Street.
Coun. Lindsay Wegner also address how residents she had spoken with were concerned and frustrated with having to pay more and possibly having the time frame of when they can park restricted.
“It’s hard to tell someone ‘you’re paying $35 a month for parking but you only get your parking spot for this much time’,” said Wegner.
The hybrid solution created and agreed on by council will see 19 spots out of the 28 at the William Street lot become public, while nine will continue as permit parking spots for tenants.
Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press