Downtown parking permit fees will increase from $12.50 to $35 per month as the Town of Shelburne introduces new measures.
Council, at the suggestion of Denyse Morrissey, chief administrative officer, will implement the plan for one year with a review to follow.
“It’ll give us time to review what, like the City of Ottawa has, where you have to provide evidence that the requirement to park close is a condition of your needs and that you’re not capable of using the Wellington lot, for example.”
There are nine permits at this time dedicated to residential tenants at the Williams Street lot, and they will not have to change spots. Other current permit holders on Williams Street will need to transfer to the Wellington Street lot.
Mayor Wade Mills called for a hybrid approach, where a majority of the lots are kept open for short-term customer parking and a certain number earmarked for residential tenants who require full-time parking overnight. Coun. Lindsay Wegener thought otherwise.
“Thinking about that, and the proposed increase in permit pricing, it’s hard to tell someone they’re paying $35 a month, but you only get their parking for an amount of time,” said Wegener.
Administration, in conducting research of surrounding municipalities related to fees for parking, found the fees range on average range from $30 to $80 per month or $800 to $2,000 for the year.
They note the loss of revenue from the William Street lot will be collected by the additional permits to be sold in the Wellington Street lot.
Other measures include: three-hour parking on the west side of Victoria Street; William Street properly marked as three-hour parking; five spaces on First Avenue changed to a 15-minute limit; and permit-only for overnight parking in Wellington lot.
The initiatives will bring in revenue from parking, allow for more parking downtown, add22 spaces at the Victoria municipal lot, seven new spaces at the William municipal lot and guaranteed parking spaces for permit holders, among many other things. Parking space will increase by 15 per cent and alleviate concerns in the downtown core.
Morrissey questioned what role the town has in providing tenancy parking for those who have landlords who do not provide that accommodation.
“There are many municipalities that provide that service, but we have to look at that, in terms of the balance,” said Willoughby.
Councillors Walter Benotto and Kyle Fegan pushed for leaving the nine residential permit holders alone.
“These tenants have been potentially living there for a few years,” said Fegan. “For us to, pull the rug underneath them, on a stroke of a pen, (would be) unfair to them.”
Benotto was also concerned about drivers who have mobility impairments.
Jennifer Willoughby, the clerk for the Town of Shelburne, said parking can be provided for those persons, on-site, at 126 Main St. E.
Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner