Port Moody may have to pay to play at Rocky Point
A visit to Rocky Point Park may soon come with a cost beyond the price of gas: pay parking.
At Tuesday's meeting, Port Moody council grappled with a staff report on a proposal to add pay parking, an issue that has been on the backburner for several years but has resurfaced due to the coming Evergreen Line.
Reports and discussions on pay parking have been simmering for nearly 10 years, and included a Moody Centre parking study commissioned in 2004. That study was never presented to council for implementation because of the province's announcement of the Evergreen Line.
On Tuesday, Coun. Diana Dilworth suggested a motion slightly different from that which staff proposed, calling for staff to build a city-wide pay parking strategy for key areas, with a phased-in approach and starting with Rocky Point in the summer of 2013.
"We need to put forward a clear political will on pay parking in Port Moody," Dilworth said.
But Coun. Rick Glumac disagreed, saying it is premature to establish a parking plan for the whole city without knowing what the post-Evergreen Line problems will be.
"I'm not sure that we need to go that far down the pay parking road right now," he said in an interview Wednesday. "I'm not sure we need a draft strategy for pay parking throughout the community. I don't think there's support for that."
He also drew on Coquitlam's plans to raise new revenue by working with developers seeking parking reductions in developments near transit.
The money from reduced parking requirements could then go to build centralized parking structures near the West Coast Express or Moody Centre Evergreen stations, Glumac said.
Councillors Rosemary Small and Zoe Royer said they are concerned pay parking might hurt local businesses, with Royer suggesting Moody residents get two hours of free parking at Rocky Point.
"If we're going to wait until we have SkyTrain to determine what type of parking problem we might have, we'll be pushing parking problems into Moody Centre like we do now," Dilworth argued. "Why not get started working on a plan now, with a phased approach?"
Her motion was defeated, however, with a subsequent motion by Mayor Mike Clay to have staff report back on options to introduce pay parking in Rocky Point, with options for revenue allocation and free parking for residents, getting approved.
Dilworth voted against the motion and added a new one, which will have staff work on a parking management strategy — both paid and unpaid — as part of the official community plan update.