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Pay to play at Rocky Point
Get ready to bust out your wallet when visiting Rocky Point Park — unless you're a Port Moody resident.
At Tuesday's meeting, council approved a one-year trial of pay parking at the popular park, making it the only park in the Tri-Cities where visitors will have to pay for parking.
Non-resident park users will have to pay $1 per hour with a four-hour maximum.
Port Moody residents will park for free but will have to register their vehicles — up to two licence plates per household — which will involve scanning and emailing vehicle insurance documents proving a PoMo address.
The move comes about two years after council first started considering adding pay parking to Rocky Point; in late 2012, council was discussing a city-wide parking strategy for key areas as a way of handling potential parking issues around the Evergreen Line.
Despite numerous discussions on the matter since then, Mayor Mike Clay was still not happy with the pay parking proposal.
"We have not had a single piece of positive feedback on pay parking at Rocky Point Park," he said, noting there has been no public consultation on the proposal and the city shouldn't be surprised when there is a backlash from park users.
A PoMo resident also spoke out against it, saying her parents often take her kids to Rocky Point but because they live in Coquitlam — just five blocks from the PoMo border — they would have to pay.
Coun. Gerry Nuttall supported the move, saying the park lot is often full and "we have to make sure our residents get the most benefit from it."
The cost of the trial program is pegged at about $36,000 for annual operating costs and nearly $7,000 in one-time set-up costs.
The machines — which will be located in Lots A, B and E (on Murray Street and in front of the Boathouse restaurant) — will be similar to the "pay by licence plate" machines used in Coquitlam.
Clay and Coun. Zoe Royer, who has opposed pay parking because of its potential effects on nearby businesses, voted against the proposal. The trial period was passed with amendments to use any surplus parking revenue for park improvements, and to add signage to the lots communicating what the money will be used for.