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Policy parked up to July 2018

A DRAFT parking policy including any changes in the charge for parking meters will not take effect until July 1, 2018 the District Council’s environmental planning and regulation committee was told.

The committee was approving a lengthy 2017 parking schedule.It outlined the areas where parking was prohibited or otherwise restricted, included a number of historic changes to parking in the central business district.

The new schedules covered more than 30 pages in the council agenda and staff said they were so long because the schedules had not been amended for 10 years.

For the parking bylaw to be enforceable the charges needed to be scheduled.

There would be consultation where major changes were proposed but in some cases the change might only involve one parking space next to a dairy.

Malcolm MacLean said the meter fees were not consistent. In some areas it was $1 an hour, in others it was $1.50 and others $2. Why should one street such as Grey Street be $1.50 and Bright Street and Peel Street be $2?

“Why isn’t there consistency even between the side streets?” he asked.

He was told the busier the area, the more sought after the park.

Committee chair Pat Seymour said these charges were a mish mash. They should all be $1 an hour.

In the first schedule there were six parks in Customhouse Street and 11 five minutes later.

“How is the public supposed to make sense of this?” she asked.

If the council made them all $1 and put that in the 10-year plan it would be so much simpler. Also the council would be responding to what the community had been generally asking for.

Lifeline director David Wilson said this was not the time to discuss charges.

The schedules were telling the council where things were and what the parking charges were.

A paper would be coming to the next council meeting where it could make the calls they were talking about. That was something for the council to do under the parking policy, not through the schedules.

Enforcement manager Jim Single said there had been two workshops and a month of consultation with the public and staff had come up with what they believed was a brilliant parking policy.

“There are some great things in there. For example if you are a Polytech student you can get a month long parking permit at a discounted rate. There will be free parking in some locations offset with some new charges in other areas and all driving towards a better urban strategy development.

Mrs Seymour said the schedules presented at the meeting were to run through to June 30, 2018. Any changes the council might discuss would come into effect from July 1, 2018.

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