Walsh wants covenant on Riverside parkade
It’s been a hotly debated issue among the public and at city hall — and it appears the topic of a parkade at Riverside Park will once again be on council’s agenda.
Coun. Denis Walsh has brought forward a notice of motion, seeking to have a covenant placed on the planned two-level parkade to ensure a third level couldn’t be added without further approval from council.
The notice of motion will be on the agenda of the next city council meeting on May 31.
However, before Walsh’s idea can be discussed, he will need someone to second the motion, a task for which he may find little support from his fellow councillors.
Mayor Peter Milobar won’t support the idea, calling the proposal “redundant.
“The notice of motion he’s put forward is essentially that he wants council to do what they do on a daily basis, which is make decisions,” Milobar said, noting a covenant can be removed at any time without a public hearing.
Milobar said he does not want to predict what will be needed 20 years from now, arguing that permanently limiting the parkade to two stories limits future flexibility.
The mayor called the motion “an interesting way to keep the topic alive and keep it in the media.”
Nor will Coun. Tina Lange likely support the motion.
“To me, it would be a waste,” she said.
“I don’t want to presuppose what the community of Kamloops would want 10 years from now.”
Lange said a covenant isn’t a guarantee a third level won’t eventually be built — and she doesn’t want to “tie the hands” of future councils.
“Planning is the most important thing we do. If we don’t plan for the future and choice in the future, we’ve done something wrong,” she said.
“To take away the opportunity to add on to the parkade is removing choice.”
However, Walsh argued the rationale for the two-level change was to protect the view of the park and he’s concerned a third level will eventually be added.
“If the sight lines were a concern, they should still be a concern today,” he said.
In what was a surprise move, the city opted on May 3 to proceed with a two-level, 350-stall parkade where the Lorne Street parking lot now sits, at an estimated cost of $7.5 million.
The plan includes building 220 new stalls at a cost of $33,000 per stall and raising downtown parking-meter rates by 25 cents.
David Trawin, the city’s director of development and engineering, said the cost estimate to build the parkade included the foundation for a third level, but noted he hasn’t been given any direction from council either way.