Kamloops says no to new parking lot, closes another
More than 40 parking spaces available for monthly and hourly use will be disappearing from the downtown stock at the end of 2012.
The off-street lot, managed by Impark and owned by the Kamloops YMCA/YWCA, is located next to the YMCA’s Battle Street facility.
For about seven years, it’s been covered by temporary-use permits from the city, which allow a different use for the property without requiring a permanent zoning change.
However, Colin Reid, chief executive officer of the Kamloops YMCA/YWCA, told KTW the latest temporary permit has expired and city policy doesn’t allow for another renewal.
To keep the parking lot operating as it is, the YMCA would need to have the lot rezoned for that use.
Reid said that’s not an option that interests the YMCA at this time.
Instead, the organization is working with city staff to determine what else it can do with the lot.
“I think the property is more valuable for the community longer term for something other than a parking lot,” he said.
“Should the Y ever want to redevelop or add on, having the property zoned for those purposes is probably of more value to us than having it zoned as a parking lot.”
Under the city’s bylaw, a landowner can get a temporary use permit for a maximum of six years, in two three-year terms.
Impark operations on the lot will end on Dec. 31, 2012.
Reid said it’s not clear yet what the lot will be used for, but it may be used exclusively for YMCA member parking in the short term.
Plans for a different temporary lot also stalled earlier this summer.
Impark’s Maria Wetterstrand said the owners of the former Whiteway Cleaners site on West Victoria Street had asked the company to set up a parking lot on the vacant land.
Monthly parking would have cost $25.
But, when the owner was told by the city he would have to do landscaping and other work on the lot, he balked, Wetterstrand said.
“So, he now has a weed-infested lot and people park there anyway for free. So, that was, I guess, the better alternative.”
She said it’s frustrating, given the parking crunch in the downtown, but there’s not much her company can do.
“It’s not my fight, unfortunately. We work for owners. We can only do so much.”
City planning and development manager Randy Lambright said staff tried to work with the lot owner, but the city has design standards that must to be met.
“We provided them with some options — we didn’t say no. We said it would have to go through some kind of a process.
“In other words, pave it, drain it, landscape it or whatever, right?” he said.
“To just have a dirt lot there is not in keeping with the standards of the city-centre plan.”