City Plans to Remove Parking Requirements to Encourage Redevelopment in Downtown Core

Tue, October 25, 2022

Removal of Requirements Part of a Broader Strategy that will Maximize Parking in other areas

PRINCE RUPERT, OCTOBER 25th, 2022 – Last night Prince Rupert City Council gave First and Second readings to a proposed Zoning Amendment that would remove minimum parking standards from the City’s downtown core. This policy recommendation is one of a suite of actions proposed as part of an Interim Parking Strategy adopted this summer, which includes proposals to more effectively orient parking in other downtown areas, and to seek additional opportunities to develop public lots.

“Downtown revitalization is a key component of Council’s 2030 Vision for the community, and we continue to lay the foundations necessary to attract new investments,” said outgoing Mayor Lee Brain. “Alongside our tax incentive package to encourage existing building owners to reinvest, we know we also needed to remove existing barriers for potential businesses - streamlining new development proposals.”

Now that the Bylaw has received its first two readings, the City will hold a public hearing to receive feedback from the community on this proposed change. The Public Hearing will be scheduled in the near future, with notice to be placed on the City’s website, social media accounts and in the newspaper.

BACKGROUND

The development of Parking Specified Areas is employed in other municipalities, and is more and more commonplace as cities adopt smart growth principles that encourage walkability and densification in urban cores. If adopted, commercial and mixed used developments will no longer be  required to provide the specified number of parking stalls or pay in-lieu fees, in order to encourage revitalization. This does not prevent developers providing additional off-street parking if desired and does not affect existing businesses. In addition, pay in lieu would continue to be required outside of the proposed Parking Specified Area (see map of proposed area below). If approved by Council, this amendment would apply to commercial and mixed-use revitalization efforts in the proposed area in the downtown core, but not to buildings that are solely for residential use.

Businesses that have already paid into the pay-in-lieu program will continue to not have to provide any additional parking – nothing will change for them. The proposed policy to remove minimum requirements only applies to new developments or change in use of the building, although any change in use or new construction will have to maintain any existing parking already on the property. With any Zoning or policy change, existing non-conformance will be permitted to remain. Pay-in-lieu funds that have been collected may go toward the future development of City parking lots.

For more information on the City’s full Interim Parking Strategy, head to the Rupert Talks page at: https://engage.princerupert.ca/park-prince-rupert

Map of Proposed Parking Specified Area

 

MEDIA CONTACT:
Veronika Stewart, Communications Manager, City of Prince Rupert

Office: (250) 627 0976
Cell: (778) 884 6285
Email: veronika.stewart@princerupert.ca

 

Press Release - City Plans to Remove Parking Requirements to Encourage Development in Downtown Core