New one-hour limits at three Five Corners’ parking spots are confusing customers and impacting business, some merchants say.
But the intent of the change – which took effect about two months ago – is to make business viable for all, White Rock Mayor Catherine Ferguson said.
The city installed signage designating the one-hour spots in response to concerns from area merchants who complained of a need for more regular turnover, Ferguson said.
“There are some businesses there that have customers that aren’t longterm, such as the barber shop and the tailor. They have expressed concerns to the city about the fact that they’re losing customers,” Ferguson said.
“Customers need to be able to access their business earlier than every two hours.”
The change was applied to three of 14 parking stalls located in front of the 15202-15228 Pacific Ave. complex, on the road’s south side.
According to a Jan. 4 letter addressed to one merchant, the stalls were converted in response to a petition requesting that all the stalls be changed to one-hour. A subsequent city survey of area businesses that determined only three of nine businesses were in favour of the change resulted in the current compromise, the letter states.
“The decision… was not arbitrary,” city manager Peggy Clark writes.
Clark notes restricted hours were also extended by an hour (to start at 8 a.m. Monday to Saturday) on all parking stalls in an effort to help alleviate the problem, and that the two-hour limit on stalls on the north side of Pacific remains unchanged.
While Ferguson and other city officials agree the change is a compromise, they acknowledged it won’t please everyone.
“It’s an ongoing issue and there’s always going to be somebody unhappy,” said Paul Stanton, the city’s director of planning and development services.
Lifelong Health partners Dr. Rod LeBlanc and Glynis de Crewe-LeBlanc are among those opposed to the change. They have petitioned the city to revert the three stalls back to a two-hour limit, to no avail.
“It is inconveniencing the clients and it really makes for bad business,” de Crewe-LeBlanc said of the switch.
“This is ridiculous. It doesn’t support the business here.”
LeBlanc noted the change now means there are six signs denoting seven parking changes along the stretch of stalls.
“It’s a confusing situation… for everyone. It really doesn’t make sense to a lot of people,” he said.
De Crewe-LeBlanc said Lifelong staff were some of the first to receive parking tickets. Client Connie Fisher said she, too, was ticketed, after not noticing the parking restrictions had changed. Fisher, who frequents the area regularly, complained the changes weren’t clear.
The city has since forgiven her citation, and painted the restrictions onto each of the affected spots.
“It’s good to see that it pays to say something,” she said.
As for the merchants, Ferguson said the changes are here to stay for the time being, but could be reviewed if need be.
“There’s parking on both sides of the street. We’re talking three spots,” she said. “We all want people to do well and have the opportunity to do so, and try and find a middle ground. At this point, it seems reasonable to me.”