I am writing to express my concern over the overbearing and aggressive parking bylaw regulations being enforced at Centennial Arena.
While the White Rock pay-parking debate has been in the news over the years, it remains embarrassing that Centennial is the only community arena in the entire Lower Mainland area that charges families to park their car while their children participate in amateur sports.
Despite the efforts of our government, health professionals and schools to encourage young people to be physically active, the City of White Rock insists that users pay to park while they are at the ball fields, tennis courts, lacrosse box, curling rink or ice arena.
On May 15, I was at Centennial Arena to attend a brief lacrosse officials’ meeting. Although I have a valid parking decal that cost me $15 per year, the lot was full, so I parked safely and unobtrusively just outside of a marked spot.
I was in and out of the arena in less than five minutes, only to return to a bylaw officer hovering by my car. He had not yet written a ticket.
I calmly explained my situation and he very rudely and abruptly told me that I cannot park in this area. He then took a photograph of my license plate while I waited quietly for him to write me a ticket.
I subsequently appealed, following the process outlined on the ticket, and was surprised to receive a phone call from the city three days later informing me that my appeal was denied. It seems White Rock has a remarkably swift justice process in the bylaw enforcement department.
Over the past 14 years, members of our family have been positive contributors to the community by playing on teams, volunteering thousands of hours coaching hockey and lacrosse, and I have refereed lacrosse for the past six years.
On behalf of all users of the facilities, I urge the city to remove pay-parking from Centennial Arena. Similarly, officers need to exercise reasonable discretion interacting with all members of the community.
Dean Allison, Surrey