It looks like pay parking is coming to Rocky Point Park - at least if your home address isn't in the City of the Arts.
City council has given staff direction to come up with a plan for pay parking at the popular Port Moody park on a trial basis.
Though the exact details of the plan need to be finalized and approved by council, the direction was to find a private vendor to install pay parking in three of the lots at the park and charge for residents outside the city only.
Port Moody residents would be allowed to park for free by either being assigned a decal or through recognitions of their license plate.
Exactly what it will cost to park and what kind of machine will be placed at the park still needs to be determined.
The final details and ultimate approval of the parking plan is expected to be done at a future council meeting, likely after the summer.
Mayor Mike Clay said he sees the plan to only charge out-of-towners to park at the park as a compromise for the local residents opposed to the idea.
And he's not worried making visitors pay to play will send a message the park is an unwelcome place for people who live outside the city.
"Any good park in the Lower Mainland, you're paying to park," Clay said
The mayor pointed out there is no pay parking anywhere in the city, which he suggested is an anomaly in Metro Vancouver.
Clay said bringing in a fee is about managing demand for parking, but added he hopes the plan doesn't chase people to park out in residential neighbourhoods. The city has been considering pay parking at Rocky Point for some time.
According to a staff report, administering pay parking in-house would cost the city between $65,000 to $115,000 for the hardware alone.
Clay noted the decision to use a private vendor means there would be no capital cost to the city. Instead, the city and the vendor would split gross revenue, which could be about $85,000.
Last month council scrapped a plan to spend $5,000 on public consultation.
There have been suggestions to take the revenue and put it into beautification projects at the park or around the city.
Coun. Rick Glumac said he wants to see the details before supporting the plan, including where the revenue will go. Though he said he understands Port Moody residents already pay taxes and might not want to pay to park, visitors from outside the city don't.
"I think it's reasonable when a resident comes into Port Moody and uses the park, that they make a small contribution to making our city look more beautiful," Glumac said, adding the fee would be a nominal amount.
A report earlier this year identified seven lots in and around Rocky Point Park that provide free parking.
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