Update Sept. 11, 5:15 p.m.
Kelowna city council has approved a staff recommendation turn the city hall parking lot into a paid lot after 4 p.m. on weekdays and on weekends as of Oct. 1. The lot is currently free to use after 6 p.m. weekdays and on weekends.
The city says it is doing so to encourage more use of the three city parkades downtown.
The city will also reduce the special event parking rate at the new Memorial Parkade on Ellis Street to $3 from $5 and keep the $5 special event rate at the nearby Library Parkade. But it will increase the same rate at the Chapman Parkade two blocks away to $7 from $5.
It will also designate the parking lot on St. Paul Street downtown as a long-term lot, thus eliminating the reduced rate charged there during the off-season.
Pending Kelowna city council’s approval, drivers could be losing free access to parking at city hall in the evenings and on weekends.
A city staff recommendation is calling for turning the parking lot at Kelowna city hall downtown into a paid lot after business hours.
Currently the entire lot—with the exception of a few free spaces along Water Street for visitors doing business at city hall—is reserved during the day for city employees between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays. Between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. on weekdays, and all day on weekends, the entire lot is free.
The new proposal calls for charging $1 per hour and $6 per day for parking in the lot after 4 p.m. (when city hall closes) until 11 p.m. on weekdays, and from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends.
In a report going to council today, parking manger Dave Duncan says the move could help promote use of the three downtown city parkades, located nearby beside the Okanagan Regional Library branch and beside Memorial Arena, and the Chapman Parkade a few blocks away. It would make the city hall lot more of a short-term parking area, he says.
The city hall lot would continue to have a number of reserved spaces for councillors, some city staff and city vehicles, as well as for the city’s car share program.
City hall is also considering lowering the special event parking rate at the new Memorial Parkade to $3 from $5 in a bid to increase its use, but plans to keep the special event rate at the Library Parkade at $5.
All three parkades will remain free to use in the evenings when not being used for special event parking.
If approved, the changes to the city hall lot would go into effect Oct. 1.