Pay parking at three popular West Vancouver parks starts this fall

May 10 2023, 1:01 am

Pay parking will be coming to three popular destination public parks in West Vancouver — and non-residents of the municipality will pay much more.

The pay parking regulations at Lighthouse Park, Nelson Canyon Park, and Whytecliff Park will come into effect in Fall 2023.

This direction was approved by District of West Vancouver council in a public meeting on Monday.

After the 2023 peak summer season, year-round hourly pay parking rates will be in effect at $3.75 per hour.

For West Vancouver residents only, they will have the option of acquiring an annual resident parking pass for $20.00 per vehicle. They must be a registered resident and provide proof of insurance of a local resident, and the address on their vehicle license plate registration must match the address of their driver’s license.

According to District staff, it is estimated West Vancouver residents account for 40% of the visitation at the three parks, while non-residents account for the remainder 60%.

“The idea, ladies and gentlemen, is the primary source of revenue will be people who are not West Vancouver taxpayers who come into our community and use our facilities,” said West Vancouver Mayor Mark Sager.

“While we welcome everyone, we need to get some revenue from people who use parks, and this is the way to do it.”

To enable the relatively quick implementation of the new pay parking regulations and minimize upfront capital costs, the municipal government will not be installing pay stations at the parking areas. Instead, pay parking at all three parks will depend on the mobile phones of drivers and the QR codes of on-site signage. The municipal government will select an operator to implement and manager the pay parking at a later date.

It is estimated the new regulations will generate about $256,000 in new annual revenue for the municipal government, which will cover the costs of administering the system. Any net revenue will go towards the cost of maintaining the three parks.

This includes estimated revenue of $24,000 from Nelson Canyon Park’s 42 stalls, $89,000 from Lighthouse Park’s 82 stalls, $124,000 from Whytecliff Park’s 77 stalls, and $18,000 from Whytecliff Park’s 52 overflow stalls.

whytecliff park parking lot

A parking lot at Whytecliff Park. (Google Maps)

lighthouse park parking lot

A parking lot at Lighthouse Park. (Google Maps)

District staff assert that there has been a direct correlation in increased operating and maintenance costs for garbage collection, sanitation, and washroom cleanup from increased park visitation, especially during the early days of the pandemic.

After the first six months of implementation, District staff will report back to Council with an update on the performance of the new regulations. Ahead of the implementation this year, there will be an effort to inform the public of the forthcoming changes. This will not be a pilot project as previously envisioned, but a permanent program.

A potential future phase could expand the pay parking scheme to Ambleside Park, John Lawson Park, and Dundarave Park, but these three locations are deemed to be more complicated as they are near retail districts, with the Mayor hinting of opposition for such a measure from local residents and businesses.

In some shape or form, over various occasions over the past few decades, the municipal government has been considering pay parking for its popular parks near the shoreline.

The decision to implement the new regulations follows the previous Council’s March 2022 decision directing District staff to create a plan, and the current Council’s November 2022 decision directing the implementation.

Recently, the District of North Vancouver and Metro Vancouver Regional District also implemented pay parking at various popular park locations to encourage turnover.

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