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Parking options in front of Royal back to council

UPDATE: With an eye to the needs of the fire department in emergency situations downtown Picton, council approved two 15-minute time limit spaces and one parking spot in front of the Royal Hotel.

APRIL 25: Discussion on use of three parking spots in front of Picton’s Royal Hotel comes back to council for a second time Tuesday night.

This time, municipal staff is recommending two 15-minute-limit spaces and one parking spot in front of The Royal Hotel at 247 Main St., Picton.

The rationale for the 15-minute spots includes the need for easy access for the fire department if necessary, and allows two spots for customers to unload baggage at the hotel, and also supports providing accessibility for people with mobility needs.

Currently the spaces are earmarked as a loading area and emergency vehicle parking. On April 5, staff suggested the bylaw identify it as a loading area, and remove the emergency vehicle parking. Council asked for more options for parking and loading.

Seeking more parking downtown, council in March, during a review of parking bylaws at a committee of the whole meeting asked staff to re-evaluate the spots in front of the Royal which have long been dedicated to taxis and a loading zone.

Councillor Phil St. Jean said the issue also came up at the March Picton BIA meeting and noted few taxis wait there for fares now, and deliveries to the Royal seem to be going to the back of the building.

In his report for council’s April 26 meeting, Mike Kelly, Supervisor of Bylaw Services, adds that revenue for the one new parking spot during the 90 days of summer tourism per year would be in the range of $1,500 to $2,000 dependent on usage.

He also noted difficulty finding comparables with neighbouring communities as their hotels have on-site parking and not street parking. He added that three Ottawa hotels feature 15-minute parking.

Financial implications include $1,150 for line painting and signage.

An alternative options offered is two paid parking spots and one spot with a 15-minute limit.

He also noted there is also a loading zone at 237 Picton Main Street that can accommodate up to two vehicles.

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  1. Dennis Fox says:

    To SS – thank you for your vote of confidence, but I have no interest in running for election. But, again, I do thank you.

  2. Dennis Fox says:

    I don’t recall anyone speaking against The Royal, however, there is concern about the lack of parking in the downtown and daily people seeing a number of empty places in front of the hotel not being used. While I support the new building, I also want it to fit within the scope of our downtown – that won’t happen without hearing from the public – both the good and the not so good.

  3. Mark says:

    Totally agree Dave.

  4. Dave Thomas says:

    Resurrecting the Royal was a huge financial risk. Its success is not a fait accompli; if a couple of parking spots to unload luggage will help its success, then I’m all for them. The Royal, if successful, will be a significant asset, not just for the Sorbara family but also for the County.

  5. Bruce Nicholson says:

    JB- Good contribution ! I grow tired of the slams against the Royal Hotel. It is great to have it back in operation and enhancing Picton’s Main Street. Let’s not be so short sighted to blame it for the parking shortcomings.

  6. JennyD says:

    I didn’t see any “anti-tourist rhetoric” in these comments. Everybody should be respectful of how they interact in their hometown. The people here are the ones who made this place so inviting, people wanted to move here. Like it or leave. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  7. KB says:

    No matter where you choose to live, and no matter what your walk of life is, there are always rules. Please follow them like everyone else, and accept the fact that not everybody will welcome your thoughts. Free speech, free forums. Don’t like it? Don’t read it. It’s a slippery slope to disregard and have lack of consideration for other citizens, be it newcomers, locals or tourists.

  8. SS says:

    Dennis, I’ve enjoyed your comments (not all, mind you, but hey, that’s OK 🙂 ).

    But you are always so engaged and trying to see the facts of situations, and then engage and follow the discussions.

    I am unsure whether or not you might consider running for council in the fall, but you would have my vote at least.

    I also like JB’s comment regarding the “first world problems” aspect of this thread. I echo his thoughts about the benefits of living in the County, and I have never had an issue getting a spot in either the Mary or King St. free lots. The short walk to and from all my destinations downtown probably does me good.

    Anyone else who thinks they have ideas for solutions to County issues, I encourage you to throw your hat into the ring in the fall elections.

    Thanks for this forum, and stay safe, all.

  9. Dennis Fox says:

    Obviously some do not have a problem with the parking situation, but that doesn’t change anything for those who do. Many seniors need parking near banks and the post office – all too often the post office lot is full. If you are a senior that suffers from arthritis or has experienced some other health issue, then walking a block is a big deal for them. So for those in the Rah, Rah Club, try showing a bit of understanding about those who don’t get around easily.

    Like it or not, The County’s senior population accounts for about 25-30% of our total population – more attention and care needs to be given to this sector. Going out for a fashionable lunch at a restaurant just may not be a priority for them, but that shouldn’t mean they should have to walk blocks or climb over snow banks to live here.

  10. IN says:

    Well said JB. We are in Picton on an almost daily basis throughout the year and can always find a parking space. Thank goodness for living in a place where people want to visit and spend money supporting local businesses and in turn the people they employ. As for the Royal, yes it’s providing accommodation for some of the very same visitors but we are regular patrons ourselves and never fail to bump into many other locals doing the same thing. It’s exhausting and frankly boring now to keep hearing the same anti tourist rhetoric rolled out for every pet peeve certain people feel compelled to express.

  11. JB says:

    What a long list of first world problems! Nobody suffers like some County residents trying to find a parking spot within 5 feet of their destination….and ideally without any traffic on the way! The reason I live in the County is precisely because of the wonderful mix of great restaurants, shops, and wineries, all surrounded by beautiful countryside. I love the vigour of a crazy busy Picton and all it has to offer. But for tourists many of these great amenities just wouldn’t exist. We should be thanking the Sorbara family and their rescue of the historic Royal not complaining because it contributes to the vitality of a busy Picton.

  12. ADJ says:

    So easy to sit back and gripe…come up with some solutions! Approach your councillor or Council and ask why not try this or that.There are smart people on this site who can suggest ideas. Otherwise it appears your just talking to hear yourself. If your really concerned head up a delegation of supporting taxpayers and get your voices to Council. As in other recent scenarios this is what it takes to change things.

  13. Dennis Fox says:

    I believe that the “tourist discussions” have taken far too long. I don’t recall anyone saying that they didn’t want any tourists, but the vast majority did want to see some kind of control on the number of them, and to also see a financial benefit coming to the local community. Even with the almost 1 million visitors the Sandbanks attract yearly – locals saw little benefit. Until very recently, the idea of how we can benefit from tourism went totally ignored.

    As far as The Royal goes, it has become the lightning rod for the downtown parking problem – which is only natural considering the many years of inconvenience it imposed on everyone.

    I wonder who this establishment will cater to – the locals or the tourists?

  14. B Wilder says:

    A review of this story will reveal that the space in front of the Royal was designated as a loading zone and a taxi stand. As well there is a loading zone in front of the building immediately to the west of the Royal. As well it seems that the Royal gets deliveries to the rear of the building. Council has now approved two 15 minute parking spots and a regular paid spot. I don’t see any of this being driven by requests from the Royal. As to tourist activity, I am not thrilled by it either. On the other hand, without tourist visits most businesses operating in this County would not exist. Oh and if you would rather that visitors not come here keep that in mind next time you plan a vacation.

  15. Dennis Fox says:

    The lack of parking spaces and traffic congestion have been talked about for a number of years – in Wellington, Bloomfield and in Picton. From the chaos on our roads to the Sandbanks to the properties at Wellington Beach being overrun by tourists, to having our downtowns impassable for 6 months – sorry but our community is no longer ours – it belongs now to the money makers – the full time residents and taxpayers are only here for their convenience.

  16. B Wilder says:

    From the tone of these comments, it seems the conclusion is that it would have been better to tear the Royal down and create a parking lot.

  17. Fred says:

    Market Lane from Paul to Ross Streets is not closed. It’s wide open to traffic and deliveries. Bigger issue is the Royal has minimal parking spots at the rear. This will create chaos this summer.

  18. angela says:

    The parking issue was predictable from day one and will only worsen when the tourist season is in full swing. Main Street parking is fast becoming a nightmare.

  19. Argylee says:

    Like Picton it is time Shire Hall put in paid parking in Bloomfield and Wellington…….if one spot can generate approximately 1500 dollars a year, it is time to generate more parking revenue from other locations. If not eliminate paid parking in Picton for good.

  20. Mike Rodgers says:

    I have stated before, from early summer to late summer paid parking needs to be 7 days a week, in front of the Royal included. At one time deliveries were done at the back of all the Main St. stores. A lane ran from Paul St to Ross St. and all trucks used this lane to off load. The new business owners for the most part have closed this lane. There was a similar situation on the other side of Main St and it too has been closed off. Business owners seem to cause these problems then expect tax payers to bail them out. Between the Royal situation and the café patios I never visit Picton down town to shop in the summer, Belleville or Kingston get may business. For Wellington forget it, who in their right mind would allow 25% of down town parking to be taken for patios.

  21. Janice says:

    Why should the town cater to one private business and provide them with parking spaces that could be bringing in revenue for the town? This is ridiculous. Let their guests unload their bags at the back of their building in their own parking lot.
    Canada post needs to address the problem of non-postal customers abusing these parking spaces. Many town people get their mail at all hours of the day and night. This parking should be solely for Canada post customers not Royal Hotel customers or others. It’s NOT overflow parking for this Royal Hotel. I hope something will be done soon to correct this situation.

  22. Dennis Fox says:

    The problem is that there are far more drivers using our downtown year around than when The Royal first operated – changes are required now. Why should one business have the right to 24 hr parking in front of their establishment – forcing people of all ages to park further away than needed? As we know, the taxpayers have paid a lot for what parking spaces and lots we now have – let the delivery trucks for The Royal use the space behind their building. There is a solution to this, but it will take some decision-making by the municipality to make it happen.

  23. Gary says:

    The present parking in front of the Royal does not require any changes. There has never been permanent parking there. And there are still a lot of delvery trucks requiring this space.

  24. Dennis Fox says:

    I may be wrong, but wasn’t The Royal supposed to provide for their own parking? I seem to recall the idea of a multi-level parking facility to be constructed behind their building. Like I say, I could be wrong – just asking.

    Also, with the opening of the hotel there is next to no available parking at any time. I suppose the idea of having a sidewalk cafĂ© is now over – we can’t afford to lose anymore on street parking.

    This development tied up our downtown for the last five years or more and the residents handled it very well – but now we are looking at a life time of parking issues. I don’t think anyone signed on for this. I hope the owner of The Royal is prepared to dig deep to improve the situation his development created.

  25. KB says:

    Perhaps council should review the Emergency Services Plan before changing designated parking for Emergency Vehicles. It was originally put their for undoubtedly a very good reason.

  26. JennyD says:

    Since the Royal reopened, I cannot get parked in the Post Office parking lot due to congestion from patrons attending at the Royal. I watch people literally parking in the Post Office lot, and walking to/from their vehicles. Can’t something be done about this? We need more enforcement. Why can’t their patrons use the public parking lots or street parking like everyone else?

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