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Staff recommends more parking lots, pay and display

Changes to parking may soon unfold in Picton.

Councillors, at Thursday’s committee of the whole meeting, will review a report from the Community Development Department that recommends:

-The south side of Picton Main Street from Lake Street to the Royal LePage property be converted from free to metered parking

-The installation of ‘pay and display’ metered parking in Market Lane be approved subject to the establishment of additional free parking in Picton’s downtown core;

-That  council endorses the creation of a Cash-In-Lieu of Parking Bylaw;

-That the municipal property on York Street be identified for parking expansion and that the cost of converting this property to a gravel parking lot be included in the 2015 budget;

-That the municipal property on King Street in front of Benson Hall be identified for parking expansion and that the cost of converting this property to a paved parking lot be included in the 2015 budget;

-That council endorses investigation of further parking management changes including the replacement of traditional meters with pay-and-display meters, the addition of weekend parking enforcement and an increase in hourly parking meter rates; and

– That staff be directed to investigate the potential of acquiring land in Picton and Wellington for the expansion of public parking.

In 2010 a Downtown Picton Parking study was completed by the IBI Group which provided recommendations to improve availability and management of parking in Picton’s downtown core.

Some actions were taken following the study, others, including land acquisition, establishment of new lots, cash in lieu of parking and other revenue generating approaches were not implemented.

Staff created a report, recommending implementing a number of the study’s recommendations, to create funding for parking expansion in Picton and other parts of the County and to identify future locations for parking expansion.

In 2010, council implemented two of 13 recommendations – updating signage at the Mary Street and Market Lane off-stree parking lots and installing 18 marked parking spaces with no meters on the south side of Main Street between Lake Street and the Royal LePage Real Estate.

In 2012, recommendations were again brought forward but not implemented. However, a meter rate increase to 75 cents, from 50 cents per hour was approved.

The report states recent development pressures in Picton and Wellington have brought the issue of parking to the forefront.

“Staff and developers are struggling to identify parking solutions for proposed new developments and to address the increasing tourism traffic in the County’s downtown cores,” the report states. “These problems could hinder business development which would bring with it new employment and tax assessment.”

The 2010 parking study says there are 750 public spaces within Picton’s core and along key roads leading to and from the downtown. Many of these on-street spaces are designated for specific users including taxis, police and specific businesses.

From the report:
york-street-parking
York Street
In the 2010 parking study, municipal property on York Street (south of Main Street) was identified as a location for the establishment of a parking lot within the core. This would allow for up to 70 additional  parking spaces; however, the property is located at the bottom of a fairly steep hill making it only suitable for long-stay (employee) parking and unattractive for visitor & patrons parking when considering accessibility needs and mobility issues.
As a means of reducing the impacts of long-stay parking in areas which should be geared to short-stay visitor  parking, this property represents an immediate, if temporary, solution, provided measures are taken to discourage long-stay parking at downtown lots and on-street spaces closer to Main Street.
The estimated cost of converting this land from grassy open space to a gravel parking lot initially is $180,000.00. Based on an average price per square metre of $55.00, an additional $185,350.00 or $2,600 per space would be required to pave this lot at some point in the future.
Staff recommends that Council identify this lot for parking expansion and commit the funds required in the 2015 budget to convert it to a gravel lot.
Benson-Hall-parkingKing Street – Benson Hall
In addition to York Street, staff has identified a portion of the municipal property on King Street in front of Benson Hall as having potential for 15 – 20 additional parking spaces within the core. This property was once the location of a single tennis court that has since fallen into a state of disrepair.
All that remains of the court at this time is the asphalt which has cracked and heaved. While representing only a modest increase in parking, this site is attractive because:
It is within the downtown core
It is connected to Main Street via an existing walkway alongside the Marine Archives Building
Removal of the old fencing and increased use of the area would increase the visibility and profile of Benson Hall and the public park
The land is already owned by the Municipality and could be easily and quickly converted into additional parking
Using the same average price per square metre of $55.00 for preparation and paving, the cost of converting the Benson property to a paved parking lot would be approximately $40,000 or between $2,000 and $2,700 per space depending on the configuration.
Staff recommends that Council identify this lot for parking expansion and commit the funds required in the 2015 budget to convert it to a paved parking lot.

The full report here: https://princeedwardcounty.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=86495

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  1. Mark says:

    And on a lighter note the rumour around town is that a Cow only has one stomach which has four compartments.

  2. sanmc says:

    Well, maybe it’s time for a downtown bus route. Park all the cars on the outskirts of town, say in a farm’s rented field for the summer. Because come winter time those downtown parking lots will be empty and us taxpayers will still have to pay to maintain the removal of snow from them. Because they have to have them open.

    I don’t like administration dictating to council to pass this or that. We didn’t elect admin.

    Can’t imagine another “yes ma’am” mayor elected or we’ll really be in trouble paying for it all.

    Brainstorming ideas? no brains upon examination.

    I’m tiffed… What the freakin’ next.

  3. Marnie says:

    Could have been Ken. Either way they rock. Think it stands for Recreation Outreach Centre.

  4. Ken Globe says:

    Marnie, are you sure it wasn’t the ROC up on the Heights that was interested in the old church?

  5. Marnie says:

    Gary, there is no question that the property owner had a right to do as she pleased with the church. However, in the interest of being a good neighbour what would it have hurt to delay the demolition for a couple of weeks to see if a sale could be made to K-Rock or some other interested party? It would have been a win-win situation had the property sold. You don’t win a lot of goodwill by starting the demolition of an old town landmark on a Sunday. Do you recall all of the problems with that demolition? We all have the right to do as we please with our properties but it never hurts to show a little consideration for the community in which we live, especially if it is not going to cost us anything.

  6. Collie says:

    Back on topic… I thought that the plan was to rejevenate the town centre, not make it a ghost town of charity shops. Making visitors pay for parking will help this how, exactly?

    I think there’s a need for joined up thinking here!

  7. Gary says:

    I understood completely. There are public rights to provide input for municipal buildings such as the firehall which I indicated I believed was designated and is. And there are private property owners who can deal with a non listed or non designated building as they choose without interference or meddling.

  8. Marnie says:

    You missed the point. The Brick Church was privately owned and it was possible to begin its demolition on a Sunday almost as soon as the ink was dry on the demolition permit. The fire hall is not privately owned and before it could be “dropped” there would be ample opportunity for public input. For certain a wrecking ball would never hit it on a Sunday as I believe Mr. Sinclair has a long-term engagement elsewhere.

    Enough about the fire hall. It is not likely to be dropped any time soon.

  9. Gary says:

    Well you just did your predictable flip flop again. Of course a municipal building is open to public comment and suggestion. We all know that.I was discussing your suggested intrusion into a private property owner’s rights. Two very different equations.

  10. Marnie says:

    Are you related to the owner Gary? You sure are worried about her rights. The fire hall belongs to the municipality and as ratepayers we can make all the suggestions we like to it. Should you suggest that it is just an old brick building and no longer an opera house I think you will find that many people disagree with you and will fight for it. That is their right.

  11. Gary says:

    If the property is not heritage listed or designated it is nobody’s business unless they have a financial interest if the owner delays or proceeds with demolition. What gives you the right to suggest anything to the owner? If the flea market was such a prize why I ask had the Heritage Committee not sought to have it listed or designated prior.

  12. Marnie says:

    You are the one who is imposing a point of view Gary. I have done nothing more than suggest the property owner could have delayed a little to see if an arrangement could have been reached with the K-Rock people or others before knocking down the church. I have never said that we should dictate to property owners. What difference would a delay of a few weeks have made? Knocking down the church did not produce a rapid sale. The Royal Hotel still stands because its owner(s)showed some patience in deciding the fate of an historic building. A buyer was found and it will be restored. That is a huge plus for our Main Street. The North American Hotel also was purchased and given new life. Ditto for the original Picton Post Office. Thankfully there are many people in our county who appreciate our heritage and seek to preserve it. They are more interested in working with the owners of heritage buildings rather than against them.

  13. Gary says:

    Well you continue to state falsehoods. I did not recommend a parking lot at the site of the firehall. I also stated I believed the fire hall was historically designated. And you believe you have a right to impose your views on how property owners handle their buildings. What business is it of your’s what someone does with their non designated property? Perhaps if you had stepped up and purchased the flea market you could be relishing it’s grandeur!

  14. Marnie says:

    The property owner knocked down the church a long time and still can’t sell the land. She might as well have left it standing and tried to work something out. That would have spared us Mr. Sinclair and the owner might have made a sale by now. A number of old churches in the county have been repurposed and the Brick Church might have found a new use as well. After all, the owner once thought it would make a great flea market so it is possible that another entrepreneur might have come along with a fresh idea. I am well aware the building was no longer a church but nonetheless it remained a landmark and the streetscape lost something with its demolition. If any good came from its desruction it lies in the fact that if the fire hall is ever threatened with being “dropped” there is likely to be strong public resistance. Sorry Gary but you may have to look elsewhere for a parking spot.

  15. Gary says:

    It wasn’t a church it was a flea market. Even the former church people new enough was enough and costs to high. You obviously believe in restricting property owners rights without having a penny invested.

  16. Marnie says:

    Gary, I have never suggested that the taxpayer should have funded maintenance of the church. However, before its demolition a greater effort should have been made to find an alternative. If the K-Rock group had an interest in the building there might have been a way of finding a solution. Anyone purchasing a heritage property should have some obligation to respect its historic value. Two Picton church manses have been rescued and repurposed in recent times. With a little more effort perhaps a buyer might have been found for the church and it could have been given new life.

    You have suggested that since the church had outlived its original purpose there was nothing wrong in tearing it down. It’s obvious that you feel the same way about the fire hall. It will soon have outlived its purpose so let’s level it and park cars on the site. I’m sorry but I am far from convinced that you respect heritage.

  17. Gary says:

    Oh Marnie you avoid the obvious. Takes a bigger person to admit being wrong.I have no great disagreement with protecting heritage if it is reasonable, affordable, sustainable and does not burden the private property owner. You cannot expect the owner to spend hundreds of thousands to protect a regular brick building. It had outlived it’s useful purpose. Were you prepared to assist with those costs? Did you expect the municipality to purchase it and spend thousands of taxpayers $$ to renovate it? I must say that given a choice I would rather have my tax dollars spent on adequate health care and lodging for seniors than on the particular bricks and mortar you have raised.

  18. Marnie says:

    Why don’t we just demolish all of the old buildings in Picton and completely destroy the town’s character along with it Gary? Never mind all your protests about being innocent of suggesting we drop the firehall.From your comments it is easy to see that it would not bother you in the least. It’s just bricks and mortar to you and a parking lot would be a big improvement. I believe the K-Rock centre showed interest in the church shortly before its demolition by the illustrous Mr. Sinclair. Now we have a vacant lot where the church once stood – big improvement isn’t it? Based on the strength of public outcry when the church was “dropped” our heritage means a great deal to many local people. Too bad you are not one of them.

  19. Gary says:

    Your’e good Marnie. Don’t admit that you erred in stating that I was wrong when in fact I was correct in regards to historic. Read it,it’s all posted. Read slowly and carefully. And no where will you find me recommending the fire hall be dropped. As for the brick church, I don’t know what all the fuss was about. It wasn’t heritage listed or designated. It lacked any distinguishing archtitectural character. It was a brick structure. It was not accessible, cost a small fortune to heat and no one showed an interest in purchasing to renovate. Who was supposed to foot the bill to continue to maintain it? Surely you are not suggesting the owner or the taxpayer.It just kills me when folks have so much to say about someone elses property when they don’t have a nickel invested. Put your money where your mouth is, comes to mind.

  20. Paul says:

    I think Mr. Johnson has the right idea with the other two locations , a lot of things have changed since 2010 (hehehe) I still can’t believe recommendations from 2010 were even considered…

  21. Marnie says:

    You’re good Gary – anything but admit that you suggested demolition of the fire hall could/should be an option although you agree that it is an historic building. Yes, I condemn your suggestion for I still remember the day they tore the Brick Church down. It was a sad day for Picton and if you remember it too I would think you’d show more sensitivity than to hypthetically hint at a similar fate for the town fire hall.If you mention the possibility of destroying yet another heritage building, even in a hypothetical way, you invite condemnation.

  22. gary says:

    What is iresponsible is coming on here and stating someone said something totllay opposite to what they actually stated. You were in such a hurry to condemn someone you failed to read and comprehend.

  23. Marnie says:

    No egg on my face Gary but I hope yours is red. If demolition of the fire hall which is an historic building is not an acceptable option in your opinion you would not throw it out there as a “could” suggestion. Splitting hairs between ‘could’ and ‘should’ does not convince me that you would be opposed to dropping the fire hall. I have read between the lines and notice you have yet to say that you would be opposed to any attempts to demolish the fire hall because it is an historic building. After what happened to the Brick Church, Rickarton Castle and one or two other landmark buildings in town it is irresponsible to suggest that the fire hall “could” be dropped.

  24. gary says:

    Marnie, go wipe the egg off your face. I never said it wasn’t historic and I never supported tearing it down. I said “you could” not “you should”. It’s a hypothetical like floating an idea for discussion. You were too quick on the draw this time and didn’t take the time to read clearly.

  25. Marnie says:

    Gary – Check your punctuation. You forgot the question mark. And it doesn’t change the fact that you wanted to “drop the firehall” and “that old house” and have a great parking extension. If you are aware that the fire hall is an historic building why would you suggest dropping it?? (extra question mark to make up for the one you forgot)

  26. Argyle says:

    The old County Fuels, Roblin Motors car lot is the logical spot. Close to the downtown, Giant Tiger, Post Office etc.Also King street should only have parking on one side of the street from 7 am to 7 pm.

  27. Gary says:

    Marnie; check you reading glasses. “Historic is it not”.

  28. Marnie says:

    So, if you believe it is historic Gary why would you suggest it come down? Why did you state on Aug. 16 “Historic it is not” if you think otherwise? Wasn’t the Brick Church demolition enough of a lesson? Why would the town demolish an historic building with a new community hall above it to create a few parking spaces? We’ve lost too many of our old buildings and with them some of the character of our town.

  29. Dayton Johnson says:

    I often thought that the old rail bed could have been widened, upgraded and utilized as a route for traffic from the West end of Main street linking up to Talbot street and farther I guess thereby avoiding the down town hub. Roads to and from the rail bed into Picton could have been built into Paul street and any other street accessable running North and South.
    As for parking what will become of the vacant lots on both sides of Main street west where the brick church was and the “proposed” drug store? Would a parking garage be out of the question? Could be a money maker for a private company or even the County.

  30. gary says:

    Marnie; I never said it wasn’t historic.

  31. Marie says:

    I’d like to see the whole space behind Main street revamped with more green spaces, performance spaces, gathering spaces, farmers market and of course integrated with parking that facilitates all of this

  32. Marnie says:

    You are wrong Gary. The existing firehall is an historic building. It was once the old Picton opera house and is a landmark building in our town. It would be criminal to demolish it just to make way for a few more parking spaces. Its upper floor was renovated as a town hall at considerable expense and features a memorial stained glass window. The traffic in Picton and Bloomfield these days is ridiculous. Half of Quebec is here this summer. How much money does this put into the pockets of local ratepayers? We are the victims of our own success and it’s not pretty. It’s not local traffic that is jamming our parking lots in the summer months. We should have been content to be Ontario’s best kept secret and kept our mouths shut.

  33. Paul says:

    2010 Study that’s now being considered that’s just ridiculous a little funny but ridiculous…

  34. Mark says:

    Tourists flood our Town and disrupt taxpaying residents extremely. We are paying through the nose for a $30,000,000 shit plant that was designed to pump uphill with crazy energy costs. Laws say only users pay. But if there was no Picton and we all had wells and septic, would they come. Picton residents are impacted more than any others by tourism in our wonderful 1 tier governance. What is the benefit for the ratepayers as costs increase? Population of the Town is decreasing (no kidding!) and our leaders have no answers.

  35. Val says:

    Yes I agree. The park is a great place for our children and grandchildren put the money into the park padding like by the arena would b great alowing kids to play even after rain fix the tennis courts do kids can play instead of video games. People can’t afford to pay to park you would have more shoppers I you stopped charging.

  36. Gary says:

    Parking may be an issue but not as much as traffic flow. A bypass route for locals and visitors that have no interest in boutiques is really needed. Presently every tourist from the Sandbanks that needs a case of beer has to drive all the way down Main St and all the way back. It’s ridiculous. I am not a planner but I recognize when something is broken.

  37. Gary says:

    You could drop the fire hall and that old house that was used for planning services and have a great parking extension. The house which I doubt will ever sell is designated. I think the fire hall is designated as well. We cannot afford routine services but the taxpayer will continue to pay for buildings that have outlived their practical purpose.

  38. Gary says:

    Historic is it not.

  39. Chris Keen says:

    When the new firehall is constructed, demolition of the old site would allow the addition a good number of new parking spaces.

  40. Mark says:

    That was a very clear response Phil and provided us insight as to where you stand on some important matters.

  41. Phil St-Jean says:

    If you want to learn more about me and what I bring to the table check out my Facebook post.

  42. Phil St-Jean says:

    I am glad everyone agrees council acted appropriately on this issue. With regards to your question when I spoke to council Thursday I not only questioned the recommendations in the report I offered an alternate suggestion to address the need for additional parking spaces. I asked why the open lot across the street from Benson wasn’t considered. The property has been for sale for a while. It is paved and could accommodate 60+ vehicles. I also suggested even entering into an agreement with the current owner to lease or form a partnership for use as a municipal parking lot. Your final statement I agree it is a little scary that these kinds of reports come forward. I believe it has a lot to do with the disconnect from staff that current council has allowed when they put too much control in the hands of one individual. The CAO. Under a previous structure of. 4 standing committees councillors worked closer with senior staff than they do now. Some felt that created friction with elected officials being too close to the day to day operations. However I feel that we are seeing more and more that closer ties aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Councillors are responsible to the people and should be involved a little more than they are currently. Ultimately they have to answer to the public not staff. Simply reading a report and being asked to approve recommendations without having opportunity to talk to staff or work with them on proposals such as this one isn’t enough. There does need to be separation of governance and administration and a clear understanding of the roles each play in the operation of the municipality but neither should work in a vacuum. A better balance needs to be struck so proposals like the Picton Parking Plan don’t make it to the agenda.

  43. Marnie says:

    Yes, it is scary. They walk among us and we actually elected them.

  44. Mark says:

    Yes Phil, exactly the point I made. It’s a no brainer. As a candidate what have you brought to the table that is different than what has been stated here? More concerning is that we have staff and Commissioners presenting such nonsense to Council. Isn’t that a little scary?

  45. Phil St-Jean says:

    Thankfully council rejected this rediculous parking plan. On the bright side there are 2 groups looking to refurbish Benson Park tennis courts. The current thought is a multi use recreation area. Also Picton Kinsmen call Benson Hall home and are working on making improvements to the building. We have been approached to assist with the courts. As President of Kinsmen on behalf of the members I presented to council our opposition to paving over paradise. Recreation space and green space needs to be properly maintained not destroyed.

  46. Marnie says:

    Benson Park has been sadly neglected in recent years. Instead of being a beautiful park right in the middle of town it is a dismal looking space. An effort should have been made to maintain it but one-tier government spelled the end for maintenance in many areas.

  47. Mark says:

    Common sense on the Committee of the Whole prevailed and a proposed parking lot on Benson Park was rejected. Concerning however,how this even got on the table. The tennis court / hockey pad area at Benson was well maintained when Picton had their own municipal government. Since amalgamation it was allowed to deteriorate to an eyesore. Come to think of it a lot of other things have gone in this direction as well. But we all know bigger is better just like Quinte Health Care.

  48. Marnie says:

    Any other community would consider Benson Park a gem. Our town fathers want to create a parking lot in front of it.

    Keep raising those parking fees and more and more people will shop in Belleville. With all of the tourist traffic it is already a nightmare to visit Picton stores. Add another stumbling block and it’s enough to send anybody to the Quinte Mall.

    And who wants to park on York Street in order to run errands downtown? It’s too far from Main Street to be practical especially in winter.

  49. Lyn says:

    great way to get more people to shop in Belleville. More meters. More parking fines. Higher parking prices. Great way to support local businesses. Better idea … free parking and get rid of the meter maid

  50. Gary says:

    So let’s remove the tennis court and ball hockey pad at The Town’s only downtown green space park Benson and lay down environventaly unfriendly asphalt for a parking lot. How could staff recommend such a move? Benson is the one and only park downtown and they suggest covering it with pavement. Now isn’t that forward thinking when most municipalities are looking to expand or at least protect urban green space. Things that make you go Hmmmmmmm!

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