The City currently requires that local businesses and property owners provide adequate space(s) to accommodate the parking needs of their customers. The City of Prince Rupert’s downtown and commercial cores, as well as most residential areas, were largely developed at a time when there were fewer motor vehicles. As a result of historical developments, many of the city’s commercial properties have insufficient parking in front of or adjacent to local businesses.
In consideration of this fact, in the Downtown and Cow Bay Development Permit Areas, the City of Prince Rupert requires a payment in lieu of providing a physical parking space. This payment does not purchase a physical parking space or spaces for property owners. Rather, payments collected from businesses go towards a general parking trust. In effect, the payment in lieu releases you from the requirement to provide additional parking space(s).
Once sufficient funds are collected, the City will invest the trust back into acquiring and developing a parking lot in an available and suitable commercial area.
Parking requirements are determined according to the use of the commercial space in each property, which is laid out by the City’s Zoning Bylaw. Businesses that did not have adequate parking spaces at the time the Parking Bylaw was instituted in 2008 were grandfathered in according to the number parking space(s) required by the use at that time. If there are changes to the property or business, the new parking regulations will apply.
Interim Parking Strategy
To address public concerns and potential issues with existing parking regulations, in summer of 2022, Prince Rupert City Council approved an Interim Parking Strategy to guide actions regulating parking in the downtown core over the next 1-3 years, with longer term parking management included as part of the Connect Rupert Transportation Plan. Note that this interim strategy is intended to inform further policy development—and that policies like the removal of minimum parking requirements in certain areas would require a Zoning amendment and associated public process.
What are some of the major changes being proposed?
- Maximization of parking on 2nd and 7th Streets, using tools such as changing time restrictions, to serve longer term users and free up street parking along 2nd and 3rd Ave.
- Seeking opportunities to develop public parking lots in the City Core as needed to serve longer term users through land acquisition or conversion of municipally-owned lots.
- Development of a Parking Wayfinding Strategy - to help residents better understand local parking regulations and availability - which would include improved advertising of existing downtown spaces, especially as an option for downtown employees.
- Proposed removal of parking minimums from a parking specified area (PSA) downtown, providing there is no loss of existing spaces. This will require an amendment to our Zoning Bylaw, and will have opportunity for public comment. Check back here for updates on those opportunities as this moves ahead.
- Encouragement of shared parking agreements between private businesses, or between private businesses and the City, to optimize existing off-street parking. This can be done through the establishment of a Commercial Stall Lease License or other format administered by the City.
- Continuation of work with the Province to redesign 2nd and 3rd Avenues W to add angled parking and implement a bike lane.
- In addition to existing plans for EVs, EV charging infrastructure can additionally be implemented in both private and public parking spaces. This management action may include increasing the required minimums of electrified stalls within our zoning bylaw, or by identifying areas within the City for new charging stations in order to direct new development.
- Investigation of how to increase enforcement actions to encourage the efficient movement of traffic/parking in short-term areas. This includes updating parking management to provincial adjudication and collections process (currently underway), increasing options for payment, and increases to fines and discounts for early payment.
Have more questions?
Download the FAQ and Information Sheet.