Tofino plans to start charging for parking in its two municipal hall lots.

Tofino businesses wary of pay parking

Chamber president cautions pay lots could create congestion.

Tofino’s business community isn’t thrilled about the district’s pay parking plans.

The district will begin charging for parking at its two municipal hall lots this summer and Tofino’s council recently reviewed a letter from Tofino Long Beach Chamber of Commerce president Jennifer Stevens urging for parking restrictions in other areas to be enforced.

“If that is not the case, the board fears charging for parking in these two lots will have a compound effect on parking in other parts of downtown,” she wrote. “The fear is that this lot will sit empty while other areas are stressed and potentially improperly used.”

Council accepted Stevens’ letter for information without discussion.

After the meeting, Stevens told the Westerly the chamber is wary of the pay-parking plan.

“We have gone down this route before as a community, with less than favourable results,” she said. Tofino last charged for parking in 2007 but nixed the fees after significant opposition from locals.

Stevens said charging for spots at the municipal hall could lead to increased congestion elsewhere.

“We are concerned about the lot which was strictly for RVs parking and the impact of where RVs will park this summer. The key will be enforcement of parking time limits and parking signage in the downtown area,” she said.

“The letter’s purpose was to urge council to enforce parking regulations in other areas so any effects of pay parking are minimized…This issue will continue to be on our radar.”