Tofino is considering a street-parking shakeup that could see RV’s banned and fees for boat trailers.
During March 28’s council meeting, Coun. Cathy Thicke said Tofino’s on-street parking spots are 6.5 metres long and suggested prohibiting vehicles that don’t fit between the lines.
“I know this is going to sound a bit radical, but why are we enabling vehicles greater than 21-feet to park on our streets if we physically don’t have the room?” she asked. “There are places in Europe, for example, that don’t allow RV’s in their town.”
She suggested RV’s should not be allowed to park outside of the RV-only parking lot adjacent to the district office adding that busses and RV’s take up more than one spot, and allowing RV’s on Tofino’s streets is encouraging illegal camping. Rodgers said he was unsure if Tofino could restrict the size of vehicles in parking spots.
“I imagine it would be difficult as they are allowed to be on the highway to get up here,” he said. “I don’t know if that would be possible or practical, but we can definitely look into it.”
He added vehicle-camping is illegal everywhere in Tofino and that the issue falls under bylaw enforcement. He added camping is done in all types of vehicles and that RV’s aren’t the key culprits.
“I’ve seen camping more in cars than I do in RV’s,” he said. “And, generally, people driving RV’s when you tell them to move, because they’ve rented this RV and they’re responsible people, they move on.”
Mayor Josie Osborne said a bigger scale plan needs to be mapped out if Tofino wants to ban RV parking because travellers will need a place to park after traveling to town.
“There has to be somewhere to go,” she said.
Thicke also raised the issue of boat trailers and suggested signage be installed encouraging locals to park them near Wickaninnish Community School.
“I really think that boat trailer parking is very important to the residents of the community and I think we should somehow encourage and protect boat trailer parking,” she said.
Coun. Greg Blanchette agreed but added boat trailers should be charged parking fees and suggested tickets to park around the school could be sold at Tofino’s harbour.
“That should definitely be pay parking,” he said. “A boat is strictly recreational and it makes an entire amount of sense that it should be pay parking.”
Coun. Dorothy Baert suggested the district reach out to the Tofino Harbour Authority to see if there’s any appetite for a financial partnership to create boat trailer parking.
Rodgers said additional signage directing boat trailer traffic to the school could be explored, but the conversations around charging boat trailers to park and banning RV’s did not reach clear resolutions.