Once a bastion for stationary vehicles and a paradise of parking meter-free lots, Colwood may have established some of its first paid parking spaces.
And it is not a popular decision with some.
Onni, the developer for Colwood Corners, is behind the change. Starting March 1, tenants in the apartment buildings, as well as customers at the various stores, supermarkets, pharmacies or banks in the plaza, will have to register their licence plates using Indigo Parking, according to a letter sent by Onni to tenants of Colwood Corners.
The new policy is getting a soft launch, meaning starting March 1 people will be given warnings if they don’t register. After March turns to April, they risk being issued a ticket.
Parking is free for 90 minutes – after that, charges come into effect. Monthly parking is also available.
The decision is controversial. A Facebook post on the Colwood Community Association page features a number of angry commenters.
The change is enough to push View Royal resident Rick Baker, who lives just down the road, to shop elsewhere – calling the change “ridiculous.”
“I’ve never experienced anything like this in retail – unless it’s an underground parkade or something like that where there’s paid parking, but on an outdoor lot like this. I’ve never experienced that.”
Baker said he expected the change would hurt businesses in the area. When he was in the parking lot, he saw one family struggle to figure out the technology, and was reminded of his wife’s parents who didn’t own a cell phone.
“Remember the days you were in school, and then if one kid was in class and that person was bad, well your whole class stay after. This is that same kind of principle, maybe there’s the odd person who does something goofy out there. But now we’re going to tag everybody with the onus of having to pay for parking because we can’t figure out a better way to deal with it. It’s crazy.”
“It’s the old one in 10. People complain, one person complains, and the people think it’s not a bad idea. But behind that is a bunch of people who quietly just walked away from your business.”
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