MNBP SPECIAL Council Meeting Minutes March 8, 2021 – Parking Recommendations

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Members Present: Mayor Milt McIver, Deputy Mayor Debbie Myles (via Zoom), Councillor Laurie (Smokey) Golden, Councillor James Mielhausen, Councillor Megan Myles 

Staff Present: Peggy Van Mierlo-West, Chief Administrative Officer, Cathy Addison, Clerk, Tessa Swanton, Deputy Clerk, Carol Hopkins, Bylaw Enforcement Officer, Ryan Deska, Community Services Manager, Troy Cameron, Public Works Manager

Others Present: Nil

Note: Some members of Council and staff were present in the Council Chamber and the meeting was held via zoom, an electronic platform, for members of the public to attend.

Note: In the absence of the ability to vote by a show of hands, in accordance with By-law No. 2021-08 Section 3-64.3, Council votes will be recorded for resolutions presented at electronic Council meetings.

Disclosure of Pecuniary Interest and General Nature Thereof

Mayor McIver called the meeting to order at 10:01 a.m. and Council members were reminded to disclose any pecuniary interest and the general nature thereof that may arise during the meeting.

Approval of the Agenda

Resolution #09-01-2021, Moved by M. Myles, Seconded L. Golden

THAT the content of the agenda be approved, as printed.

The Clerk proceeded to call and record the votes of Council:

Councillor Golden: Yes

Councillor Mielhausen: Yes

Councillor Myles: Yes

Deputy Mayor Myles: Yes

Mayor McIver: Yes 

The Clerk announced that the motion was carried.

Carried

Consideration of Agenda Items

1. Chief Administrative Officer Report No. CAO 21-06

Re: Parking Recommendations

Mayor McIver introduced the parking recommendations report from the CAO. He emphasized that the recommendations within the report can be altered, rejected, or approved.

The following discussion was noted:

Mermaids Cove:

• Staff recommend that the blue area on the map be available for residential parking only by way of a residential parking pass from the Municipality 

• Proposing no parking from Harpur Drive to the end of Grant Watson Drive

• Creating no parking areas will push visitors to the downtown core to find parking

• Meeting high demand may result in losing the community and environment in the process 

• Signage permitting residents only may not effectively limit visitors from parking

• Determine if resident only areas are a good decision

• Several online websites promote Mermaids Cove as a tourist area

• Consider no parking at Mermaids Cove during peak season and permit walking and cycling only

• Designating Mermaids Cove as a resident only parking area may set a precedent for similar areas

• Residents deserve to have areas permitted for residents only; find a balance

• Public input can occur in a few weeks regarding parking recommendations

• Parks Canada is trying to limit the number of visitor entrance points and is not promoting Mermaids Cove

• Parks Canada advised the CAO that they are not interested in having parking at Mermaids Cove

• Parks Canada is focused on population negatively impacting the environment

• No parking denies local people; gather public input

• The CAO was asked to consult with Parks Canada Superintendent, John Haselmayer, and discuss permitting either resident parking only or no parking

Big Tub Road:

• Proposing no parking on the south side of the road and reducing 50 parking spaces

• Concerns regarding parking and emergency access

• Proposing to limit parking to approximately 10 vehicles

• Currently no parking permitted on the north side of the road

• Big Tub Road was barricaded last year when the parking area was full; this required two staff members directing cars in and out of the parking area

• A long-term option includes a shuttle service from larger parking lots on the outside of town to downtown attractions

• Currently all-day parking at the Big Tub Lighthouse, paid parking charges $3 per hour to a maximum of $15 per day

• People are not encouraged to swim or launch boats off of Big Tub Road; consider limiting parking to 1-2 hours

• Visitors need to pay when accessing these areas

• The municipal parking area at Big Tub Road accommodates 10 vehicles

• Reduce the parking time limit and reduce parking to 25 vehicles

• Visitors spend the day at Big Tub Lighthouse increasing congestion at the end of the road, blocking residential driveways, and creating a safety hazard

• Reduce parking to the south side of the road for 25 parking spaces; the road may require barricading during peak season similar to last season

12 Brock Street Parking Lot:

• 2.88 acres of land not serviced by municipal water and purchased by the Municipality in 2017

• An environmental impact study (EIS) was completed in 2018

• Northern water snake is in that area

• Staff recommend construction of a parking lot at this site as it was purchased for parking in 2017

• Heard comments from the public that the property is too close to the downtown core; however, it is near where the Community Centre parking lot is located

• Completion of a Class Environmental Assessment (EA) would be a next step, if approved

• The property is too valuable to be used as a parking area when the area is in need of housing

• The original estimated capacity for the property was 100 vehicles

• Consider using the property for a housing development rather than a parking lot

• Traffic flow could be an issue in this area

• The newly formed Housing Taskforce Committee can investigate the use of the property for a housing development 

• The Mayor recommended deferring the recommendation within the report regarding the construction of a parking lot at 12 Brock Street

• Determine the additional parking required for the area as a whole

• Paid parking revenues were intended to be used to fund tourist infrastructure

• Treasury is working on a report regarding paid parking revenues 

• Issues caused by the tourism industry should be funded by revenues generated from tourists, such as paid parking

Carter Road (Option 1):

• Place a locked gate

• Pedestrian access only

• Issue for emergencies

Carter Road (Option 2)

• Staff are recommending Option 2

• Place a locked gate at the entrance of Carter Road and create a new entrance to the south

• Construct a small parking area and create a pathway from the parking lot to the shore

• A second gate is proposed to enter the parking lot

• Bylaw officers will lock the gates behind them at night and unlock the gates every morning

• Options for area residents to open and close the gate

• 6-8 vehicles are proposed to fit in the new parking lot

Carter Road (Option 3)

• Place a locked gate at the entrance

• Install signage 

Chi Sin Tub Dik Road and Little Cove Road:

• Proposed lease of parking spaces to Parks Canada (memorandum of understanding)

• The Municipality will still have authority over the road

• Parks Canada will operate their paid parking program on the road and pay the Municipality a fee

• Parks Canada may be proposing changes to parking capacities for Chi Sin Tub Dik Road in the near future

• The agreement will reduce visitor confusion

Black Creek Provincial Park:

• Staff are recommending paid parking in the parking lot of Black Creek Provincial Park; paid parking in this parking lot may generate an additional $45,000 in revenues annually

• Consider an increased daily fee for use of the parking lot, such as $30.00 per day

• Investigate a memorandum of understanding with Celtic Sports and Arts Camp

• A larger partnership should be discussed with Ontario Parks

• Ensure that paid parking machines will successfully operate as there is limited cellphone reception in that area

• Staff to research other Ontario Parks parking fees

Lion’s Head:

• Approximately six paid parking machines are proposed

• More detail is required regarding sides of the road for parking areas

• Concerns with paid parking on McNeil Street

• No parking on McNeil Street other than designated spots by the memorial garden

• No issues in the past with parking on Ida Street

• Staff to prepare a more detailed proposed paid parking map for Lion’s Head to present to Council 

• Consider possible impacts on private businesses in terms of self-enforcement of private parking lots

• A different paid parking fee for the Lion’s Head Beach can be investigated 

• Consider two rates: prime rate at Black Creek Provincial Park, Lion’s Head Beach and Big Tub Road and an affordable rate for all other paid parking areas

• Additional bylaw staff may be needed to monitor the new paid parking areas

• Options regarding a phased-in approach for paid parking in Lion’s Head

McCurdy Drive Parking Lot:

• Implement paid parking in the parking lot for 2021

• Review the possibility of expanding the parking lot

• Completion of the Environmental Assessment (EA) can be funded through future 2021 paid parking revenues 

• Discussed capacity with Ontario Parks and they are in favour of paid parking

• Implement an online reservation system

• McKays Harbour permits legal overnight camping; should the Municipality allow overnight parking in the parking lot?

• Ontario Parks is responsible for protecting the area

• The online reservation system and shuttle service will assist in regulating daily capacities in the future

• The Community Services Manager spoke with Ontario Parks who noted that concerns are regarding the behaviour of people on the trail (trail etiquette) rather than the number of people using the trail

Lion’s Head Shuttle Service:

• Celtic Sports and Arts Centre Inc. is proposing shuttle drop off locations at the Forty Hills parking lot, Cemetery Road parking lot, Lion’s Head parking lot, Lion’s Head Arena and Lion’s Head Beach

• Dropping off shuttle passengers at the Arena and Beach when the parking lot is already full may result in overcapacity issues

• Concerns with the Lion’s Head Marina being a drop off location

• Contract out the shuttle service rather than being a municipal operation

• Easier to manage if the Arena parking lot is leased to the shuttle operator

• The Municipality would be receiving $4,000 for the season from the operator for the lease of the parking lot

• Start the shuttle service on May long weekend and operate until Labour Day; specify daily hours with shuttler operator

• Work with the Bruce Trail and Ontario Parks

The Mayor recommended deferral of the CAO report outlining parking recommendations until additional information is presented to Council from staff. 

Resolution #09-02-2021, Moved by J. Mielhausen, Seconded by D. Myles

THAT Council receives the report titled, Parking Recommendations and;

THAT the amended BY-LAW NO. 2020-71 being a by-law to regulate paid parking and control traffic and more particularly the parking and stopping or standing of vehicles and the use of municipal parking lots within the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula be presented to Council at the March 22nd, 2021 Council meeting and;

THAT Council approved the allocation of Parking Reserve for the engineering and design of the 12 Brock Street, and;

THAT Council approves the construction of a parking area located at 60 Carter Road in 2021, and;

THAT Administration enter into discussions with Parks Canada for leasing of the Parking areas located on Ch-Sintub’dik Road and Little Cover Road, and;

THAT Council approved the allocation of Parking Reserve for the engineering and design of the Mc Curdy Drive Parking Area, and

THAT Council enters into a lease agreement with for the Lion’s Head Arena Parking Lot for the operational of a tourism shuttle service with Celtic Sports and Arts Centre Inc., and;

THAT, Administration enter review further the opportunity to implement a short wave radio system for communication.

The Clerk proceeded to call and record the votes of Council:

Councillor Golden: Yes

Councillor Mielhausen: Yes

Councillor Myles: Yes

Deputy Mayor Myles: Yes

Mayor McIver: Yes 

The Clerk announced that the motion was deferred.

Deferred

2. Alison Knight- Lion’s Head Nature Reserve, Moore Street and McCurdy Drive

Resolution #09-03-2021, Moved by J. Mielhausen, Seconded by M. Myles

That Council receives the correspondence as information. 

The Clerk proceeded to call and record the votes of Council:

Councillor Golden: Yes

Councillor Mielhausen: Yes

Councillor Myles: Yes

Deputy Mayor Myles: Yes

Mayor McIver: Yes 

The Clerk announced that the motion was carried.

Carried

Other Business

There was no Other Business for Special Council Meeting No. 21-09, March 8, 2021.

Reading of By-Laws

Resolution #09-04-2021, Moved by L. Golden, Seconded by D. Myles 

By-law No. 2021-25

Being a By-Law to Confirm the Proceedings of the Special Council Meeting of The Corporation of The Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula Held Monday, March 8, 2021

That the listed by-law(s) be given 1st, 2nd, and 3rd reading, and enacted.

The Clerk proceeded to call and record the votes of Council:

Councillor Golden: Yes

Councillor Mielhausen: Yes

Councillor Myles: Yes

Deputy Mayor Myles: Yes

Mayor McIver: Yes 

The Clerk announced that the motion was carried.

Carried

Mayor McIver thanked staff for preparing the report for consideration. 

Adjournment 

Resolution #09-05-2021, Moved by M. Myles, Seconded by J. Mielhausen

THAT the meeting adjourns at 12:09 p.m. 

The Clerk proceeded to call and record the votes of Council:

Councillor Golden: Yes

Councillor Mielhausen: Yes

Councillor Myles: Yes

Deputy Mayor Myles: Yes

Mayor McIver: Yes 

The Clerk announced that the motion was carried.

Carried