It is the intention of Kimberley’s Mayor and Council, says Mayor Ron McRae, to lessen regulation and “get the City out of people’s lives”.
A number of small but significant steps have been taken in that direction in recent days, many of them around parking.
First, the City has repealed the downtown parking levy, a special area tax that was very unpopular with some business owners, who felt they were being unfairly burdened.
“We have removed what has been seen as an onerous tax on business and commercial enterprises,” McRae said. “The levy will be built into the tax base. The costs can be assumed within the operating budget without affecting taxation. It brings a measure of equity.
“We are working really hard on finding ways to deregulate. It only seems fair the whole community should be responsible for supplying parking. We see it as a progressive move to help out the business community.”
The City is also removing what Council sees as a penalty on residential developers in the Platzl and downtown area —a $5,000 per stall payment in lieu of providing a parking stall.
“We continue to work on adjusting the parking bylaw. $5000 per stall is a bit of a penalty and a disincentive to residential development. It’s another form of regulation we need to relax.”
The City will also be looking at creating a new parking lot on the old Canadian Hotel lot.
“We want to make sure that lot doesn’t turn into a lot full of weeds. We are planning a seasonal parking lot and can use materials coming out of road work to level it. We don’t know if it will be plowed in the winter yet. It depends on demand. We do want to have additional parking on the other side of the Platzl so people enter from the upper end. With the development of the climbing wall, they were concerned about having enough parking.”