Parking rates are going up at Cultus Lake Park.
But not as much as they could have.
Park board commissioners voted 5-2 last Wednesday night approving new parking rates and new rules for resident parking.
Although the parking task force had proposed raising parking rates from $1 to $2 per hour with maximum of $10 on weekends, in the end they opted to go with the $2 per hour rate, but with a maximum of $5 per day.
Commissioner and board chair Sacha Peter and Commissioner Bob McCrea were opposed to the parking rates going up.
“While I respect the park board’s decision, I was opposed to increased parking rates,” said Peter in an interview after the meeting.
The $1 per hour rate was reasonable, he said, but an increase might deter visitors and have them opting to go to other recreational areas instead.
The $2 per hour rate might create a psychological barrier.
“I believe that the beauty of Cultus Lake Park is there to be enjoyed by the public, residents and the people who come and visit,” he said.
However with maintenance costs at the park associated with the hundreds of thousands of visitors per year, some amount of parking revenue is justified, Peter said, and staff does an “incredible” job.
Other sections approved under parking include a decal-based system for park residents. Upon provision of proof of
ownership and insurance, leaseholders get a decal with a code that allows them to park in residential areas.
“There have been cases in July and August when it’s busy, where residents of the park say they are unable to find parking,” Peter explained.
Pay parking will also be in effect at the Oak Street parking, which offers about 10 parking spots near a clearing, where a pay parking machine will be installed.
“That area of the park is in high demand with visitors,” he said.