The city’s new parking strategy aims, in part, to create a shortage of parking stalls.
Making it hard to find parking will help encourage other forms of transportation, such as public transit, cycling and walking, municipal officials believe.
Having people move about in these ways creates more pleasant urban environments than settings that cater to vehicles, city planners say.
“In the urban context, the best pedestrian, most successful and most desirable public spaces all have high demand for parking and limited supply,” reads part of a staff report considered Monday by council.
One specific proposal is to lower the current parking requirements for some new developments, including new commercial businesses and all-rental housing projects.
Other ideas are to require builders to include more bike stalls at new projects, and to offer incentives for developments that provide parking stalls for car-sharing vehicles.
Also possible is a change to the zoning bylaw so builders of some new commercial and industrial premises would have to include showers, changing rooms, lockers and bike-washing stations in their designs.
“Requiring these amenities, targeted toward employees, be incorporated into commercial and industrial developments will support the City of Kelowna’s desired alternate transportation modal split and encourage vehicle trip reductions,” the report to council states.
Some members of council signalled their support for the proposed changes.
“I was really excited when I read this report,” said Coun. Loyal Wooldridge, adding he thought the measures would help battle climate change.
“Really comprehensive plan coming forward,” said Coun. Ryan Donn. “I’m totally fine with this bylaw (revision) as it is.”
Lowering parking requirements at some residential projects might increase housing affordability, Coun. Brad Sieben said.