It’s going to cost more to park in downtown Charlottetown in 2013.
Council passed a resolution at its monthly public meeting Tuesday night to jack the rates up at all three of the city’s parkades and on parking meters. The vote was 8-2 with Couns. Mitchell Tweel and Danny Redmond voting against it.
It was one of a number of significant issues that came up. The city also gave the green light to the McQuaid family to develop 15 acres behind the Charlottetown Mall to accommodate a mix of apartments, condominiums and a community care facility.
Council is also looking at ending the overnight parking ban during the winter and moving to the design phase for a roundabout by the Charlottetown Airport.
As for the parking issue, Deputy Mayor Stu MacFadyen said the city’s hand has been forced by the implementation of the harmonized sales tax, which comes into effect April 1, 2013, on P.E.I.
“We’re not blaming (the province),’’ MacFadyen said following the meeting. “It’s just that HST is going to be charged on parking; same with our meters.’’
The rate hike will also bring Pownal Parkade in line with the rates at the other two in the city. By 2014, it will cost the same to park at all three.
On Jan. 1, 2013, monthly rates at the Pownal Parkade will increase from $60 per month to $70 and on Jan. 1, 2014, rates will increase to $85 per month.
On Jan. 1, 2013, the residential rate in the Pownal Parkade will increase from $45 per month to $50 and on Jan. 1, 2014, the rate goes up to $55 per month.
On April 1, 2013, the monthly rates at the Queen and Fitzroy parkades will be $85 per month.
On April 1, 2013, the hourly rate at all parkades will be 95 cents while the daily rate will be $6.65.
None of the above fees include tax.
Also, on April 1, 2013, on-street parking meters will be $1.25 per hour.
Tweel said he opposed the resolution because there was no consultation with the public and it will only cause people to abandon the parkades and find a spot in residential areas.
Parking in Charlottetown is not currently taxed by the provincial government but that will change once the HST takes effect.
MacFadyen said the city has always lost money on the parkades and will continue to lose money “but not quite as much now.’’
“Of course, the province is going to benefit from the HST.’’
It’s the first significant rate hike the city has hit the parkades with since 2002 when the monthly rate went from $60 to $80 at the Queen Parkade and the hourly rate jumped from 75 cents to $1. At the Pownal Parkade, the rate in 2002 went from $45 to $60 while hourly parking jumped from 60 cents to $1.