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City plans to sell part of Cow Bay parking lot for development

Parking spaces loss will be offset by new lot along George Hills Way
Overlay of Cow Bay area showing proposed 3rd Avenue extension and temporary parking lot to offset loss of Cow Bay spaces due to new development. (City of Prince Rupert)

The City of Prince Rupert is getting ready to sell off a portion of its parking lot in Cow Bay.

In a press release June 27, the city said it has been approached by a developer and is planning on advertising the disposition of the land next week.

This, of course, has ramifications for an already congested parking situation in the popular area of town.

To offset that, the city is planning to develop another piece of land into temporary parking.

“Cow Bay is one of Prince Rupert’s most sought-after commercial areas,” said Rob Buchan, Prince Rupert’s city manager. “As we begin to get more interest in development, we know we need to have adequate parking in the surrounding area so that it’s accessible for the public. To offset the potential loss of parking in one of our existing lots, we’re looking to the Legacy lot to more than make up the difference in the potential loss of spaces.”

The area is the cleared land along George Hills Way. This land is also adjacent to the eventual extension of 3rd Avenue on the other side, but in the interim, the city says it will use it as parking.

From the new lot, the existing commercial area of Cow Bay is mere moments away.

Eventually, the city envisions the temporary lot will be devoted to mixed residential and commercial development with angled parking along the 3rd Avenue extension.

Parking is a perennial problem in Prince Rupert, but a parking plan is a priority according to city council’s 2022 strategic directives.

Other means of alleviating congestion are also being considered such as increasing maximum parking times in lower traffic areas of downtown from two hours to four hours. The city hopes this will encourage employees of downtown businesses to park away from the high-traffic areas.

There are a number of other initiatives in the works which are part of an interim parking management strategy which is available for viewing or download on the city’s website.

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Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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