Parking fines in the Town of Gibsons are poised to increase for the first time in 17 years.
On Sept. 11, council’s committee-of-the-whole recommended that basic fines — for parking contrary to posted signage — double from $15 to $30, with a $5 discount for early payment.
The committee also recommended more than tripling fines for stopping or parking in a disabled zone, from the current $15 to $50.
The increase, if adopted by council, will be the first since the highway traffic bylaw was enacted in 1995 and will bring fine amounts in line with other B.C. towns, staff said. It will also help the Town recover some of its bylaw enforcement costs.
In 2011, staff reported, total revenue from tickets was $1,315, deemed “far below” enforcement and processing costs.
Low fines have contributed to habitual violations by some drivers, for whom “a $15 fine is essentially the cost of a parking meter in a metropolitan area,” municipal planner Michael Epp told the committee.
While the vote was unanimous, Coun. Charlene SanJenko initially questioned the increase in light of complaints by some Landing merchants that two hours of parking are inadequate, especially during tourist season.
The area’s two-hour parking limit, Coun. Lee Ann Johnson responded, was implemented at the request of merchants, to keep vehicles moving along.
“It was worked out with the merchants of the Landing,” Johnson said.