Planning Commission Wrap-Up: Effing Parking

I don’t think it will come as a surprise to anyone that at today’s special meeting, Regina Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of Harvard’s plans for Hill Tower III. (At left is a drawing of the tower’s south east corner.)

Next step for the proposal is the Aug. 23 meeting of City Council. Anyone who has anything to say on the subject will have to have a written submission in to the City Clerk’s office by one o’clock August 19.

Former mayoral candidate and all round enviro-crusader, Jim Elliot, raised some concerns at the meeting about how the tower doesn’t entirely conform to the Downtown Neighbourhood Plan (see here for more on that). Later, another delegation, while largely in favour of the proposal, raised concerns about the effect the tower will have on parking.

Well, you know how I feel about parking being the public’s primary planning concern, right?

(Oh, I should note, in the staff’s report, neighbouring businesses also identified parking as a primary concern. The way the building will block the sun being their other major problem.)

Anyway, when Harvard’s VP of Leasing, Rosanne Hill Blaisdell, took to the podium to talk about the plan, RPC did pepper her with technical questions about the public spaces it will be building in and around Hill Tower III.

But the bulk of the questions, and the only ones that were at all challenging, revolved around parking.

Out of spite, I didn’t take any notes during those discussions. I do recall that it was a thorough interrogation and both Harvard and city staff are confident that parking plans proposed for the tower will be sufficient and parking in the rest of downtown won’t be overly stressed.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear Councillor O’Donnell address the subject, however. He said, “People want to park in front of where they’re going and stay there as long as they want and then drive away.” It wasn’t just an observation. He went on to talk about how people are going to have to think about what they want out of their downtown and come to terms with some parking changes.

Sounds pretty much spot on. Too bad the “coming to terms with” is going to involve a whole lot of kicking and screaming.

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5’10” tall and he was born in a place. He’s not there now. He’s sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It’s “Girl From Ipanema”, thanks for asking.

You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.

One thought on “Planning Commission Wrap-Up: Effing Parking”

  1. Everytime I hear someone complain about parking, I will always think about Paul Dechene’s spot-on 14-July-2010 rant: “This Week At City Hall: In Which Parking Nearly Breaks My Spirit” (link in the story above.) And now Paul claims he actually heard a City Councillor openly state the same sentiments? I’m going to next Monday’s City Council meeting to see if it’s true …

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