A change to a downtown Sidney parking lot has a medical clinic owner worried.
Scott Monette owns Ocean Pier Medical Clinic and for the past decade has been paying for a number of his employees to park in Lot A – owned by the province but leased by Sidney. The town is now switching the lot from long-term paid parking to three-hour free parking after the province informed the town that using the lot for commercial purposes was against the lease terms.
The change would hurt customers and his current staff, said Monette, but also the chances of hiring staff in the future.
“It seems like such a minor thing but it’s actually complicated and can have wide impacts,” he said. “I’d actually save money with the change but then my staff would have to walk across town, which would make it harder to hire physicians.”
At its July 18 meeting, Sidney council recommended staff look at turning Lot F – a free three-hour lot – into a paid long-term parking lot to replace Lot A. Staff had initially recommended Lot E because Lot F’s lease only runs for another three and a half years, but council opted for Lot F as its preferred option. There were a number of reasons for this, according to Coun. Chad Rintoul.
Lot F (Third Street and Bevan Avenue) is closer to Lot A (Second and Bevan) while Lot E (Seventh and Bevan) is slightly smaller than Lot A and is in a busy, high-traffic area, Rintoul said during an interview.
Monette hopes the town finds a solution to keep Lot A the way it is, but noted Lot F would be the next best option.
The province rejected the town’s appeal to continue using Lot A as it had been, according to the staff report.
Rintoul said council would likely get a report back from staff at the Aug. 15 meeting.