Mono clears way for new trail parking lot

September 24, 2014   ·   0 Comments

By Tabitha Wells – Mono Council voted Tuesday to allow  Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) to move forward with the development of a parking lot off Hurontario Street to allow more parking availability for hikers utilizing the trails around Island Lake.

The process has been ongoing since late spring, when the idea of development was originally presented to council, and has seen several revisions and compromises to not only meet the requests of council, but quell concerns raised by residents of the street.

In the plan’s inception, the parking lot was to be a paid lot, and concerns were raised from local residents about people who would begin parking on the road to avoid paying in the lot.

According to Bill Lidster from the CVC, these issues have all been resolved.

“The CVC is willing to provide free parking as per the town’s request,” he said at council. “We want to partner with the town, and we want this to be a collaboration, so making sure this fits the needs of the town and residents is a priority.”

Once the parking lot has been built, the CVC will be in charge of all responsibilities of maintaining the lot, kiosk and washrooms that will be located there. This means the town will not have to worry about plowing, maintenance, garbages or the chain link.

“I have to respect the fact that the CVC are giving up their revenue for this parking lot,” said Councillor Bob Mitchell. “It shows that this is a give and take. I am delighted that you came back this route, and I think our citizens will be delighted as well.”

Another discussion had surrounded the topic of whether Mono should be implementing ‘No Parking’ signs up Hurontario and pass a bylaw to grant CVC officers the power to ticket individuals caught breaking the bylaw.

Keith McNenly, CAO and Chief for the town, raised the point that if the parking lot now would be free to access, there might not be a need to enforce a no-parking bylaw up Hurontario Street.

“We might want to try and see what happens with the free parking lot before passing the bylaw,” he suggested. “If we see an overflow onto the street, we could always revisit that bylaw in the future. The original idea was presented as a way to prevent people from avoiding paying in the lot.”

Council and the CVC agreed that it would be worth seeing what happens prior to passing anything, as it would save costs should the parking lot work.

There was also discussion about placing signs by the cul-de-sac, as currently, people tend to park there quite often. The cul-de-sac is actually a turnaround for emergency vehicles, which makes parking there illegal.

“It might be a matter of awareness,” explained Mr. Lidster.

“Most people know that parking in an emergency services turnaround is illegal, so if we post a sign on the chain-link fence identifying it as such, I think that people would be more aware.”

With all issues resolved, council was willing to move forward with the partnership, which would see the town providing gravel and trucks for the construction of the lot, as approved by Town staff.

“If the need arises in the future to have Hurontario Street rezoned, council will revisit the parking bylaw at that point.”

The CVC hopes to have the new parking lot completed by this fall.

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