The already packed parking lot at the Mission Leisure Centre is losing 15 parking stalls to the new seniors’ centre.
Mission council voted to amend the lease agreement with Mission Association for Seniors Housing (MASH) on Oct. 18, though some councillors were not happy about surrendering additional parking.
“Is this the right approach? … We’ve heard that the rec centre needs more parking as well,” Coun. Jag Gill said.
“I do struggle with this, because I know that when events are going on, it’s already jam packed.”
After the completion of the new Boswyk Centre, MASH soon realized they’d miscalculated the number of parking spaces required by their tenants. They initially asked for 20 additional stalls, but reduced the request to 15.
Parking is so strained at the adjacent leisure centre that the Parks, Recreation, and Culture (PRC) department will no longer be holding two events on the same day at the facility, nor renting spaces to film crews, said Maureen Sinclair, director PRC.
She said the situation is not ideal and there has to be compromises.
“It’s tight … That’s the reason why (the property) had not been previously developed by a private developer,” Sinclair said, adding that parking requirements were reduced for the facility.
Coun. Cal Crawford said he was “perplexed,” and didn’t understand what led to the miscalculation of the parking needed by tenants.
“We’re hog-tying our leisure centre to accommodate these spaces,” Crawford said. “Did (MASH) just rent and then count cars after? … Because this is after the fact, and it’s really got us between a rock and hard place.”
Glen Robertson, president of MASH, said they had not tallied the number of incoming vehicles.
MASH looked at parking at other seniors’ housing facilities in Mission, Robertson said. They made an assumption that once tenants move in, become comfortable and realize the proximity to services, they’ll get rid of their vehicles due to expense.
“You can’t lose track of the fact that the building is generally well below the average-income levels for the area,” Robertson said.
“We strongly suspect that … we will not need these spaces in a period of time.”
MASH is contributing $30,000 to the city for the development of additional parking spaces, layout adjustments, signage, line painting and repairs.
One the parking situation is resolved, overflow into the Mission Leisure Centre will be enforced by towing and ticketing.