Mission needs places for residents and tourists to park their recreational vehicles, Mayor Randy Hawes said Monday as council voted to waive a prohibition against RV parking at Walmart.
When council approved the development of the shopping centre that includes Walmart four years ago, a covenant was placed on the property requiring that the developer ban overnight parking on the site, except by staff.
Walmart is known for taking an accepting stance toward RV drivers who wish to park their vehicles overnight at their stores, and staff were worried that free overnight parking could become a problem during major events.
Mayor Randy Hawes noted that Walmart is the only property with specific restrictions against overnight parking.
On Monday, council decided to waive the covenant.
“We don’t have an RV park in Mission and I’m aware of RV drivers who have asked people, ‘Where can I park overnight so I can stay here.’ And if they can’t find a place, they move on to Maple Ridge, with their tourism dollars.
“It just makes sense to me that we would remove that covenant and tell Walmart if they wish to allow parking in their parking lot, they’re free to do so.”
Coun. Pam Alexis added that questions about RV parking are some of the most frequent queries at Mission’s tourist information centre.
Coun. Jim Hinds said concerns about raceway spillover “was never based on fact of any sort,” because there is no shortage of spaces to park on land at the track.
“That was a complete red herring,” he said.
Coun. Jenny Stevens noted that the move would also continue to permit RV parking in commercial parking areas, although owners of such lots may also prohibit overnight parking.