Business owner peeved over parking

A Trail business owner feels like he’s being held “hostage” with hefty city parking fees.

A Trail business owner who looks to diversify his downtown operation said he feels like he’s being held “hostage” with hefty city parking fees.

After nine years of service, Jim Berukoff, owner of Valu Office Supplies, is converting 2200 square feet of the first floor storefront on Pine Avenue from retail to professional and business office use to house an engineering firm.

Based on the size of office space being converted, a city-zoning bylaw requires that four off-street parking spaces be provided for the business or office use that will most likely see people parking for longer periods of time.

If this parking can’t be provided on the property, the city allows downtown owners to pay $3,000 in lieu of each off-street parking space required. For Berukoff, this means $12,000.

“I believed enough in Trail’s business community and invested another $90,000 to offer a professional office space for an international company to stay in Trail,” he said in a letter recently presented to Trail council.

“Instead of being congratulated for achieving this great goal, I am now being slapped with a heavy-handed penalty.”

Trail rejected Berukoff’s request to waive the fee, noting that the purpose of this parking requirement is to fund a reserve for creating future parking facilities that ultimately benefit downtown business owners.

“The city’s monthly paid parking facilities have been consistently at full capacity since the parking meter rates were increased in the spring of 2010,” explained city administrator Michelle McIsaac in a report to council. “Future expenditures will be required to either purchase additional property for parking development or to add infrastructure to convert areas the city has available to paid parking.”

A draft revitalization plan created by the MMM Group, on behalf of the Downtown Opportunities and Action Committee, suggests a parking shortfall of over 100 stalls in the core.

“In this regard, the collection of monies needed to pay for such a structure is of paramount importance and why the regulation was developed in the first place,” added McIsaac.

Berukoff feels the time has come to abolish the bylaw, which he describes as “restrictive” and “prohibitive.”

“Surely, even councillors must be well aware of changing economic times and the impact on business development in Trail,” he noted. “Because of changing times, councillors must work towards updating restrictive bylaws in order to attract new businesses competitively and not to discourage business owners moving to Trail.”

In the last 12 years, there have been only three other applications for variance made under this bylaw.

Though Berukoff has to pony up the funds for the parking spaces, he has since requested to speak to council of his concerns about the bylaw itself. He is set to appear in council chambers at the next meeting in April.

 

Just Posted

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters begin 24-hour blockade of Castlegar’s main street

Members of Extinction Rebellion plan to stay overnight

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Painting by Dave Davies from Shaver’s Bench facing Teck Trail.
Happy 120th Birthday to the City of Trail!

The town of Trail Creek- or Trail Creek Landing - was incorporated as a city on June 14, 1901.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read