Boat launch parking changes to support growth, maintenance

November 27, 2019

To support parks development, parking fees are set to change at the Cook Road Boat Launch starting Dec. 1. Earlier this year, Council identified a preferred funding model to ensure Kelowna has adequate park space to meet projected population growth over the next 10 years. The proposed funding strategy will spread the parks funding needs across multiple sources, including parks revenues such as parking fees.

“Current parking rates at the Cook Road launch are too low to cover maintenance and an eventual replacement of the boat ramp,” said Dave Duncan, Parking Services Manager. “Rates are also too low to discourage use of the parking lot as a long-term storage area, which has been an issue in the past and makes it challenging for some daily users to find parking for their vehicle and boat trailer.”

Currently, the Cook Road launch is incurring annual dredging costs and will require major reconstruction to repair existing damage. Parking rates are also low in comparison with other area launches. To compare, Cook Road Boat Launch parking fees for a vehicle with a boat trailer are currently set at $5 per 24 hours, compared to fees at the Prospera Place lot near the Water Street Boat Launch at $8 an hour, $45 for 12 hours, and $80 for 24 hours.

At the Cook Road launch, 2018 parking fees from the “vehicle with boat trailer” 24-hour rate generated revenue of $29,000, while 2019 dredging work cost nearly $200,000. As a result, dredging was funded from general taxation.

“When revenues are insufficient to cover maintenance and repairs, costs are paid for by general taxation rather than by those who use the lot and boat launch – something the City is looking to move away from,” said Melanie Steppuhn, Parks and Landscape Planner.

Aligning with parking management guiding principles to operate a self-funded parking system, and to ensure funds are available for future repairs and replacement of boat launches, Council approved a Cook Road Boat Launch parking rate change specific to vehicles with a boat trailer. Starting May 15, 2020, summer parking rates will be implemented, changing to $5 an hour, $25 for 12 hours, and $40 for 24 hours.

To be consistent with other City-operated facilities, off-season parking rates will also change to $2 an hour, $12 for 12 hours, and $20 for 24 hours starting Dec. 1. Also in effect at this lot is a seven-day maximum time limit for parking within any 30-day period to ensure it is not used for long-term storage.

Kelowna is growing, and parking changes at the Cook Road Boat Launch are a step forward in accommodating that growth. To learn more about parking in Kelowna and see current parkade availability, visit kelowna.ca/parking.