A plea by a local business owner Wayne Brown has fallen on deaf council ears.
According to Coun. Frank Varga, during a recent downtown revitalization committee meeting Brown, owner of Process 4 circle arts Gallery, had raised concerns about the proposed location and size of curb bulbs [a traffic calming measure used to extend the sidewalk] near his business.
Brown indicated to the committee that the curb bulbs would significantly reduce parking for his customers and cause difficulty for delivery trucks at his business.
Councillor Varga said, “The committee wanted to make a decision on this, but I felt that the matter should be brought to council. Council should have the final say on any changes, or decisions about the plans.”
A list of four options to resolve the issue was presented to council by village chief administrative officer Sheryl Worthing, for consideration.
Option one: proposed that the downtown revitalization phase one plans be amended to include additional parking space in front of Redferns Coffee House and the Beacon Theatre.
Option two: proposed additional parking space in front of Redferns Coffee House and the Beacon Theatre as well as Process 4 circle arts Gallery.
Option three: proposed additional parking space at Redferns Coffee House, the Beacon Theatre, Process 4 circle arts Gallery and Rexall Drug Store.
Option four: proposed to keep the plans as originally presented, with no alterations.
Councillor Susan Schienbein asked Coun. Varga what the recommendation was from the downtown revitalization committee.
“There was mixed comfort with keeping the plans as presented and adding additional parking spaces,” Coun. Varga replied, adding that he had also discussed the issue with the owner of the building.
“The owner of the building had no issues with the current phase one downtown revitalization plans. It is Wayne Brown that rents the space that has issues. The designs were created for safety and appearance and I have concerns about catering to individuals. I have a problem with changing the plans at this point,” Varga said.
He made a motion to choose option four and keep the plans as originally presented. Coun. Schienbein seconded the motion.
Mayor Luke Strimbold said, “You are moving very fast with this decision. I think we have to consider the long term effects that this could have on the business. If there is no option to get in and unload …. I want to caution you that some valid points have been brought up.”
Councillor Varga said, “With all due respect, I disagree. Process 4 circle arts Gallery has access in the back [behind the building] and all delivery vehicles have trolleys. In Vancouver storefront proprietors don’t expect to be able to unload and load directly in front of their business. Not many have that option and the distance for deliveries for Process 4 circle arts Galley to the door will be very minimal.”
Council voted unanimously to keep the downtown revitalization phase one plans as they are currently presented, with no changes to accommodate the concerns of Brown.