A new Vernon hotel is promising not to create parking problems.
City council will allow the Fairfield Inn, which is under construction on Anderson Way, to reduce the number of required vehicle parking stalls from 98 to 89 so a patio can be built and the pool can be expanded.
“It’s simply the business traveller (that is the client base) and we will provide enough parking based on demand,” said Jay Gillman, an architect for the hotel.
City staff had recommended denying the variance, saying a reduction in parking could create challenges at peak times for the 98-room facility.
However, a a majority of council agreed to the change in parking, with Coun. Brian Quiring saying there is a difference between a business clientele and the predominantly tourist base other hotels attract.
“A study suggests there won’t be a negative traffic impact,” he said.
Some concerns did come from Coun. Juliette Cunningham.
“This could put pressure on neighbouring properties. This area is becoming busier and busier,” she said.
The city will insist that Fairfield promote alternate forms of transportation among employees as a way of easing parking.
“If a developer is looking for a variance, there should be a trade-off,” said Cunningham.
Among the actions to be taken are creating a staff travel plan that encourages carpooling, transit, cycling and walking to and from work.
There will have to be a minimum of five bicycle parking stalls installed to accommodate employees and five bicycle parking stalls for guests.
There will also have to be shower facilities so employees can get cleaned up after riding a bicycle to work.