The newly elected Regina City Council held their first meeting on Wednesday, where they were faced with a years-old issue.
The Council had to vote on a bylaw that would see a temporary parking lot put up at the old Capital Pointe site. The vote passed 6-5.
Mayor Sandra Masters says while it’s not an ideal solution, it’s better than nothing.
“I think that if the city can do something to facilitate the sale and the recapturing of payment of the cost to fill the hole and back taxes, that’s in the best interest of the taxpayers of Regina,” said Masters
One council member who strongly opposed the bylaw was Ward 3 Councillor Andrew Stevens, who says Regina already has too many vacant parking lots.
“If the old Ward 3 boundaries were what they were, I would say I represented a lot of parking lots downtown, and we just added to that,” said Stevens. “There’s no shortage of space that could potentially be developed. I don’t see an economic argument for it, so I think this was a mistake, and again, maybe I’ll be proven wrong, I hope so, but we’ll see how things go in the next 12 months.”
Mayor Masters says one big challenge this council faces is a lack of economic development in the downtown core.
“All parking lots are temporary, I think the fact that we have so many of them might speak a little bit to the lack of development going on downtown,” said Masters. “Which is an issue for the city, and requires vision out of council, in terms of how to alleviate some of that.”
The parking lot at Capital Pointe will be permitted to operate for 12 months, at which point council will once again decide the future of the site.