Skip to content

Ucluelet asks for feedback on parking fees for tourists

Ucluelet could soon join Tofino with new pay parking program
Ucluelet is thinking about charging parking fees to non-residents. (Andrew Bailey photo)

Parking in Ucluelet could soon be a pay to play activity.

The district is considering introducing parking fees to help raise money for infrastructure upgrades and to pay for the service demands caused by the town’s tourism industry.

Ucluelet residents and businesses are expected to be exempt from the fees with visitors being charged a flat daily rate for all vehicles.

A survey has been published on the district’s website at asking for feedback on the idea and anyone interested in participating has until an April 19 deadline to submit their input. Hard copies of the survey can also be picked up at the district office—200 Main Street.

“As a resort municipality the District has been funding the increased demands on municipal services and infrastructure created by tourism through local tax requisitions,” reads a statement from the district announcing the survey.

“Although the District receives some funding from the province as a resort municipality those funds are aimed solely at the development of new tourism facing initiatives and does not contemplate the ongoing maintenance and care of tourism facing infrastructure. In order to maintain the high level of care and maintenance of existing and new tourism infrastructure and our community as a world class destination the District is considering the implementation of a parking program with the funds helping to offset the ongoing and future costs tourism has on our community.”

The short survey contains only two questions as respondents are asked how supportive they are of charging parking fees and whether they are a Ucluelet resident, West Coast resident, or visitor.

“Permanent residents and businesses of Ucluelet would be exempt from all parking fees,” the survey reads. “Permanent West Coast residents and businesses will either be exempt from parking fees or be subject to a nominal annual administrative fee.”

Ucluelet’s neighbour Tofino launched a pay parking program at its beaches in 2021 and expanded the fees to its downtown core in 2023.

Residents of Tofino, Ahousaht, Opitsaht, Esowista, Hesquiaht and Ty-Histanis are exempt from those fees, though all West Coasters living on the other side of the junction, including Ucluelet, Hitacu and Macoah are charged an hourly rate or can purchase an annual pass for $60.

It is currently unclear whether Ucluelet will follow suit and charge Tofitians parking fees, though when the idea was first discussed in Ucluelet’s council chambers on Oct. 25, 2023, mayor Marilyn McEwen said she would prefer to not charge any West Coast resident.

“An expanded exemption to neighbouring communities or discount for an annual parking pass can be provided,” the survey’s website reads.

Don’t miss out on reading the latest local, provincial and national news. Join our community and receive daily news alerts & breaking news, right to your inbox.

READ MORE: Ucluelet council considers charging parking fee to tourists

READ MORE: Parking fees headed to downtown Tofino

READ MORE: Tofino set to charge for parking at beaches

Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
Read more

Secondary Title