Parking signs covered to help business at Encounter Bay

NO SIGNS: Eat at Whalers owner Allister Parker at the Bluff Boat Ramp Car Park with the parking signs taken down until the City of Victor Harbor resolves the issue.
NO SIGNS: Eat at Whalers owner Allister Parker at the Bluff Boat Ramp Car Park with the parking signs taken down until the City of Victor Harbor resolves the issue.

An impassioned plea by a business owner at Encounter Bay has caused council to re-think a decision it made at a previous council meeting

BEFORE:  Allister Parker.

BEFORE: Allister Parker.

Allister Parker of Eat at Whalers made a deputation at the City of Victor Harbor December council meeting asking elected members to allow more car parking spaces be available for his patrons at the Bluff Boat Ramp Car Park.

The Bluff Boat Ramp Car Park received a $750,000 upgrade in 2017, which allows for 11 more car parks with boat trailers, four for vehicles only and 13 parks in front of Eat at Whalers. 

At the November council meeting elected members voted for all but four car parks in the new upgrade to be available for vehicles with boat trailers only, from December to March, 6am to 6pm.

The move created angst for the business, as Mr Parker said signage excludes the greater community from using the parks, even when unoccupied.

“I would like council to reconsider its decision. Our hospitality business relies on the summer trade. Signs which prohibit parking by vehicles without trailers between 6am to 6pm are particularly unfair. We need to find an equitable solution,” he said.

Mr Parker pointed out that the business and the employment of more than 20 staff are in jeopardy if the restrictions stayed in place.

It is a daily occurrence for parking spaces to not be used by a vehicle towing a trailer, yet a car is prohibited from using the vacant park,” he said.

“A compromise could be changing the times from 6am to 6pm to 6am to 11am.”

A majority of elected members listened to the call from Mr Parker and supported that a small working party be formed to liaise with Mr Parker in regard to the parking signage issues and the signs be temporarily covered up until a decision is made. 

However, the council was split with councillors Peter Charles, Bob Marshall, Carol Schofield, Karen Dutton and Terry Andrews in support of a re-think on the parking signage, while councillors Tim Glazbrook, Pat Chigwidden, Moira Jenkins and Nicholas Hayles were against any change.

“I am glad the council listened to my concerns and I am looking forward to meeting with the boating committee on January 30. There are no restrictions with the signs at present and there are no problems,” Mr Parker said.

The change in signage has enabled Eat at Whalers to open a roof top bar for patrons to enjoy street food, magnificent views and refreshments. 

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