CHELSEA traders will be able to park all day near their stores without worrying about being fined by roving parking inspectors under a new permit scheme to be trialled by Kingston Council.
Councillors rubber stamped a 12-month trial of parking permits for shop owners at the latest council meeting.
“Traders regularly get booked because they can’t get out to change where their car is [in 2-3 hour parking zones],” Cr Tamsin Bearsley said.
“Many traders are happy to see this introduced but several are against a cost being involved.”
The annual fee for a trader parking permit will be $268, in line with similar permit schemes in Mordialloc and Cheltenham.
“We’re happy to see whether this is effective,” Cr Bearsley said.
She said the car parking spaces, located behind the shopping centre, are particularly busy during the summer months since beachgoers seem to use the spaces for all-day parking.
Cr David Eden said the permit fees were not a “revenue raiser”.
Funds received from the traders will be reinvested back into the Chelsea shopping centre.
Cr Bearsley said some Chelsea traders had probably become “disheartened” since the parking permits idea had been suggested on several occasions in previous years without any progress being made but the one-year trial would determine whether it was a viable scheme.
“Some won’t be happy there’s a fee involved but there is no other way to make it happen,” she said.
All businesses will be offered the option of buying up to four permits for staff members to use.
Many small business owners have been unhappy that council parking inspectors seemed to regularly target the car park area behind the Nepean Hwy surrounding the Woolworths store between Swansea Rd and The Strand and book drivers who have overstayed the two or three hour parking limits by mere minutes.
The 12-month permits trial comes after council surveyed business owners in and around the Chelsea shopping centre.
Council may consider waiving permit fees for up to two permits for volunteers who work for charities located in the area.
A letter from Kingston Council will be sent to Chelsea shop owners within the next few weeks giving full details of the trial parking permits scheme.
New parking signs will also need to be put in place to allocate parking spaces to permit holders.
First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News