The Regional District of Nanaimo is hoping a $580,000 land purchase will help alleviate parking congestion at Mount Benson Regional Park.
In October 2016, the regional district board directed staff to explore long-term parking solutions for the park and trail and in an Oct. 4 press release, the RDN said the board has agreed to purchase land on Benson View Road.
Mount Benson Regional Park and Witchcraft Lake Regional Trail users currently have access to a 24-car roadside area on Benson View Road to park, which is unable to accommodate the growing number of visitors and overflows on a regular basis, according to the press release.
The land that is being purchased is located at 2761 Benson View Rd. and there is space for 92 to 126 parking stalls, the regional district said, although configurations will depend on use of a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure roadway situated near the back end of Witchcraft Lake.
According to the release, area residents have told the regional district they have concerns about where the lot is located and the existing trailhead, and consultation will take place before any parking lot designs are drafted.
The $580,000 will come from the regional district regional parks and trails service area.
“Final construction costs will be determined once community consultation and detailed design is completed,” the press release noted.