By Korie Marshall

Valemount will be offering a parking lot off 5th Ave for sled trucks and trailers for the upcoming winter.

Council has approved permits to allow the Village-owned vacant lot at 1445 5th Ave to be used as overflow parking for trucks and sled trailers until April 30, 2014. The trial will allow Council to see if the parking area will alleviate congestion around Valemount’s hotel district during the winter sledding season.

Big trucks towing snowmobile trailers often park along 5th Ave once hotel parking lots are full, decreasing visibility around the busy curve.

A public hearing for the Temporary Use Permit was held before the Council meeting Nov. 26. The single comment was from a neighbor who had concerns about access issues and potential damage and security issues with the lot. The permit was originally for one year, but during the regular Council meeting, it was amended to end on April 30, 2014, the end of sledding season, so that Council can review the trial while any issues are still fresh, and so that it won’t be used over the summer if that is not deemed appropriate. Council approved the permit, as well as a Development Variance Permit to allow parking as a primary use for the property.

A report to Council says signage and a temporary fence between the property and Monashee Motors will be installed, and brochures will be distributed to area hotels.