Letter: Imposition of parking fee is unfair
I am befuddled by the recent resolution adoption to assess parking fees for downtown residents. When the city proposed to build the parking garage on the 900 block of Cooper, we were told numerous times by city representatives that it would provide ample parking for downtown and our immediate neighborhood. Once the project was complete, the city followed with a proposal to alter the existing diagonal parking on the 900 block to parallel parking, losing two-thirds of the on-street parking. After opposition by the neighborhood during a City Council meeting, the Council agreed to maintain the diagonal parking spaces.
The next major impact to our neighborhood was the Council’s approval of a renovation of a building from two residences and one commercial space to nine residences. Again, our neighborhood opposed the renovation without providing adequate off-street parking. The Council again made the point that there was plenty of parking for the neighborhood and no parking was required by the developer of the new residences.
Most recently, our neighbor redeveloped his property from one unit to two units, while also creating a driveway fronting Cooper, eliminating two on-street parking spaces. Before Council approved the variance for the new curb cut, we asked that the on-street spaces be preserved. Our comments were ignored, and the variance was granted.
Now the Council has suddenly decided that there are parking issues, and has created fees without first inviting those impacted for our input. In fact, the fees have been levied through a resolution, needing no first or second reading and no public hearing.
The imposition of a fee is unfair, and fails to recognize the investment of millions of dollars of taxes paid by the affected property owners to the GID and for the DDA. I urge you to reconsider this resolution and its purpose, if not for the entire designated area, then at least for the 900 block of Cooper where we have been repeatedly told that there was plenty of parking as recently as last year.