Park­ing fees up for a vote

Coun­cil to de­cide on plan to raise park­ing rates

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­

City coun­cil will vote next week on pro­posed in­creases to the cost of park­ing in down­town Ne­wark.

The or­di­nance would in­crease the cost of park­ing at me­ters in the core down­town area – Main Street west of Chapel Street – from $1.25 an hour (12 min­utes per quar­ter) to $2 an hour (7.5 min­utes per quar­ter.)

Mean­while, lesser-used me­ters east of the Pomeroy Trail would be re­duced to $1 an hour.

Coun­cil will also dis­cuss a con­tro­ver­sial plan to in­crease the cost of park­ing in cityrun lots dur­ing the busiest times.

Un­der the plan for “peak” and “off peak” rates, the cost to park would dou­ble to $2 per hour Mon­day through Fri­day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cur­rent $1-per-hour rate would re­main on week­ends, nights and dur­ing the sum­mer.

By rais­ing the rates, the city aims to in­cen­tivize vis­i­tors to park in univer­sity park­ing garages or at park­ing me­ters on the out­skirts of down­town, thus free­ing up spa­ces for oth­ers.

The in­crease was sup­posed to take ef­fect in Oc­to­ber but was de­layed after an out­cry from busi­ness own­ers.

“It’s a tip­ping point for Ne­wark. This sends red flags up to the out­ly­ing community and Ne­wark res­i­dents alike – do not come to down­town Ne­wark,” Donna O’Dell Hoke, owner of Unique Im­pres­sions, told coun­cil Oct. 23. “Ne­wark is not an is­land. There are plenty of places to shop and dine.”

Un­like the cost of park­ing me­ters, the park­ing lot fees can be changed by the city man­ager with­out ap­proval from coun­cil. How­ever, some coun­cil mem­bers have ex­pressed in­ter­est in chang­ing that pol­icy.

Also on Mon­day’s busy agenda is a plan to build stu­dent apart­ments on a 0.45-acre prop­erty at 36 Benny Street.

De­vel­oper Ben Pret­ty­man plans to de­mol­ish the ag­ing stu­dent-rental du­plex cur­rently on the site and re­place it with seven town­house-style apart­ments, each con­tain­ing six bed­rooms. In or­der for the project to pro­ceed, coun­cil must ap­prove a re­zon­ing, ma­jor sub­di­vi­sion and amend­ment to the com­pre­hen­sive de­vel­op­ment plan.

Coun­cil will also dis­cuss the plan for a stormwa­ter pond and park at the site of the Rod­ney dorm com­plex, choose a lob­by­ist and vote on a “wel­com­ing city” res­o­lu­tion declar­ing that the city will not in­ves­ti­gate or de­tain a per­son based solely on im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus.

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