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Plan for one-time parking fee open for public comments

Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2001

The Juneau Planning Commission made progress with a fee in lieu of parking proposal at a work session Tuesday, but decided a draft residential parking zone ordinance needs more work.

The commission decided to schedule a public hearing on a draft fee in lieu of parking ordinance. Under the proposal, a developer could pay a one-time fee to the city instead of putting a required parking space on site. The funds would go into a dedicated account for new parking facilities or alternative transportation to reduce parking demand. Under the proposal, the cost per parking spot would be $26,000.

Commissioners asked Community Development Department staff members give people who have parking variances downtown an opportunity to take part in the program.

"I don't think I've heard a positive comment over time that said this (current) system is working. This allows another way to enforce parking," said Planning Commission Chairman Johan Dybdahl.

Commissioner Roger Allington said the city needs to be specific about future parking projects. He said $26,000 per space was not unreasonable.

"If there's nowhere for people to park, we'll exacerbate the problem instead of solve it," he said. "We've got to start moving on a parking facility so we have a package."

Reducing the cost to $20,000 a spot might make it more attractive for developers to take part in the program, commissioner Marshal Kendziorek said. He said he didn't want to hold up the program while a parking garage is being planned.

The commission decided to schedule another work session to discuss a residential parking zone proposal. Under the model, a neighborhood could petition the city to set up a parking zone. If approved, residents could get a permit for unlimited parking in their neighborhood.

Community Development Department planner Gary Gillette said the program would cost between $70,000 to $80,000 a year to administer. If the city were to cover its costs, a permit would range from $22 to $25 a month. However, the city could opt for lower prices. Anchorage charges $10 a year for a residential parking pass, he said.

Commissioners asked Community Development Department staff to work on ordinance language covering nonresidents and to limit how many cars can be permitted under one person's name.

Joanna Markell can be reached at joannam@juneauempire.com.



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