Juneau home and business owners wanting to develop property downtown will now be able to pay cash instead of hunting down hard-to-find parking spots to lease.
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The Juneau Assembly passed an ordinance Monday that puts in place a "fee in lieu of parking program," which allows developers to pay a fee that will go to the city's coffers in place of leasing spots at off-site locations, such as the rock dump near Thane Road. Previously, businesses or residents looking at building or expanding had to provide parking spots - either on- or off-site.
Money collected by the city will then be used for future parking projects, such as the transit center slated for Egan Drive and Main Street, city planner Ben Lyman said.
According to the ordinance, the fee for a business parking space will be $8,500; for residential parking, it will be half that, or $4,250.
The amount was determined not by how much value is attached to a parking space, but "it is a number that a developer could pay for a code reduction," said Rorie Watt, deputy director of engineering. Watt said the rates also could help stimulate building more affordable housing downtown.
Assembly member Merrill Sanford said he supports the ordinance and, if the amount is found to be too little, it could be raised in the future.
The ordinance also will make developable land available at the rock dump, Lyman said.
"It'll free up land that is officially encumbered," he said.
Business owners can now lease parking spots out there, but they are not often used. This means the land often lies vacant.
Brittany Retherford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.