More parking, city tells DDA

Grand Junction city leaders have proposed a new design for the 400 block of Main Street that would chop two parking spaces for people with disabilities from the original design in order to add two parking spaces to the block.

The current design places three regular parking spaces on the south and the north sides of the block, and includes one parking space for people with disabilities on either side of the street. The city is asking the Downtown Development Authority to consider changing the design so that there would be five regular parking spaces on either side of the block.

City Council members and Downtown Development Authority board members discussed the possibility of adding spaces to the 400 block design at a City Council workshop two weeks ago, with the city citing requests from merchants as the reason for considering more parking spots.

Deputy City Manager Rich Englehart presented an alternative scenario with 10 parking spaces at a City Council Workshop on Monday. Englehart said he spoke with the project’s designer, who said eliminating a tree or two instead of a parking space for people with disabilities would not have been a feasible change and would have eliminated room for two play areas on the block.

“We don’t have any handicapped spaces in the 400 block now, anyway. Business owners would rather have more spaces,” Englehart said.

The DDA and city are paying for the renovation of Main Street, with the city covering more of the utility side of costs and the DDA footing the bill for construction. The Downtown Uplift project is in its first phase from First Street to Fourth Street through June. Main from Fourth Street to Seventh Street will be redone during the first half of 2011.

Later Monday at a City Council meeting, council members unanimously approved a request from the Mesa State College Real Estate Foundation to push a deadline for submitting to the city a preliminary development plan for 154 acres at D and 29 roads to Dec. 15, 2012. The plan was originally due Dec. 15 of this year. The foundation has suggested placing a mixed use center of residential, commercial and industrial uses on the property. Most recently, the land contained the beginnings of construction of a forensic anthropology lab, or “body farm,” but the college abandoned those plans.


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