Grand Forks Central High School parking rezoning tabled again
Rezoning for a Central High School parking lot downtown has been tabled by Grand Forks City Council again, pending the work a downtown parking committee.
At city planning staff’s recommendation, the council decided Monday to form a downtown parking committee to review the city’s 2011 downtown parking study. With that, the council tabled the rezoning.
Plans for the parking lot include demolishing two houses and the adjacent Executive Corners office building, which are all school-owned, at the corner of University Avenue and North Fifth Street.
School officials have said the project’s goal is to decrease Central High School’s use of the city-owned downtown parking ramp and open that space for businesses and better follow the city’s parking requirements downtown.
The School District’s parking lot project has also been controversial among residents and officials saying a flat parking lot is not the most efficient way to develop downtown Grand Forks.
At the City Council meeting Monday, City Planner Brad Gengler suggested that a committee of city staff, school staff, School Board members, City Council members, the Downtown Development Association and others review the 2011 downtown parking study, because he couldn’t find much discussion in meeting minutes from when the study was conducted.
Superintendent Larry Nybladh said in April that plans are to have the parking lot ready for next school year.
Gengler said the committee’s work shouldn’t take long because the study is already complete, but the city just needs to evaluate it and update its priorities regarding parking.
Council members Bret Weber and Doug Christensen both said they didn’t want to be put in a position of voting against the School Board’s wishes, so they supported a committee working with School Board members for a different solution.
Christensen suggested the city update parking ordinances to reduce the number of parking spots the district is required to provide for Central High School.
The council voted to table the rezoning decision for just two months.
The City Council also approved a storage unit project proposed for 2300 47th Ave. S.
The storage units have been tabled multiple times since it was first brought up in April because of residents’ concerns ranging from increased traffic to lower property values due to the appearance of the units.
Also at Monday’s meeting, city spokesman John Bernstrom told the council the city’s new website will launch Thursday. The Web address will remain www.grandforksgov.com.