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Grand Forks Public School District to meet with city on parking lot project

The Grand Forks Public School District has not changed its plans to demolish three buildings for a parking lot at the corner of University Avenue and North Fifth Street.

But before those plans can move forward, the proposed parking lot site needs to be rezoned by the city, and city planners have requested a meeting with School District representatives before the request goes to the city Planning and Zoning Commission.

“We just need to get a handle on the parking preferences of the school district and the city,” said Ryan Brooks, senior planner with the city. “We would want to see if (the school district’s plan) is keeping with the city’s vision of the downtown,” he added.

The school district’s plan is to demolish houses it owns at 312 and 314 N. Fifth St. and the adjacent Executive Corners office building for a Central High School parking lot, said Superintendent Larry Nybladh. The parking lot would reduce the school’s use of the nearby parking ramp and downtown street parking, which would make those spaces more available for business parking, Nybladh said.

Janet Burke, a resident of an apartment in one of the two houses, said the five residents living in the apartments were not given enough time to move out, although they received a 75 days’ notice.

The district purchased the two houses in June 2013, according to a purchase agreement it provided.

Originally the residents were set to be evicted April 30, but the two residents who needed more time to find somewhere to live were given two extra weeks, Nybladh said.

Burke confirmed that she was given until May 14 to find a place to live, and added that the school district did not charge her for rent in May.

Burke moved May 9 into an apartment that a School Board member helped her find, she said.

Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
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