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How Do You Prevent a Surface Parking Lot?

Photo of demolition (from GCPVD)

What can you do to prevent a building from becoming a "temporary" parking lot? With people up in arms about the demolition-in-progress of one of our historic buildings on Atwells Street, I thought I'd poke around and see what the alternatives are once a demolition happens. Brett Smiley already wrote today to say that he would like to prevent another "temporary" lot, but how does one do that?

 Streetsblog had a great article on this outlining some of the things that Salt Lake City is doing: 
Over in Salt Lake City, city council “recently”passed a demolition ordinance that does the following: 
Buildings in the downtown area cannot be demolished for parking garages (heck yeah) 
Parking garages cannot be built on corners, or along Main street
New surface parking lots are allowed either behind buildings, or 75 feet away from the street
My favorite part? 
In the event that a building is deemed unsafe, the owner actually has to provide a bond for landscaping and maintenance of the site.
This is exactly what we need the mayoral candidates to commit to as a policy. 

Let me go a step further. Not only should a demolition require payment of a bond to maintain greenery on a space if no new development comes, but that should also be our policy for any new parking. The Garrahy parking garage, which we oppose, is supported by some other like-minded environmental folks out of a genuine belief that it will help to get rid of some surface lots in Downcity. But how do we know that the lots won't just stay? 

I would reverse my opposition to Garrahy if:

*The garage is parking neutral. As many spots need to be removed from the downtown as are added. 
*An added bonus would be if some of the spots removed were on-street ones, to create protected bike lanes or transit lanes with greenery separating them from car traffic.
*The garage has the proposed bus hub.
*There are ground-level shops.
*The garage is left open 24-hours so that it can limit the need for other lots (this happens when a garage is used only during the day, or only at night, instead of letting it serve both markets).
*Cars pay full market price to park.

I still think we can build something better there, but that would make supporting it a relatively even trade-off.

Any takers, mayoral candidates? I'd like to get a commitment on this one.


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