Harrisonburg City Council Considers Parking Deck Issue

By: Brendan Ponton Email
By: Brendan Ponton Email

HARRISONBURG-- City council members will consider the possibility of allowing for a parking garage to be built on Bruce St.

They will consider a special use permit request from D&B Investors, LLC on Tuesday night. The permit would grant the developer the ability to build a parking lot. If they choose to, it would also allow for a parking garage.

The lot would be for parking from the soon to be rebuilt Cassco Ice Building on Liberty St. The building will soon house offices and businesses.

The idea of the garage is not welcome news to some who live near the potential spot. Steven Blatt is a lawyer representing a client who owns two houses on Old South High St. He said the potential garage could shine lights into neighbors' homes and would create parking problems for the people nearby.

His clients don't have a problem with a normal parking lot, but would not like to see that develop into a parking garage. "We feel it's premature to ask for permission to use the property as a parking deck, when there are no plans to actually build a parking deck. When they are mature, and the time is right, the developers can come back," he said.

Councilman Richard Baugh likes parts of the proposal, but said he will listen to both arguments on Tuesday night during the meeting. "As need for downtown parking increases, the possibility of not only getting additional parking, but getting parking done by the private sector, in other words, the city and our tax dollars don't have to go to build it, those things have appeal," he said.

If the council grants the permit for the use of building a garage, Blatt said the next step for his client would be to sue, but he's not sure if they would want to do that. He notes that becomes expensive and time consuming.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Blatt will speak against the proposal to a listening Baugh.


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