Parking an issue in CUP for apartment remodel

Larson, who did not attend the meeting, had requested a CUP to remodel 205 Pleasant Ave., zoned R-B residential-business transitional, adding four additional apartments for a total of 15 units.

City Planner Andrew Mack presented a site plan showing staff recommendations for paving and striping the resident parking area on the north side of the building. This would provide an estimated nine angled spaces and six parallel spaces. Added to three curbside parking spaces in front of the building and three spaces the owner would be required to open up in the garage at the rear of the property, this would provide approximately 21 of the required 22 resident parking spaces for an apartment building with the number of bedrooms Larson has planned.

Mack noted the site plan also calls for the building’s trash container to be moved into an enclosure alongside the garage, and allows Larson to keep one stall of the garage as a maintenance shop. He hinted that more spaces may fit along the north side of the building when the area is accurately measured, after the snow melts.

Nevertheless, Mack admitted that apartment residents already use the city’s free, 24-hour parking lot across Pleasant Ave. and this would likely continue.

Planning Clerk Carmen Lockhart asked whether the structure and the new paving would exceed the amount of lot coverage allowed in an R-B district, which is 40 percent.

Mack explained that lot coverage refers only to the building’s footprint, not impervious surfaces, and there is no standard limiting impervious surfaces outside a shoreland district. He said that since there is no current proposal to change the building’s footprint, the existing building’s non-conforming lot coverage does not affect the CUP request.

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City council representative Liz Stone voiced concern about the city lot being used for residential parking, when it is intended to support downtown businesses. She suggested changing a staff-recommended condition from requiring three garage spaces to be opened up for residents to removing the garage to create more on-site parking space.

At Mack’s suggestion, Stone moved to recommend that the city council approve the CUP request, while amending the garage condition to require, instead, that Larson provide an adequate number of parking spaces on-site.

A discussion of zoning ordinance updates regarding parkland dedication and sidewalk requirements was tabled until next month, at the request of City Administrator Angel Weasner.

The planning commission’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, March 22 at city hall.


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