PLATTEVILLE — A Platteville Common Council meeting without a discussion of downtown parking is like a Wisconsin Badger football game without “On, Wisconsin.”
The council July 10 continued discussing parking in and near downtown with the opening of UW–Platteville’s Rountree Commons dormitory when the 2012–13 academic year begins.
District 3 Ald. Barb Daus said the Downtown Redevelopment Authority, which she chairs, favors removing parts of two streets — Bayley Avenue from Mitchell Avenue to Pine Street and Rountree Avenue from Mitchell to Pine — from the permitted parking area south of Pine Street, which took effect June 1. She said it is “highly likely” that the RDA would favor a ban on overnight parking on Bayley Avenue.
District 4 Ald. Ken Kilian opposed changing the permit parking area.
“I do not favor removing Bayley from the permit area,” he said. “I don’t believe the residents of that area should be solving the problem for Main Street parking. The residents of Main Street should be solving the problem closer to them.”
Kilian unveiled a proposal to create perpendicular parking along Rountree Avenue, with permits costing $20 per month, or $240 per year. He proposed using the permit revenue to plant terminal juniper trees to obscure the view of the roof area of the McGregor Plaza building.
Kilian also proposed allowing more parking permits in residential areas by changing the definition of “family” to be the same as in the city’s Limited Occupancy Residential Overlay District.
Outside the district, city ordinances limit owner-occupied houses to two additional permits. Inside the district, additional permits are allowed for each licensed driver in a family that owns or rents a house.
Kilian said current city ordinances that allow more permits for families that own houses than families that rent houses discriminates against families who rent.
“I think there are going to be enough things to irritate people besides the permit system,” he said.
One downtown resident suggested the city may be overreacting to Rountree Commons’ opening.
“I think this all started because of Rountree Commons, and this has gone far beyond that,” said Rich Christensen, 10 S. Third St. “I really wonder if this is all necessary. … If we find it affects a larger area, we can change it in a couple weeks.”
Christensen said homeowners on Bayley and Rountree “basically want to privatize their streets” by seeking permit parking.
“I don’t particularly like the word ‘privatize,’” said Kilian. “They want to be able to use their streets.”
“In a couple months, we’ll have a pretty good idea of what we’ve got,” said Common Council President Mike Dalecki.
Daus said the August RDA meeting will consider the subject of “paid parking.”