Plain City residents bemoan parking problems


Parking has been on the minds of many Plain City residents, who once again brought their concerns to Monday’s village council meeting.

Residents and business owners from throughout the village expressed frustration regarding a lack of parking on Maple Street, stemming from recent construction in the area.

Jennifer Shugert, who co-owns the Plain City Chiropractic Office along with her husband, questioned why parking was removed after being available for the past several decades.

“Are we starting a trend here where, just because we have narrow streets in small towns, we take away all parking?” Shugert asked.

She also commented upon the availability of parking on South Chilicothe Street and asked why it was not permitted on Maple Street, as well.

Village administrator Nathan Cahall said allowing parking on Maple Street would raise safety concerns because the roadway would not be wide enough for two vehicles to pass each other.

In response, Shugert asked if there were any statistics or data regarding accidents on Maple Street, as she said parking has been available on Maple Street for the entirety of the time she’s owned her business.

Police Chief Dale McKee said he did not have any evidence to support the fact that Maple Street was especially unsafe, although he said S. Chillicothe Street is the location of many crashes in the village.

“In my glorious 23 years here, I can’t sit here and recall any pedestrian accidents (on Maple Street) aside from maybe sideswipes,” he said.

Cahall said eliminating two-way traffic could potentially be a viable option that would allow for parking and alleviate the issues.

“The most straightforward solution would be to make Maple Street one-way, north to south, with Gay Street south to north,” he said.

Councilmember Jody Carney also suggested making the post office driveway one-way in order to provide a better sightline and allow for a few parking spots in that area of Maple Street. She said it could be a temporary solution while long-term options are explored.

Ultimately, council decided to send letters to residents of Maple Street to gauge their opinions on making the road one-way.

Council will further discuss the Maple Street parking issue at their next work session, September 11. The work session is open to the public.

In other business:

– Council voted to approve the appointment of Eli Abrams to the Parks and Recreation Committee. Councilmember Carney said committee member Roberta Scott recently resigned, so there is still a spot open that the committee is looking to fill.

Additionally, Carney said more than 500 people have responded to the Parks and Recreation survey, which will be used in determining how the budget is allocated.

– Council voted to move the public hearing for the ordinance regarding rezoning and development for the Madison Meadows Residential Development to October 9 from October 14, in light of Columbus Day. Members also heard the first reading of the ordinance, which would rezone 104.225 acres from “agriculture” to a planned residential district at 10885 Lafayette-Plain City Road, where the Madison Meadows is planned.

Madison Meadows, calls for 150 single-family homes, along with 264 apartment units and 91 condominiums. Officials said their goal is to keep the target price ranges below $350,000 for the single-family homes and around $250,000 for the condominiums.

At the center of the development would be about 11 acres of park that could be donated to the village for the use of residents. The project would have a path for walking and biking. Additionally, the development will have an on-site maintenance management crew.

– Council unanimously approved two resolutions to create Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) abatement agreements for 138 W. Main Street and 150 W. Main Street.

– Council heard a second reading of a resolution to approve a lease agreement with JAB Integrity, LLC, for use of the village’s sand volleyball courts.

If approved after a third reading, Elite Volleyball would be able to host a series of sand volleyball tournaments at the courts at a rate of $25 per hour for each court.

– Held an executive session to discuss the dismissal of a public employee or official.

– Mayor Darrin Lane said the Plain City Food Pantry is “in dire need of both food and donations.” Those who are interested in volunteering their time or providing donations were encouraged to contact Ray Meister at (614) 733-0909.

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