As Plain City continues to grow, the village is clamping down on issues previously unattended to and the result has some residents concerned with the changes.
Several residents and business owners attended the village council meeting Monday evening to express concerns over zoning changes and construction on Maple Street.
Issues on the table dealt with a clampdown on boat and RV parking as well as general public parking in the village—some issues stemming from the completion of the recent reconstruction project on Maple Street.
At a previous council meeting, business owner Dr. Richard Shugert, who owns the Plain City Chiropractic Office, addressed issues regarding the paving of Maple Street and how the change has affected parking options along the street. He brought those concerns back on Monday, asking the village if a solution is in the works.
“As far as the no parking on Maple Street goes, I think we all know that that is the number one problem in the downtown area, finding places for cars to park,” Shugert said. “As Plain City grows, that’s going to be a bigger concern.”
He said he has 40-50 cars come to his office per day and with there only being three spots designated for customer parking, he’s out of options on what to offer patients. He did offer council a possible solution: reconfigure Maple Street to be one-way, similar to the plans for Gay Street, which allows for on-street parking.
“I’m guessing most of the people on my street would say, ‘Well then, let’s do the same thing on our street so that we can have parking,’” he said. “I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with those 50 people a day trying to get in there.”
Council member Shannon Pine said that could be an option but the village would have a few steps to take before they could move forward.
“I would suggest that we send letters to all property owners on Maple Street and see if they would object to one-way going northbound on Maple Street because, to me, it seems logical,” Pine said. “And if we have our traffic engineer look at it to see if it would cause any flow issues.”
Village Administrator Nathan Cahall explained that nothing has technically changed with regard to parking on the street, the designs made the street’s features more defined.
“The width of the roadway has not changed. What has changed is the demarcation of the curb and the roadway,” Cahall said. “Previously, those visiting Dr. Shugert’s business were either parking in the street, in the traffic lane or on the sidewalk.”
Cahall added that the construction reinforces the existing design, making it more pronounced than it was previously which also ensures “the safety of pedestrians on the sidewalk.”
Cahall also said that the village is in the process of acquiring more uptown parking, most notably the lot behind the Lovejoy’s Plaza building on Main Street.
“We have worked out the agreement with Buckeye Brass who owns, probably, three-fourths of that lot and that will be available to the public,” Cahall said. “We will be working on that over the next several months.”
Resident Charlie Wiese expressed his concern over a letter he received regarding the storing of a boat on his property. Other residents have visited meetings expressing similar concern over the zoning clampdown.
“I have never had a problem with this and now, all of a sudden, there is an issue,” Wiese said.
Village solicitor Paul Lafayette said Plain City isn’t looking to be “unreasonable” about code enforcement.
“We’re looking to make the village consistent,” Lafayette said. “We’re not trying to be unreasonable to people but we will enforce the zoning.”
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