The city of College Park may increase the monthly permit parking fee in the downtown parking garage above Ledo Restaurant and the parking spaces for College Park Towers and Graduate Gardens, city officials said.
The College Park City Council held a public hearing Tuesday night to hear comments on the proposed ordinance, which could increase the cost of monthly permits available in the downtown parking garage from $80 to $125 starting Jan. 1. Only one College Park resident was present.
"The discussion … this summer was the current market rate for garage parking is $125, which is used by the Landmark and Terrapin Row at this time," said Robert Ryan, the city's director of public services.
This ordinance would decrease the number of monthly permit spaces in the garage from 125 to 100 of the 288 available spaces, as well, because the demand for hourly parking is increasing. This would also increase the monthly permit parking rates at College Park Towers and Graduate Gardens from $50 to $60. These permits are only available to residents of the building. The price hike would negatively impact employees who work in downtown College Park, resident Tracey Clayton said at the hearing.
"The majority of these employees most likely only make minimum wage, and increasing the garage for them to $125 a month is not only unfair, but unreasonable," Clayton said.
Exclusive parking for employees is also available for $40 a month at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church's parking lot on Yale Avenue and at the former Calvert Road school. Clayton deemed the latter is "too far."
"As a woman, employees at night walking all the way from here to Calvert Road to get their car? Unacceptable," she said.
The demand for pay-to-park spaces in the parking garage has spiked as more businesses have moved to the downtown area, which spurred the council's discussion in July to reduce monthly permits, and therefore increase the permit fees.
The council moved to postpone action at Tuesday's meeting. It would have to vote on the ordinance on or before Dec. 5. for it to go into affect Jan. 1.