Sunday, November 7, 2010

Smart talk about parking at Chestnut Hill Square

The Land Use committee is turning into the go-to resource for smart parking policy. They granted Panera Bread, the station diner, and Pie parking waivers, essentially lifting parking requirements from Newton Centre.

At Thursday night's Chestnut Hill Square working session, parking was discussed in all the right terms. There was no discussion of parking minimums. The discussion about the number of spaces required was driven by what the developer said he needed, in other words, by market demand. The aldermen, particularly Susan Albright and Deb Crossley, pushed on the developer's stated need, as the city should. Alderperson Albright kept pushing the developer to shift spots from surface to structured. Alderperson Crossley proposed waiving some setback requirements to allow more levels on the parking garage. And, there was even discussion about charging for parking! (More on that in another post.)

The parking situation at Chestnut Hill Square is still not close to ideal. But, at least the city is having the right kind of discussion.

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