COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The vacant lot on Cherry Street may remain empty for longer than expected now that Columbia City Council rejected a proposal to allocate 99 parking spots to a new hotel.
Developers for the planned Cherry Street Hotel previously told ABC 17 crews the project would not move forward without the garage parking spots. At Monday night's city council meeting, the council unanimously voted against giving the parking spaces to the hotel.
City council member Karl Skala said the council's opinion on the parking issue did not waiver from the first reading of the proposal in July.
"There were two dominant issues, one had to do with the fairness issue about people jumping in front of others in terms of parking requirements, and the other was, was parking sufficiency requirement," Skala said.
City council member Ian Thomas echoed Skala's opinion that prioritizing the hotel over current residents and business owners on the waiting list for parking spots would be unjust.
"I think for me the fairness issue trumps everything. it's hard to tell people who have been on the waitlist trying to get a space that now they're 99 places back," Thomas said.
If the plan had gone through, the city may have had to take parking spaces away from current parking pass holders. Dan Nichols, director of Columbia Public Works, said pass holders would have gotten a 90 days notice before their passes were revoked.
As a solution, Skala proposed building parking on the bottom floor of the hotel.
"Perhaps placing some of their parking underground which is a common, commonplace activity for in most community in lots of large communities," Skala said.
ABC 17 reached out to the hotel developers but has yet to hear back.
Local business owners told ABC 17 they're glad the hotel parking spaces were not approved, because it would interfere with their business.