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Preservation commission OKs parking lot for Integro

SALISBURY — The Historic Preservation Commission on Tuesday approved the city’s request to build a parking lot in the 300 block of South Main Street for Integro Technologies.
The public will be able to use the 58 parking spaces after business hours and on weekends. Construction could start as early as February, but no cost estimates are available. The city will bid the project.
Parking will run behind and beside the Salisbury Business Center, the new $3.2 million building at the corner of Bank and Main streets that houses Integro, a large auditorium and more than 10,000 square feet of office space for lease. The city sold the property to Integro but still owns the land where the lot will be built.
Clyde, an artist who uses one name, spoke during the public hearing. From his home, he will look at the back of the future parking lot.
Clyde supported the idea of parking but listed several concerns.
“I would love for Integro to have parking,” he said.
He questioned why the city did not give or sell the land for parking to the company and said building parking on a corner lot violates the Historic Preservation Commission’s guidelines.
Clyde also told the commission that he asked for maps of the proposed lot and property lines but was turned down until shortly before Tuesday’s meeting. However, Clyde later acknowledged that city staff did show him the plans last week but said the documents should have been more accessible to the public.
The Post on Jan. 22 requested any documents related to the parking project and received a drawing Monday.
New commission member C.J. Peters said the parking lot is “definitely an improvement over what was there and definitely is appropriate.”
Peters said the only disappointment was the parking lot material — asphalt instead of brick pavers.
“We are improving what was there, but I would like to have seen more historic materials used,” he said.
He acknowledged the commission cannot force the city to use pavers and complimented the city’s use of some brick pavers on the sidewalk.
Clyde complained about poor drainage in another city-owned lot nearby and warned that drainage at the new lot would be a problem.
Peters said he understood the concern, but the commission must rely on city staff who said the new lot will drain properly.
Commission member Tony Hoty said the city’s request fits within guidelines because the parking is to the side and rear of the building and includes landscaping as screening.
“These are guidelines, not a hard and fast rule,” Chairman Andrew Pitner said.
Architect Gray Stout said his plans include rows of shrubs, trees as required by city code and curb and gutter, as well as three handicapped parking spaces.
The parking lot will not have lighting, but lights on the Integro building will provide some illumination, Stout said.
A strip of land directly behind Integro belongs to the company and is not part of the parking lot, he said.
Craig Powers, the city’s street and stormwater services manager, said the city has a stockpile of granite curbing to use for the project and will not mix-and-match granite with concrete curbing.
Gapen pointed out that stormwater and work in the right of way that involves the curb is not part of the city’s application to the Historic Preservation Commission.

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