Council will consider transferring lot to Downtown Salisbury Inc.

Published 12:05 am Sunday, January 19, 2020

By Liz Moomey

SALISBURY — While a study showed downtown Salisbury has a “perceived parking problem,” the city council will consider a resolution to transfer two city-owned lots to Downtown Salisbury, Inc. to develop more parking spaces.

The council will consider the resolution and hold a public hearing at its meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

The proposed lots are located in the 200 block of South Lee Street and the 100 block of East Bank Street. The lots could be used to supply parking spaces that must be provided as part of the Empire Hotel’s redevelopment. A house that’s been set for demolition since March is located on the land.

The resolution, approving a property transfer to support downtown parking and development, would enter the city into a lease for 45 years for all or a portion of the city-owned properties.

“The City of Salisbury recognizes that the economic productivity of the downtown hinges upon a built environment capable of supporting business and residential growth, and that sustaining this growth requires investment by public and private investors,” the resolution states. “The expansion and maintenance of parking opportunities in the downtown area will support and promote residential and retail development and is in the best interest of the city and its citizens.”

The resolution states the city believes the transfer will support economic development and increase the city’s population, taxable property, employment and business prospects.

The City Council received a report at its Oct. 16 meeting showing during peak hours — 9-11 a.m. — the overall parking use rate was 45%. The engineering firm that studied downtown parking said the goal is 85% occupancy rate.

Downtown stakeholders had questions about the study, particularly the hours considered to be the peak, when the majority of downtown businesses don’t open until 10 a.m.

The lease between the city and DSI may require the city to make improvements so the lots are suitable for parking. The lease would also allow DSI to sublease the property.

In other business:

• The City Council will consider a rezoning from urban residential to corridor-mixed use for seven parcels: 405 and 437 Bringle Ferry Road, 714 N. Shaver St., 424 and 430 E. Lafayette St. and two unnumbered lots.

Joel Flores, the owner of J&J Tire and Auto Center at 401 Bringle Ferry Road, is requesting the rezoning to expand his business.

• City Council will consider allowing City Manager Lane Bailey to enter into a contract with Alley, Williams, Carmen, and King in the amount of $323,102 to perform construction inspection for a Newsome Road project to install curbs and gutters, bike lanes and sidewalks on the street from Faith Road to Bringle Ferry Road.

• The council will consider adopting a capital project ordinance to allow CDM Smith to perform engineering design services for the Grant Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility Improvements for $1.29 million.

• The council also will consider adopting a capital project ordinance for the Water Treatment Plant Improvement Project with LaBella for $320,000.

• The council will consider an appointment to the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee.

• Mayor Karen Alexander will proclaim Jan. 21 Matthew Michael Brown Day for the outgoing director of music and organist at First United Methodist Church.