Davis City Council voted 3-2 to continue discussion about building a new parking structure downtown at its July 19 meeting.
The City of Davis’ Redevelopment Agency is looking into the possibility of construction of a five-level structure with ground floor retail and adjacent mixed-use development downtown. According to the city’s current project details, the adjacent mixed-use development could include retail, office and housing.
The proposed site at Third, Fourth, E and F streets is already home to a public parking lot. The Redevelopment Agency is hoping that with the help of the local land development and property management company, Yackzan Group, they can turn the current parking lot into a five-story parking garage with 350 spaces and 12,000 square feet of retail on E and F streets.
The prospective $14 million project would allocate $11 million toward the parking garage itself and another $2.5 million going toward the retail portion.
Parking spots would be free of charge for visitors.
The Yackzan Group is no stranger to Davis parking structures as they designed the garage located on Fourth and G Street. The Fourth and G garage however is not owned by the city of Davis and is instead being leased on a 30-year contract with close to 20 years remaining on the said contract.
Many citizens of Davis have protested construction of this new garage, claiming there is little need for more parking as there is plenty of street parking and two other garages located on First and F Street and Fourth and G Street.
Among those against the garage is the Davis cycling community, claiming in the city council meeting that the garage is unnecessary, stating what separates Davis from other cities is its bike friendliness and alternative transportation.
According to the Davis Vanguard, the Davis Bicycles! Advocacy group has been conducting surveys over the past five months, collecting data on available parking spots in the two existing structures. According to the article, during those five months, “Several dozen surveys were conducted at different times of the day, on different days of the week, with UC Davis in session and on break, and in different weather conditions from cold and raining to dry and extremely hot.” The results of the survey state that on average, there are approximately 300 available parking spaces between the two structures.
Others who have expressed concern are the owners of local businesses, who will be directly impacted by the construction.
“I don’t know how it’s going to affect [my business],” said Casey Goode, owner of Swanson’s Cleaners said. “I have been here for 12 years and the lot is never full, especially now with the no re-parking law. I have a very good business and this construction will probably keep people from coming.”
Davis residents weren’t completely opposed to the idea, as some supported the construction.
“I think it’s a good idea,” said Miles Hadley a senior community and regional development major. “I’ve had a lot of foot surgeries in my four years [in Davis]. Being able to park as close to my destination as possible is really helpful when crutches are your only way of getting around.”
While the proposed garage is far from a done deal, it has become a hot topic throughout Davis.
ELLIS CLARK can be reached email@example.com.
EDITOR’S NOTE: “Of” has been removed from the original headline.