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DeKalb: overnight parking downtown could be changing, city seeks public comment March 19

March 11, 2019

DeKALB – City officials are considering looser parking restrictions and reserving more parking spaces downtown in anticipation of a growing population of full-time residents.

City Manager Bill Nicklas said that the city is seeking public opinion on a proposal to provide more overnight parking for people who live downtown, along with more flexible parking restrictions.

A meeting on the topic is set for 6 p.m. March 19, in the Zimmerman Meeting Room at the DeKalb Public Library, 309 Oak St. Residents are encouraged to attend and make comments at the meeting, which will be hosted by DeKalb police.

Separate parking surveys for downtown residents and business owners and other community members are available online at www.cityofdekalb.com/FormCenter for those who are unable to attend the meeting.

“We’re seeing more apartments built and becoming available in downtown areas, like Cornerstone and Plaza DeKalb,” Nicklas said. “We want to make sure [residents] understand what we’re proposing, and what they’ll need to for their vehicles.”

Officials could designate 40 parking spaces for downtown residents in two lots, including the Ellwood Parking lot, off Second Street just north of Locust Street. Another proposal is to expand daytime parking limits to three hours from two between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

“There’s daytime hours where people are conducting business, shopping, and eating in restaurants,” Nicklas said. “There’s an early evening rhythm where people might be taking supper downtown. And then later in the evening the Egyptian might offer a show and there’s another wave of potential parkers. So what are we going to do for the people living downtown hoping to come [home] at right at night and don’t want to move their car?”

Deputy Police Chief John Petragallo said athough the police department is hosting the meeting, other city representatives also will be on hand to address ordinance or zoning questions should they arise.

“Over the year, there’s been discussion and some concerns abut parking availability for businesses,” Petragallo said, “and making the parking regulations make the downtown more business-friendly.”