Gainesville to ease limits on parking garage

In an effort to ease parking in Gainesville’s midtown area, the City Commission agreed Thursday to change its agreement with The Standard to allow for public parking in the development’s parking garage.

The Standard has a parking garage at NW 13th Street and NW 3rd Ave. Under the existing planned development district zoning ordinance, parking in the garage is currently restricted to “owners, tenants, guests and customers [of businesses]” of The Standard.

At Thursday’s meeting, Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos proposed amending the existing agreement condition to allow for public parking at the facility.

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“Looking at our neighborhood survey, one of the top things there was parking and then one of the biggest issues in the midtown area is parking,” Hayes-Santos said. “The Standard garage has many spaces that are empty and not being used.”

Hayes-Santos said he had consulted with the city’s departments of sustainable development and mobility, and neither department objected to the change since the parking garage is existing and has empty spaces.

“Street parking is limited,” Commissioner Reina Saco said. “Our [city parking] zones are limited and I believe oversold in some cases. Having somewhere where you could park and then walk a few miles—I think that’s great.”

The commission agreed 4-0 to move forward with amending the zoning ordinance.

“I hope that it’s not a controversial opinion that parking garages should be used for parking,” quipped Commissioner David Arreola.

Commissioner Desmon Duncan-Walker wasn’t present at the meeting. Mayor Lauren Poe left the meeting early to serve on the canvassing board, which was working on the results from Tuesday’s special election.

The seventh seat on the commission remains unfilled until after a January run-off between Cynthia Chestnut and Matt Howland.

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