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Opinion: Advisory group should form to explore town parking options
In recent weeks there has been discussion amongst downtown businesses about utilizing parking spaces on Front Street for outdoor dining.
The discussion was prompted by a proposal from Front Street Grill to utilize the two spaces in front of the restaurant.
Mayor Nancy Conard went to the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association and Coupeville Chamber to review the idea with them.
The proposal has sparked controversy and concern with some business members downtown. It has also resparked the debate about parking on Front Street.
In an impromptu discussion Tuesday morning, Conard further discussed the issue with members attending the Coupeville Chamber monthly meeting.
During the meeting Conard said she’d be more than happy to revisit parking regulations downtown with businesses.
The conversation sparked several things with me.
It was brought up that many of the parking spots in the downtown corridor are filled by business owners and their employees.
If parking is such a concern, business owners need to take a proactive stance and find alternatives parking solutions.
Conard pointed out the town does own a parking lot near the Coupeville Libarary as well as another lot near town hall.
An ordinance could be put in place restricting business owners and employees from parking in that corridor.
This could be a very plausible solution.
I think Town of Coupeville needs to form a parking advisory committee with representatives from the Coupeville Chamber, Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association and town staff to review rules, regulations and possible solutions.
If an ordinance is put in place mandating staff park outside the corridor, this may lessen parking constrictions and make people more open to the idea of utilizing some of the street parking for other purposes.
— Megan Hansen is editor of The Whidbey Examiner.