The proposed partial Pearl Street vacation was discussed this evening at City Council.
A public hearing was held this evening, however, I arrived late at the meeting and missed it. Â I was, however, in attendance for the Council’s discussion of the request. Â This is in the very early stages of development and no decisions were made.
One of the concerns centers around the block of Webster Street between Main and Pearl Street. Â This stretch is brick-paved. Â At this point, how the stretch was constructed is not know and what lies underneath is of concern. Â Plan staff reported that core samples will be taken to determine if the street is usable in the present shape, or if reconstruction is needed.
I gather that during the public hearing, objections were raised over the City vacating the stretch of Pearl and “giving” the land to Perfection Bakeries. Â Councilman Mitch Harper was quick to point out that the State Statute provides for no compensation.
Councilman Tom Smith asked for a “trial closure” citing his first year on the City Council when he asked for the same thing on the block of Harrison Street now populated by the Grand Wayne Center. Â He wondered if a trial period then would have had the street remain open.
Councilwoman Liz Brown said she would not like to see the Council mandate landscape improvements be made by a business. Â She also stated she felt the plans could allow for a more safe area for both pedestrians and auto traffic. Â She also asked about how much in revnue the City would be loosing if the parking spaces/meters were removed from the vacated area. Â She was told the estimate would be $75 to 100 weekly – although I really think that’s on the high end.
Councilman John Shoaff, said that we (the City) are giving them something of value and that perhaps improvements that would be mutually beneficial could be negotiated.
From here, the site development plan will probably not go before the Plan Commission, but it will be reviewed by staff. Â They are currently waiting on the results from the Webster Street analysis which the applicant is reponsible for.
Download the proposed development plan