Too many parking restrictions will put people out of business in Elm Grove. That was the message Village President Neil Palmer delivered to the Plan Commission on Monday.
A number of Elm Grove businesses use shared parking arrangements, which allows businesses to share spaces not immediately in front of their own storefront.
One of the consistent complaints village administrators hear is the lack of quality shops in the business center, a problem compounded by the inconvenience some feel due to a lack of nearby parking.
Palmer said he believes that without the ability to share spaces, or with any additional restrictions, the burden will be too great on current businesses. There is at least one business, which he opted not to name, whose parking lot keeps at least three others in business.
The Chocolate Factory's move into Elm Grove was the impetus for a parking study done by the village to determine what, if anything, needs to be changed in village code pertaining to parking.
Some at the Plan Commission meeting suggested that in the case of shared parking arrangements, any businesses in between those making the agreement would have to sign off.
This proposal was never voted on and was met with significant opposition.
"Any time we try to legislate a shared problem, it tends to create unintended problems," said Commissioner Jack Nelson, also a village trustee.
"Our job is not to try and find ways to deny people, it's to find ways to approve them," Palmer said in agreement.
Ultimately, the commission decided the main obstacle for village businesses is simply the limited space, not the wording of any ordinance. The commission voted to request the Community Development Authority attempt to acquire land to create a village parking lot downtown.
The CDA also is to work in conjunction with the Elm Grove Businesses Association to find out what solutions they might offer.
A meeting of the CDA was originally schedule for June 7, but was canceled with nothing on the agenda. With a later meeting and this parking issue now having been raised, the CDA will have time to reach out to the Elm Grove businesses community as well as look into potential parking sites.
Nelson did clarify that the goal of this lot is to serve the current businesses in the village. In other words, buying a property where a business currently resides or where parking is already being offered does nothing to solve the problem.
A new CDA meeting had not been set as of NOW's deadline.
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