While this university plans to decrease the amount of parking by the 2017 academic year, it is not the only location proposing to lower its number of spaces.
Clark Enterprises, the owner of both University View buildings, proposed to the College Park City Council to eliminate a 2008 declaration of covenants. The action would decouple the buildings from its adjacent properties, once known as the University View Village I and II, which were originally intended for additional student housing and retail units as well as a parking garage.
By doing so, the View Village would not provide the 109 additional parking spaces for residents of the View, leaving students to park in the View parking spaces or garage, located next to the buildings, or on the campus.
City Planning Director Terry Schum said Clark Enterprises hopes to sell the Village properties to another developer, but the parking covenant is a “stumbling block” that is making it harder to make a sale.
“This is a request to remove the requirement for the [Village] property to provide parking for the existing buildings,” Schum said. “And this is a reasonable request, given the circumstances” that the View already has sufficient spaces and does not plan to develop the Village property.
When the View II was first developed in 2008, it did not include its own parking facility, Schum said, and shared spaces with the View. The plan was originally to redevelop the Village properties and create an additional 1,000 beds for students along with a parking garage, she said. This garage would have included parking for View II residents. However, this project was suspended because of a lack of demand for new student housing.
Francis Lynch, a senior associate at Clark Enterprises, said eliminating this parking requirement makes sense for the city because it is already sufficiently parked.
If built under the 2010 U.S. Route 1 sector plan, 451 parking spaces would be required at the View, Lynch said, and there are currently 461 spaces on the View properties.
“Based on our boots-on-the-ground experience, we are adequately parked. The covenant requires that we have 451 spaces,” he said. “We have that.”
Natalie Schwartz, a resident of the View, said the building’s parking situation is manageable but is always crowded, sometimes making it difficult to park.
“The garage is always full,” said Schwartz, a junior journalism major. “I have a long car, so it’s hard to park in the tiny spaces.”
But not all View residents park in the buildings’ parking lots. Schum said 325 students have annual overnight permits and park their cars on the campus, and other students have commuter parking passes.
However, as the campus begins to lower its on-campus parking options, and if the parking covenant is eliminated, these 300 View residents will need a place to park their cars by fall 2016, or they can choose to not bring a car at all, Schum said.