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Councilor asks for downtown Marlborough parking review

Councilor asks for downtown Marlborough parking review

METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – With apartment and condominium projects coming to the city center in the near future, City Councilor Matt Elder is requesting Marlborough review its downtown parking stock once the projects are built.

The Marlborough Economic Development Corporation and Metropolitan Area Planning Council conducted a downtown parking study in fall 2013 and found only 60 percent of spaces were used during weekday peak hours. Of the 904 downtown spaces, 542 were being used, according to the study.

The 2013 parking analysis – which included creating an inventory of on- and off-street parking, a review of the existing capacity and occupancy data during peak hours and meeting with residents and businesses – determined there is an adequate supply of downtown parking and no need to build more spaces.

“Marlborough has a significant number of parking spaces within the downtown area, thanks to two large public garages, surface parking lots and on-street parking,” according to the study.

Elder noted that while finding downtown parking is not a problem now – unless there are snowstorms – it could be in the future with the addition of a few new apartment and condo projects. An update to the parking study would determine the effect those residences have on downtown parking.

“As we add apartments in downtown Marlborough it could be an issue,” Elder said during this week’s Operations and Oversight meeting.

City councilors recently signed off on Fish Restaurant owner George Voyiatzis’ proposal to build an addition to his building, which will house 40 apartments, and developer Kevin Brett’s plan to build a six-story facility on Main Street that will house 32 condominiums.

Another proposal to add 12 boutique-style residences above Marilyn Green’s Bolton Street Re/Max Signature Properties office is before the City Council.

“We’re adding a lot of units to downtown Marlborough,” said Elder. “There’s all sorts of projects in various stages.”

Under the new Marlborough Village zoning district, developers may make payments in lieu of creating parking and instead use parking spaces that are available in the municipal garages. Steve Reid, project manager for the Fish addition, said tenants will use 22 spaces in the municipal garage.

City Council President Ed Clancy is not in favor of spending money on a study now, but agreed it may be something to look into once those projects get underway.

Committee members tabled the issue, but may revisit it once the Fish and Main Street projects are constructed.

This article by Jeff Malachowski originally appeared here.