In response to the Re-Solve group's survey regarding parking for downtown Winslow businesses, I choose to use this format, in order to more fully express myself where indicated. Part 2
- Linda

ADDENDUM to comments regarding parking in Winslow:

I nearly forgot the most important factor that has created the entire problem. Not only does the City of Bainbridge Island have a totally unrealistic parking requirement for commercial buildings, it has not ALLOWED businesses to provide adequate parking for their facilities.

I believe the current code is 4 parking spaces per 2500 square feet of space. This is TOTAL parking spaces, which is presumed to be adequate for employee as well as customer parking.

Fox Paw has 1600. Square feet. The present enforced requirement would limit me to 2.5 parking spaces to operate a retail space that requires I have a minimum of 3 people on staff. Obviously I wouldn't have enough parking for staff, and absolutely none for customers.

Not only is the code inadequate, the City has not allowed additional parking to be provided. A few years ago Washington Mutual remodeled their facility. They wanted to include additional parking spaces under their building. They pleaded with the City; they delayed construction; they pleaded some more. The City REFUSED to allow them to add the additional parking spaces.

Need I mention the Pavilion? The parking requirement for that facility was reduced from 4 per 2500. Square feet to 3. Look how well that's worked for the Pavilion! There frequently has been no parking available in that building when I've been there for lunch, dinner, or a movie. The theatres can't accommodate even the number of seats they have. Other businesses have had difficulty surviving, or didn't survive. Owners of The Pavilion have had to seek additional parking privileges from surrounding businesses.

It isn't just history here. There is new construction being built right now on Hildebrand. The same requirement is still in place. Four spaces per 2500 square feet. One business in that area is a real estate office. They have 2200 square feet, and 20 employees. They can't accommodate even a partial staffing, and have no parking for customers. Street parking is limited to 2 hours. The area is being developed into office and retail space. Those people have a problem before the buildings are even completed. Prospective tenants are inquiring about the amount of parking available with the spaces, and walking away from the project because it won't be adequate for their businesses to survive.

There is very little surface land available in the down town core. Understandably the problem there will be more difficult to solve. Hildebrand is new construction, and is outside the restricted downtown core. Why is the parking being restricted in one of the few areas where there IS land, and parking could have been allowed in those projects that would have actually been adequate for the accommodation of staff and customers? It just doesn't make sense.

What kind of facility requires only 4 parking spaces per 2500 square feet? Why has the City adamantly refused to allow additional spaces? How many square feet does City Hall have, and how many parking spaces are available to staff and customers? Are they holding themselves to the same standards they impose on us? What are parking requirements in other cities? How has the City benefited from intentionally limiting parking in the commercial areas? What was their intention?

The existing problem has been generated by the City of Bainbridge, and it needs to be corrected by the City of Bainbridge Island. They have intentionally limited the parking available in the commercial areas. They have created the problem, they need to own that they created the problem, and they need to correct the problem.

If I think of anything else, I'll be back with more. Thanks for your interest in solving this very real problem.


Linda Allen
Fox Paw