Beacon Development: How Much Parking?

On Tuesday, January 10, at 7pm at City Hall, the city planning board will hold a public hearing on the current development plans for 1 East Main Street. Beacon Deserves Better is excited to see that the old blanket factory on the corner of Main and East Main will be repurposed for office, residential, and retail.

The citizens group is very concerned, however, about the parking being proposed for the new construction town houses that are part of the 1 East Main plan; specifically, the number of parking spaces alloted is much too high. One of the tenets of infill development in higher density areas is to encourage living with fewer cars. Right now many of the units will be allotted two parking spaces each.

BDB also thinks that any future parking lots built in the city should be using best practices in terms of storm water issues. Like the parking being built for the Roundhouse project across the street, any lots for this project should be permeable surface to help mitigate runoff problems.

There are also questions about the layout of the greenway trail that will be along the creek edge. It has been changed since the original concept plan was presented, and now stops before it reaches the view of the falls across the street and is rerouted up through parking lots and stairs to Main Street. We are concerned about the width of the trail as shown, the reroute through the property, and the stairs–wherever possible, the trail committee is trying to keep the trail within ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) compliance guidelines.

If you have an opinion on this matter, or just want to find out more about what’s happening in your city, please come to the planning board meeting this Tuesday, January 10, 7pm at City Hall.

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