The owners of one of Saline’s historic homes lost their on-street parking in order to service residents of a new condo project.
Monday night, Saline City Council voted 7-0 to enact a traffic order eliminating several parking spaces on the 200 block of South Monroe Street. The parking spaces are in front of the Annin-Peoples House, built in 1860 on South Monroe Street. The Annin-Peoples property was split to build the Curtiss Park Bluffs condo development behind the historic home.
Traffic in the development moves along Curtiss Park Lane and empties on to South Monroe Street. According to DPW Director Jeff Fordice, when vehicles are parked on the west side of Monroe Street, drivers turning on to Monroe Street are challenged by site distance.
Darin McLeskey, who bought the historic home, only learned of the parking order because he happened to be at the city council meeting listening to the discussion about the development planned for 207 S. Monroe St.
He asked council not to take his on street parking away.
“On street parking is already tight in that area and will be even more challenging if you take that chunk away,” McCleskey said, adding that on-street parking actual deters speeders. “Lots of speeding happens. Having fewer vehicles parked on the road may increase speeding.”
Council members asked if residents could park along the new private street. Fordice said Curtiss Park Lane was privately owned and lacked room for on-street parking.
Councillor Janet Dillon said that when the city discussed Peoples Park parking, it was said that on-street parking can help slow vehicles down. Fordice agreed but said that site distance is an important safety issue.
“When the spaces were filled with parked vehicles and you attempt to pull out, the site distances is maybe 50 feet,” Fordice said.
Dillon asked if this was considered during site plan review. Fordice said it can be difficult to project.
Dillon asked if the city might allow on-street parking along Monroe Street, where the retaining wall borders the cemetery. Mayor Brian Marl agreed with Dillon’s suggestion.
McCleskey noted he’s had several difficulties with the developer building behind his home. They planted a tree where is driveway was supposed to be. He asked council to find a way to notify residents when these kinds of decisions appear before council.
“If not for coming for the discussion on (the Fairdene development), I wouldn’t have known I just lost a bunch of parking spaces in front of my home,” McCleskey said. “Some sort of notice would be nice.”