Hartford council OKs downtown parking change
Owners of downtown buildings to get parking permits

By Joe VanDeLaarschot

Sept. 1, 2019

HARTFORD — In an effort to promote downtown business development, the Common Council has unanimously approved an ordinance change that will grant permits to the owners of two downtown buildings to allow the tenants and the owners of the businesses leasing the buildings to park in a city-owned downtown parking lot for nine hours a day, instead of the current four. The longer hours would be on Mondays through Saturdays.

Danny Dulak, who along with wife Wendy owns two properties at 10 S. Main St. and 19 E. Sumner St. through Second Chance Ventures, sought the permits and the ordinance change because the time limit on downtown parking was making it difficult to lease the properties because the business owners and employees would have to leave work after four hours each day to move their vehicles.

“That’s difficult for businesses and their workers,” Dulak said. “I had one possible lease fall through because of that. This change will allow more flexibility and help small business owners.”

City Engineer Jason Schall said such a change is already available to another downtown business owner.

“The ordinance does already allow the city to grant parking permits for this purpose for the owner of 23 S. Main St.,” Schall said. “The existing ordinance provides 20 parking spaces for this purpose in the parking lot south of 20/22 S. Main St. near the Pour House.”

Schall said while the ordinance does allow for extended parking in the lot with a permit, there do not appear to be any vehicles with permit parking in the lot. The amended ordinance would also reduce the number of designated stalls to 14.

“There are no signs in the parking lot designating the 20 parking spaces referenced in the ordinance for permit parking,” Schall said. “There are 14 stalls along the south edge of the parking lot that could be designated for this purpose. This would be the most logical and the easiest to accommodate the proper signs.”

Schall also brought up a concern that he felt does not need to be addressed now, but only in the future if it becomes a problem.

“There is another section of this ordinance that designates these stalls to be used for winter overnight parking on odd days from 9 p.m.-9 a.m.,” Schall said. “This creates a conflict between the sections of the ordinance between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. during the winter months. It’s unclear if this will be an issue. If it becomes an issue, the ordinances can be reviewed again at a later date.”