Library to tear down East Street apartments for parking lot
By Kitty Conley email@example.com March 20, 2012 3:16PM
The Crown Point Public Library received approval from the plan commission on March 12 for its plan to build a parking lot adjacent to the new library but has not yet closed on the property. | Scott R. Brandush~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 20, 2012 3:16PM
CROWN POINT – The Crown Point Public Library requested and received approval from the Plan Commission on March 12 for its plan to build an employees-only parking lot just north of its new big building on Main Street.
The library has a contract to purchase the three buildings, but has not as yet closed on the property. That awaits the city’s final approval of the library’s plans.
The new parking lot would be on the northwest corner of East Street and Robinson Court. The property consists of two apartment houses and one garage with an apartment on its second floor. The buildings currently have tenants.
The combined size of the property is 91 feet by 120 feet, and the library is asking for 25 spaces plus one space for handicapped drivers.
Commissioner Dan Rohaley said, “The 800-pound gorilla in the room is that this does nothing to relieve public parking.”
Rohaley asked how many employees the library has and was told about two dozen. While the lot is for 25 parking spaces, seven of the spaces proposed are in the Robinson Court right-of-way and the 15-foot set back.
Engineer Jeff Ban, representing the library, agreed that these spots would only be 3-4 feet within the street right of way, but they would also be into the private property. Because they are on public right-of-way they would be public parking not private employee only.
Commission President John Marshall told Ban that private parking employee parking signs do not help. Ban said it seem to be working across from city hall. Marshall told him that was only because the mayor can look out his window and call the police and then they get towed.
Before anything can be done the library will also have to go to the Board of Zoning Appeals on March 26 to get its permission for some of the things that Ban explained that they want to put in the parking lot.
According to Ban, for water run-off they will be using a catch basin in the southwest corner of the property that leads water through a new pipe to Main Street. They have not as yet been to the Tree Board for a landscaping layout.
While their original plans called for decorative lighting on the north side of the lot, at the request of City Councilwoman Laura Sauerman, R-4th, the decorative lights like the ones on Main Street will be put along the sidewalk on East Street.
Among other things, the library would like the city Board of Public Works and Safety to change the use of Robinson Court from two-way traffic to one-way westbound.
When it was asked about closing Robinson Court it was pointed out that the Fire Department uses that street when answering calls. It also would be prudent for the fire department to be able to be on Robinson Court for close access to the 3-story library if the need would ever arise.