The Fredericksburg City Council recently approved a special-use permit which adds 47 new parking spots for students, faculty and staff on College Avenue.
In an August 2012 issue of EagleEye, the faculty newsletter, the UMW faculty and staff were informed of the permit. This permit allows the UMW Foundation to build a parking lot on the property adjacent to the heating plant off College Avenue.
“Construction on campus creates challenges with access and parking,” said Erma Baker, assistant vice president for business services and chief purchasing officer to UMW.
To prepare for the construction of the new student center, the UMW Foundation scouted for a location close to campus to build additional parking spaces. The parking lot will take the place of Chandler Hall’s parking lot, which will be demolished once the campus student center construction begins at a later date, according to a special-use application to the City Council.
The UMW Foundation, under the leadership of Transitional Properties, L.C.C., the construction company in charge of the property, is scheduled to tear down three university-owned buildings. Two are located on Thornton Street, and the third is on Powhatan Street.
According to documents obtained by the Bullet, the UMW Foundation requested permission from the Fredericksburg City Council to build the parking lot through the use of a special-use permit.
In the special-use permit application to the City Council, the University stated, “Approximately 50 spaces will be lost to the construction of the new Campus Center. This development will provide 47 new spaces with an attainable 15 percent of open space.”
Special-use permits are required when building projects may have an impact on other land uses within a specified location. UMW properties are zoned “C-T,” which allows UMW to construct a parking lot under the zoning ordinance.
Hannah Laughlin, a senior at UMW, has a car on campus.
“With my parking pass, I’m only able to park in two different lots and it would be nice if there would be more places to park,” said Laughlin. “I know there are a lot of commuters that park in the lot on Thorton and they need more parking spots over there.”
Sisters Krissy and Diana Pistochini live off-campus and drive to school each day.
“It is extremely difficult unless I get there early in the morning,” said Diana Pistochini.
Krissy Pistochini echoed her sister’s complaints. “Yes, it’s hard to find spots, particularly from about 9 a.m. until 3 or 3:30 p.m. 8 a.m. and evening classes are easier times to find spots,” said Krissy Pistochini.
In addition to an increase in open space, the special-permit parking lot will potentially direct traffic off the main street and will alleviate the parking congestion on College Avenue.
The University hopes to have the lot completed by spring 2013.