One of the most rewarding aspects of this position is being able to fix things in the county that are broken. This past Wednesday night, one such fix came to fruition.
Having moved into a local apartment complex in 2007, I soon discovered that parking for the large complex – one space per apartment and no guest parking – was grossly inadequate.
Every apartment in the complex has three bedrooms and two full bathrooms, so tenants include large families, extended families, and groups of adult roommates. I think it would be safe to guess that in almost all cases, there are at least two vehicles affiliated with every apartment.
The inadequate provision of parking at the complex results in a myriad of cars being parked along both sides of the street, directly outside. Although this street parking is legal, it is unsightly and causes safety concerns for vehicles passing between the two rows of parked cars, particularly for emergency services vehicles such as large fire engines. It also creates a hazard for all the kids who have to try to cross the street from between the many parked cars, on their way to the neighborhood elementary school.
During elections, we hear candidates talk about quality of life. Adequate parking for apartment complexes, as well as for commercial uses, directly impacts our quality of life. Our community as a whole is better off if adequate parking is provided when new facilities are constructed.
Last Wednesday evening, my colleagues and I voted to increase parking requirements for residential and commercial development within unincorporated Ada County. Not only are the county’s requirements now more in line with what the cities within Ada County require, but the public is better served, kids are safer and our quality of life is protected.