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City Council reconsiders 6-story parking deck

Published: Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 8:57 a.m. CDT

ELMHURST – The City Council continued their discussion about the proposed Addison Avenue parking deck Monday, and at least some members remained open to the idea of a six-story building.

Mayor Steve Morley pointed out that when the city previously elected to add onto both the Schiller and Adelaide parking decks after they were built, the construction inconvenienced nearby business owners and cost the city more money than if it had built larger decks from the beginning.

"I think that if the council is considering additional height, I think that now's the time to do it," Morley said.

The mayor broke the project into three main decisions to guide the council's discussion. He asked whether or not they wanted to include a loading dock, where they would like to put the entrance and exit to the deck and if they wanted to consider a building taller than four stories.

"I'm strongly in favor of a six-story building that's all parking, no office," said Fifth Ward Alderman Scott Levin.

Aldermen expressed different opinions about the loading dock. Some thought a dock in the alley would disrupt less traffic on Addison, while others considered how a dock in the alley could impede on a community meeting area project for pedestrians since that area is next to the alley.

Although some aldermen stressed the need for more public input on the project, Fifth Ward Alderman Chris Healy was relieved everyone seemed to share a drive to move forward on the project.

"I'm going to be looking to move as quickly as we can understanding that there are some tough conversations to be had," Healy said.

First Ward Alderman Gutenkauf had questions like many aldermen, but made a point to ask how the the city could address storm water management for the project. She saw the project as an opportunity for the council members to show they care about the city's storm water issue.

"If we can be creative about ingress and egress off the street, then we can be creative about storm water management as well," Gutenkauf said referring to city staff's suggestion to make Addison Avenue a two-way street outside the garage to improve traffic flow.

The city agreed to discuss the project again after the next city council meeting on Sept. 16.

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