Six-story parking deck ‘irresponsible’
To the editor:
Last week, in the face of an independent study by professional consultants, negative public sentiment, and fiduciary common sense, the Elmhurst City Council voted to send a revamped proposal for a $14.5 million, six-story parking structure back to the zoning commission that rejected the original version.
Surely many of the 11-3 voting majority (and the developers) are pleased with their decision to continue to pursue spending millions of taxpayer dollars on a solution to a problem in our downtown that doesn’t exist, and won’t exist until 2020 or beyond, based on the current parking surplus and glut of vacant retail space (Plass Appliance, RIP).
I am reminded of the final scene in the movie “Field of Dreams,” where an endless stream of cars is headed toward the farm, fulfilling the mystical prophecy “If you build it, they will come.” Was the “it” built by Ray Kinsella a six-story parking deck? Perhaps he should have first spent money on such a monstrosity to attract visitors, generate much needed income, and “preserve the character” of his farm. A baseball diamond could follow afterwards. Such is the logic of our City Council beset with misplaced priorities, fulfilling the dubious prophecy of the prior city administration that initiated this irresponsible deal.
While many questions surrounding this project remain unanswered, this latest development should prompt the public to ask a fundamental question: Who benefits from the city’s investment of millions into an oversized parking deck? Not the visitors to our downtown, not the downtown businesses, and not the Elmhurst citizens. The citizens of this town would be better served by a council that directs its efforts and taxpayer money on more important matters, like flooding and filling excess retail and parking space downtown.
The council wants to build a 60-foot parking deck. You will pay for it. Will “they” come?