On Tuesday, November 20th, the Saratoga Springs City Council voted unanimously to move forward with the design phase of the Flat Rock Center Concept Plan. Below is the full text of the resolution but the key element states: “City Council recommends that the Saratoga Springs City Center Authority proceed with initial design proposals for the municipal parking structure, with such proposals to incorporate a reduction in the total number of parking spaces as originally proposed in the Concept Plan, and to present such proposals to the City Council and the public for consideration and review”
The resolution passed the council unanimously.
During the comment period there were three speakers who expressed reservations about the resolution but the vast majority, most of them from the downtown business community, spoke in support of the proposal. City Center executive director, Ryan McMahon, told the council that thirteen events had chosen other venues due to the lack of parking and another twenty-nine were looking elsewhere also because of parking issues. He estimated that this had lost millions of dollars of income for local businesses.
This is a link to an excellent story by Thomas DiMopoulos for Saratoga Today on the current plan
A video of the public comments as well as council members’ comments before voting for the resolution is available on the city website.
OF THE CITY COUNCIL
OF THE CITY OF SARATOGA SPRINGS FLAT ROCK CENTRE CONCEPT PLAN
WHEREAS, by deed dated June 25, 1986, the Saratoga Springs Urban Renewal Agency conveyed a 2.6 acre parcel of land to the City of Saratoga Springs, with such land bounded by Lake Avenue, High Rock Avenue, York Street and Maple Avenue; and
WHEREAS, since its acquisition by the City, the parcel has only included a paved parking surface; and
WHEREAS, in May 2018, a Committee was convened and included a construction expert, neighboring property owners, representatives from the Greenbelt Trail Committee, the Complete Streets Committee, the downtown business community, the Administrator of Planning and Economic Development, a County Supervisor, the Commissioner of Finance, and the Mayor; and
WHEREAS, the Committee was charged with developing a Concept Plan for the entire 2.6 acre parcel that incorporates the Guiding Principles of the City’s Comprehensive Plan as adopted by the City Council on June 16, 2015; and
WHEREAS, the Committee has since established a Concept Plan for the 2.6 acre parcel which consists of four components, including (1) the establishment of a public park (Flat Rock Park) at the southerly end of the parcel along lake Avenue and where Flat Rock Spring once existed; (2) the continuation of the Park at the easterly side of the parcel along High Rock Avenue, which will connect Flat Rock Park to High Rock Park and include the Greenbelt trail, Downtown Connector; (3) the development of a municipal parking structure; and (4) the retention of outparcels for future development; and
WHEREAS, the Concept Plan was presented to the public at a City Council meeting on July 17, 2018, together with the City’s application for CFA Grant funding for the development of Flat Rock Centre, and again at a Special City Council meeting on November 13, 2018; and
WHEREAS, public input indicated a number of ideas, including the need to consider a possible reduction in the size of the municipal parking structure as well as a possible increase and reconfiguration of the public park, green-space and outparcels; and
WHEREAS, the costs associated with the four components of the Concept Plan may require that development and implementation occur in one or more phases, with parking and the Greenbelt Trail, Downtown Connector, identified as a priority and to be included in Phase I; and the public park, green-space and outparcels to be included in Phase II; and
WHEREAS, the City intends to work collaboratively with the Saratoga Springs City Center Authority, in accordance with the provisions of the City’s Comprehensive Plan to ensure adequate parking to enable the City Center to continue to attract conventions and other events to our downtown; and
WHEREAS, the City Council envisions the collaborative effort to include the City Center providing the costs associated with the design and construction of the municipal parking structure, subject to Council review and approval;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that, subject to compliance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), the City Council intends to proceed with Phase I, including the design and development of the Greenbelt Trail, Downtown Connector, and a municipal parking structure; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council recommends that the Saratoga Springs City Center Authority proceed with initial design proposals for the municipal parking structure, with such proposals to incorporate a reduction in the total number of parking spaces as originally proposed in the Concept Plan, and to present such proposals to the City Council and the public for consideration and review; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council, in conjunction with the previously established Committee, shall further review the components to be included in Phase II, with an effort to increase and reconfigure the public park, green-space and outparcels; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that upon receipt of the design proposals from the City Center and the further recommendations from the Committee, the City Council will schedule a Special Meeting to present the proposals to the public for input and consideration.
Dated: November 20, 2018