Saint Matthew Parish’s Seeking Additional Parking, Plus Borough Considering Pocket Parking Lots

During last night’s meeting of Conshohocken’s Borough Council parking throughout the borough was discussed. The purpose of the meeting was to prioritize goals for 2017. There were a bunch of things discussed and we are going to do individual stories for the ones we think the public will be most interested in.

One item, that was of course discussed, was parking. Council member Bob Stokley (R, Ward 6) suggested that the Borough start purchasing properties in neighborhoods to create pocket parking lots. This would mean buying houses or properties and clearing them for parking. Two examples of pocket parking lots that exist (may not be apples to apples comparisons) are the small lots along Maple Street at the bottom of West 1st Avenue and West 2nd Avenue. This idea was of interest to members of council, but not prioritized. It was agreed that the Borough would monitor properties that are up-for-sale and consider the opportunity on a case-by-case basis.

Regarding Saint Matthew Parish, Stokley shared with council that Father Tom Heron had announced during Mass on Sunday that the parish had a home along Harry Street under agreement. According to the discussion, Saint Matthew Parish hopes to purchase several properties along Harry Street to create parking for its new school and regular services. Stokley also shared that Heron is going to seek Borough Council’s approval to close East 3rd Avenue, between Harry and Fayette Streets, on Sunday mornings to create a temporary parking lot.

Stokley also mentioned the triangle shaped Borough-owned property at the intersection of Harry Street and Spring Mill Avenue/East 1st Avenue. The Borough paid over a million dollars for the property and currently leases it to a few of the restaurants for parking. Stokley suggested that selling this property should be explored.

The rubber stamp approval of waivers (we can’t remember one being denied) for off-street parking for businesses was also discussed. These waivers allow businesses to open along Fayette without having dedicated parking spaces on its private property. This situation is basically unsolvable because the properties have existed for decades as they are. To prevent a business from opening due to parking spaces that do not exist and have never existed would harm property owners and drive businesses off of Fayette Street. For example, the last business that sought the waiver was an insurance company that leased office space above Tierra Caliente. Without the waiver, the business can’t open, and makes the office space worthless.

More to come from the meeting including topics such as parks, dog parks, traffic, etc.