Denver council addresses Main Street parking issues

By on July 5, 2017

Denver Borough Council members unanimously approved painting white lines to mark parking space locations downtown at their Monday, June 26 meeting.

Each space will be 20 feet in length. Consultation occurred with East Cocalico Police Chief Terry Arment about required distance between a parking space and a driveway or alley area.

At the June 12 meeting of council, several residents from the 100 and 200 blocks of Main Street cited difficulty safely exiting a driveway or alley due to vehicles parked almost up to the alley area.

Vehicles also parked nearly bumper to bumper, making it impossible to use space between vehicles to aid safely pulling out onto Main Street.

“This is a logical, first step,” said Councilman Todd Stewart. “We can build on this with other ideas.”

Residents did have other ideas and some residents provided feedback to those ideas. Fred Wagaman, a resident of the 100 block who grew up in Lancaster, said he saw first hand how permit parking can work. At a previous council meeting, East Cocalico Police Cprl. Derrick Kepley said he was familiar with successful permit parking in another area.

Switching parking to the north side of the street only was suggested. Veterinarian Dr. Marianne Fracica expressed a safety concern for a mother or father who might need to carry an ill, large dog across Main Street and simultaneously watch a couple of children accompanying her or him.

As per borough business regulations, the Cocalico Cat and Gingham Dog Animal Hospital, 226 Main St., does have parking behind the business. However, especially if people are dropping off an animal and their visit is short, they’ll choose to park on Main Street in front of the animal hospital.

Round-shaped sidewalk extensions at some intersections to better delineate pedestrian areas were suggested. Council Vice President Chris Flory, who is East Cocalico Township’s assistant roadmaster, cited difficulties these pose for road workers, especially with snow removal.

No other decisions were made regarding improving downtown parking issues. President Blake Daub suggested that council members will continue to discuss the important issue.

Indeed, Denver Planning Commission’s May meeting summary included “Improve Parking” as one of 16 ideas generated. (See sidebar)

Commission Chairman Fred Wagaman thanked the 22 people who participated at the May 7 meeting. Several were in attendance at the council meeting.

In other business:

* Farley F. Fry, P.E., reported on the data collection required for the long detailed Aquifer Testing Waiver application to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) for wells No. 1, 2 and 3. This is the first step in the renewal process for these wells.

* Brent Good, ELA Group, presented the Denver House final land development plan and the waivers requested. Council granted the waivers and approved the plan, pending meeting all conditions.

* Council approved Jan’s Daisy Dash 5K Run/Walk on Oct. 28. Jan’s Circle of Friends, sponsor of the event, assists children affected by domestic violence and parental loss.

Summary of Denver Business District meeting

Current business district status:

* Courtyard Café adding bed and breakfast

* New business added – Taste of Ink

* Denver House under new management, direction and construction

* Not enough places for young people to hang out

* Currently only one place to go out to eat

* Former restaurant building for sale; work needed could deter buyers

Ideas generated

* Small business days

* T-shirts highlighting Denver/businesses

* Community events (Invite food trucks?)

* Borough created “business package” highlighting benefits of Denver

* Incentives for coming to Denver

* Improve parking

* Encourage optics of Main Street

* Encourage property improvements

* More enforcement of existing codes

* Relief from building codes (in some cases) – may be safety issues

* Tattoo licensing (no state-wide rules, especially for safety)

* Façade grants?

* Tap into knowledgeable resources like Lancaster County Planning Commission

* Improve sidewalks

* Look into programs – Keystone Opportunity, Local Tax Abatement, Elm Street program

* Follow through on incentives and what is promised

What would we like to have the future business district look like?

* Many little shops

* Something to attract extended locals as well as Denver citizens

* Ice cream shop

* Bakery

* Improved visuals

* Regular events

* More activity

* More and better parking

Planning Commission Chairman Fred Wagaman said a copy of Borough Manager Mike Hession’s recap of 2016 work done using results of Denver’s 2015 Future Planning Summit is available. The planning commission will hold a follow-up meeting in six months.

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