SANFORD — The city council tonight is poised to act on a parking plan that would impose a two-hour limit to some parts of the city-owned lower Mid-Town Mall lot and adjacent streets. As well, the plan would allow overnight parking by permit for some nearby residents.

It is a step in the process of developing a comprehensive parking program for the downtown. There was a public hearing on the proposal April 7.  

If the current proposal is approved, permits would be issued for residents of the Sanford Mill apartment complex so they may park in the two interior rows of the lower Mid-Town Mall lot. The proposal would ban all overnight parking on both levels of the mall lot except for those two rows. Through agreement with Northland Enterprises, LLC, the company that developed the Sanford Mill complex, the city must provide 35 parking slots for mill residents, and may designate where they’re located.

At the April 7 public hearing, April Libby, who owns the Third Alarm Diner nearby, said she hoped any proposal would mean those currently parking on the rim of the lower Mid-Town Mall lot all day ”“ or for several days ”“ won’t be doing so.

The proposal takes her concerns into account: Parking on the rim of the lower Mid-Town Mall lot would be limited to two hours, as well as along the northerly side of Riverside Avenue adjacent to the new Gateway Park; on parts of the northerly side of Pioneer Avenue; and parts of the easterly side of Washington Street.

Libby said when the outside rim of the Mid-Town Mall lot is full of cars, and the parking slots on Pioneer Avenue near the diner are full, people assume the diner is busy and keep driving. She said one car parked on Pioneer Avenue for three days this winter without being moved.

City Manager Steve Buck said Northland Enterprises, LLC leases the city-owned lot directly behind the mill. That 67-vehicle lot has some slots designated for residents, with the remainder for patrons of the mill restaurant, gym, beauty salon and other commercial tenants.

As well, through an agreement, the city provides 85 slots for parking in any number of lots it owns throughout the district within 400 yards of the mill.

The city council meeting begins at 7 p.m. tonight in the council chambers, located on the third floor of City Hall.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]

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