The Lauriol Plaza’s zoning “special exception” for the small parking lot off of T Street is up for renewal. This item will be on the ANC’s January 9, 2013 agenda.
These types of small parking lots often require a special exception in our neighborhood. Another example is the small parking lot behind McDonald’s on 17th Street. The ANC voted to support the renewal of that parking lot’s special exception in 2012.
As part of the discussion on their parking lot, the Lauriol Plaza agreed to apply for a valet parking permit to stage their valet system on 18th Street. In a previous post, I discussed the issues related to the Lauriol Plaza’s current valet system, which does not have a permit and therefore is not supposed to utilize any public space for staging. The Lauriol Plaza in the last several months has taken measures to try to ameliorate the traffic issues their valet system creates at the corner of 18th and T Streets, including hiring an off-duty police officer during peak times to keep traffic moving and placing orange cones on T Street near their driveway entrance. However, traffic bottlenecks still occur frequently.
The Lauriol Plaza’s application to the Board of Zoning and Adjustment for the parking lot special exception is attached here: [Lauriol-Plaza-BZA-filing]. There appears to be no change from the prior approval from 10 years ago, except that the parking spots inside the lot have been reconfigured somewhat to allow for additional cars to fit.
The Lauriol Plaza’s application to DDOT Public Space for the valet parking permit is for 3 spaces on 18th Street. The new staging area should ameliorate the traffic issues that the current valet system causes at the 18th and T Street intersection. No patrons will be turning on to T Street. In addition, when the lot is full, patrons can easily be directed straight north to Lauriol Plaza’s overflow lot at 18th and California, rather than being directed along a circuitous route down T Street and then turning at least 3 times to get up to the overflow lot. The Lauriol Plaza will have to pay rental fees to the city for the 3 spaces utilized.
Comments and suggestions are appreciated. In light of Lauriol Plaza’s willingness to change their valet system and apply for a permit, I plan to recommend that the ANC vote to support both the zoning and public space applications.