Letter: Shelton P&Z must focus on solving downtown parking problems

Below is a Letter to the Editor from this week's Shelton Herald. If you'd like to have a letter to the editor run next week, email letters to brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com

Below is a Letter to the Editor from this week's Shelton Herald. If you'd like to have a letter to the editor run next week, email letters to brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com

Contributed photo

To the Editor:

I read with interest the article in the Shelton Herald on April 21, 2022, titled “Downtown Parking at Breaking Point.” I could identify with the problem of trying to go to a downtown Shelton restaurant or other business, but not being able to find parking.

I think that the city should play a role in ensuring that there are adequate parking options — more parking and improved lighting and signage for existing spots. I applaud Planning and Zoning Commissioners Jimmy Tickey (D), Elaine Matto (D) and John Uysal (D) for championing this initiative.

As Commissioner Tickey said, “There is no place to park now and losing the former Chromium Process site ... will only exacerbate an already difficult situation.

Talk to business owners — they say it. Folks need parking ... And we have lost parking lots along the way ... the lack of parking hurts the entire downtown where there is not a good, safe, central place to park their car and walk around.

Indeed, a downtown business owner quoted in the Shelton Herald (City aims to highlight existing downtown parking published on April 21, 2022) said, “We have now reached a point where we simply can’t make do with what we have ... We [business owners] have put everything we have into our business and the parking issue is unquestionably an issue for our patrons.”

Commissioner Tickey has been advocating for improved parking for years. Elsewhere he has said that the Shelton Planning and Zoning Commission has approved almost 1,000 apartments downtown. Those apartments come with 1 ½ parking spaces each. If there is more than one person living in each apartment or if they ever have visitors, they will wind up using public spaces.

Although the city has leased an additional 70 spaces at the Eversource property, unfortunately that does not replace the greater number of spaces we are losing elsewhere.

However, it is encouraging to read that other commissioners are now expressing concern over lack of parking. Hopefully they will take the steps needed to correct the problem.

Monica Peterson

Vice-Chairperson

Shelton Democratic Town Committee