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In next step for parking deck project, city rezones

A rendering shows proposed parking deck looking south from Fifth Avenue West A rendering shows proposed parking deck looking south from Fifth Avenue West

The Hendersonville City Council authorized a rezoning Thursday for the new parking deck project at the intersection of Fifth Avenue West and North Church Street, following a public comment period featuring concerns over aspects of the project.

Two city residents, Lynne Williams and Ken Fitch, expressed doubts over the need for new parking, the price of parking fees, effects on the prosperity of downtown, safety, flooding and the project’s budget. Williams urged a six-month delay in which the need for the parking deck could be reassessed and Fitch asked, “Is the budget allocation for this project sufficient to do it the right way?”

In response to the suggestion of a six-month delay, Council Member Jerry Smith said, “We have discussed extensively about delaying metering Main Street as long as we can, so we appreciate your comments but we are very aware of that reality.”

“We’ve talked about the budget for this parking deck a lot," Smith said to City Manager John Connet. "Is there any question as far as whether or not we’ve adequately prepared a budget for this?”

“We are very mindful of the budget and we have contingencies in place, but that will continue to be refined,” Connet responded, adding that budgetary concerns were not a part of the rezoning decision.

Council member Jeff Miller addressed the safety concerns stating that precautions, such as safety boxes, had been included in the design.

The approved rezoning moved the site from C-1, Central Business, to C-1 CZD, Central Business Conditional Zoning District.