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The Parking Lot Letters, Vol. 2

Filed under: Common Council, News

Last week we posted here a scathing letter written by developer Carl Paladino to the city’s Planning board in regard to his plan to build a 150-space surface parking lot at 175 South Division Street.

Paladino accused Ellicott District Councilmember Brian Davis and outgoing Strategic Planning Commissioner Tim Wanamaker of interfering in his project, which would provide parking to ECC, on behalf of his nemesis, developer Jim Sandoro, who lost the ECC parking bid.

Paladino’s letter is being filed this week with the Common Council, along with this this letter, written by attorney Rich Stanton of the Knoer Group (and an assistant corporation counsel under Mayor Tony Masiello), arguing that the surface parking lot Paladino proposes to build is not only out of character with the city’s future plans for the Michigan Street corridor (as Wanamaker had argued in the letter that so exercised Paladino) but contradicts the city’s past schemes to promote residential development in that downtown neighborhood.

Facts: ECC needs and wants parking; surface parking lots are a blight on donwtown’s landscape.

Fact: The city decades ago instituted programs to encourage housing in that neighborhood.

Opinion: The result has been crappy, suburban-style houses that did more for the developers who built them than they do for the city.

Facts: Sandoro is one of the homeowners Stanton represents; he is not ideologically opposed to surface lots.

Do we file this story under “Developers squabbling over bones”? Or is this occasion for a larger debate?