Norcross may soon get more parking downtown.
After months of discussion, the City Council voted 4-1 Monday night to move forward with adding 11 parking spaces behind City Hall. The next step is to get proposals from companies for paving. The cost of the project is estimated to be about $41,000, and it would be paid for from sales taxes.
The parking spaces are much needed for Norcross’s vibrant downtown, Councilman Ross Kaul said. There are currently 184 parking spots, but that’s not enough, he said.
“We know people have to drive around constantly when they can’t find parking,” Kaul said.
When the lot is repaved, cars will no longer be able to cut through the City Hall parking lot from Wingo Street to Lawrenceville Street. The slope will also be leveled out, making it easier for people to open their car doors, Kaul said.
“When you open your doors...it’s going to be safer,” he said.
Councilman David McLeroy voted against the measure. He said he didn’t want to get rid of the cut-through, which cars use now when traffic is backed up through downtown.
“We can always use that as a detour,” McLeroy said. “I think we’re going backward, cutting that access off.”
Mayor Pro Tem Andrew Hixson voted for the project but said he would prefer to put it in next year's budget.
"I had a lot of concerned citizens come speak to me," Hixson said.
The council also discussed the need for better lighting and cutting back shrubbery. Those would be done in a separate project.
Two types of paving have been considered: typical asphalt, which is estimated to cost about $28,000, and pervious pavement, which is estimated to cost close to $41,000.
The council voted to move forward with getting proposals for the more expensive paving.
In other business:
- The council revised the law to allow alcohol consumption in city buildings. This is to accommodate weddings and other events, City Manager Rudolph Smith told Patch. It does not allow for the sale of alcohol, but people will be allowed to bring it in. This includes the following city-owned buildings: the Community Center, Kudzu Art Zone, the Nest and Welcome Center. For events at city parks, a special alcohol permit must be requested from the City Council.
- The council unanimously approved requiring a traffic impact study for large developments. City officials said this could add 5 to 10 percent to the cost of a project, but that it would only apply to projects that significantly impact traffic. They said it probably wouldn’t apply to many developments in Norcross.
- A request to paint the Depot building was approved. The building is owned by the city and leased by the Norcross Station Cafe.
- A proclamation honored deceased Norcross resident Felecia Renea Bailey. Affectionately known as “Pete,” she attended Norcross High School from 1968-1971 and was the first African-American cheerleader there. She was also a city employee for 11 years, and was the lead pianist at Hopewell Baptist Church for 40 years. Her family was in attendance.