Burns Square shoppers and residents are wondering why a former city lot is chained off on Dolphin and Orange avenues.
The once free parking lot is now chained off because owns the lot, says it needs repairs and – if you’re interested – it’s for sale.
Folks have emailed both the city and Patch inquiring about the lot.
“Exactly where are the movie patrons for , and the customers for the dozens of shops and restaurants in the neighborhood expected to park?” Jack Vinales of Jack Vinales 20th Century Classics antique store wrote to City Manager Robert Bartolotta in an email. “There is very limited street side parking, and the city sponsored lot on Laurel and Orange was always well utilized.”
Nicole Wipf wrote to Patch that she might have to move.
“This is a problem for those of us who live downtown and have no other place to park,” she said. “My husband and I live in the Dolphin Building (above Burns Court Cafe) and we may have to move – there's simply no place for us to park.”
The city leased the lot from Michael Saunders, but that agreement expired Oct. 31, 2010, Bartolotta said in an email to Vinales.
“The lot was not being used very much other than by private employee parking,” he said. “Since we could not charge for a private lot, the lease was not renewed. Since that time Michael Saunders has elected to manage their lot as a free parking lot.”
The Saunders lot is in disrepair and had to be closed for safety reasons, Saunders spokesman Tom Heatherman told Patch.
“We’re facing liability issues there. If anyone should get hurt, the liability would fall squarely on our shoulders,” he said.
The company was threatened with a lawsuit after someone fell in the lot, which has potholes in it, he said.
The lot is for sale, but Heatherman said he wasn’t sure where the company is in the sale process for that lot.
“We’d love to come to an arrangement with somebody,” he said.
Free short-term parking on the streets is available, Bartolotta said, and businesses can rent spots for employees at the State Street lot, too.