Frankfort Ave. business owners are unhappy about parking lot cha - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Frankfort Ave. business owners are unhappy about parking lot changes

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Frankfort Avenue business owners are furious, after Metro Planning Commission members Thursday rejected their desperate appeal.

They're upset over a plan they say will make an already-nightmarish parking situation even worse, possibly spelling their doom.

Available parking spaces along Frankfort Avenue in Clifton are about as rare as available seats were at Thursday's Metro Planning Commission meeting. Business owners packed in -- trying to convince the commission to reverse a decision allowing a planned apartment building to offer its tenants 11 fewer parking spaces than originally planned.

That building is slated to occupy land that includes the former Ready Electric Company site. It's now a 39-space parking lot. Frankfort Avenue business owners say losing those spots combined with the parking waiver given to the apartment developer will create disaster for them.

"Now they want to take away the little bit of parking we have left, which I feel will feel will be a detriment and maybe the end of our businesses on Frankfort Avenue," said Scott Nussbaum,who owns an antique store.

Business owners say losing the Ready Electric lot will leave 33 businesses with barely one spot each, spots that will be taken up by tenants of a building that will have far too few spaces.

John Varanese, the owner of Varanese Restaurant, says Frankfort Avenue has enough problems already.

"We're two lanes. It takes almost 15 minutes during rush hour to get from one end of Frankfort Avenue to the other. I'm talking 15 minutes to drive two miles. You guys want to add on to this burden there. This burden is what keeps people away from Frankfort Avenue. I've had people say, even in my restaurant, say 'I drove by, there was nowhere to park. I decided to go somewhere else.'"

But Glen Price, the attorney for the company planning the apartments, Indianapolis-based Milhaus developments, says the fears are overblown.

"There will never be a case that they don't provide adequate parking for their development, never during their highest peak of time, never during business operation," Price said.

Metro council member Tina Ward-Pugh also spoke against the appeal, saying Louisville needs to join the trend of moving away from cars and to other modes of transportation.

"Building our communities and developing infield developments around the automobile is not the way the world is going anymore, and I don't think we should continue in that direction," Ward-Pugh said.

But business owners say, in many cases, not having a car just doesn't work.

"If my customer cannot pull in front of my store, I am not going to have a customer," said Nussbaum. "That's the nature of my business. They don't walk. Nobody's ever brought a bike and bought a couch from me and taken it away on a bike."

Nussbaum, who filed the appeal, now says he plans to file a lawsuit to keep the parking change from happening.

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