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February 3, 2012


  1. Approve Order of Agenda
  2. Minutes (Regular Meeting of December 2, 2011)
  3. Announce New Parking Commission member, Randy Thorson and New PO Parking Liason, Ryan Dorrheim
  4. Review Final 2011 Parking Study
  5. Discuss New Parking Commission Meeting Date
  6. Discuss Service Vehicle Permit Policies
  7. Discuss Parking System Peer Review
  8. Consider additional4-hr zone (400 block of 4 Ave N)
  9. Review Operator's Report (John Rogne)
  10. Other Issues


Chairperson Commissioner Williams called the meeting to order and had the attendees introduce themselves.

Item 1: Minutes: Regular Meeting of the December 2, 2011
Ms. Walvatne moved the minutes of the December 2, 2011 Parking Commission meeting be approved. The motion was seconded by Mr. Engen. All Members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Item 2: Introduce New Parking Commission Member, Randy Thorson, and New Police Department Parking Liaison, Ryan Dorrheim
Commissioner Williams thanked Margie Bailly for her years of service to the Parking Commission and noted that Mr. Thorson could not attend this morning’s meeting. Mr. Dorrheim introduced himself and reviewed his position within the police department.

Item 3: Review Final 2011 Parking Study
Mr. Stein reviewed the parking study that had been distributed. He explained that the original review had been performed in 2003 and then updated in 2007 as well. He clarified the number of blocks in the original studies and what had been added for this update. He pointed out the numbers showing the highest demand and availability and explained the table specific to the Broadway corridor. Mr. Stein explained how the occupancies and vacancy in surrounding buildings affected parking demand. He reviewed how those factors worked in Fargo’s downtown as well as how he predicted the development reflected. He noted that the overall outlook showed a current 502-space surplus but with the blocks around the two potential parking structure locations showed significant deficits. He reviewed the increases to these deficits over the eight-year update period.

The Commission discussed the ratios used to calculate parking requirements for existing land uses and how updating those might affect the demand shown. They considered how to use these data to draw conclusions and gauge needs. Mr. Stein reviewed the recommendations made toward the end of the study. The Commission discussed flexibility in rates in response to daily and event-based demand.

Item 4: Discuss New Parking Commission Meeting Date
Mr. Stein noted that Mr. Thorson would often be unavailable on the first Friday of each month. The Commission discussed moving the monthly meeting to a different day. Ms. Walvatne moved that the regular meetings be scheduled at 8:00 a.m. on the last Friday of each month. Mr. Engen seconded the motion. All members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Item 5: Discuss Service Vehicle Permit Policies
Mr. Stein reviewed the existing program and requirements for service vehicle permits. He explained that a large percentage of the current users of these permits were now construction companies. He suggested the Commission look at loading zones and any other methods to encourage these contractors and service people to park elsewhere except for the short term. Jeremy Gordon, Fargo Traffic Engineer, agreed with Mr. Stein’s suggestion of using temporary signs to designate spaces at the end of the block. Mr. Gilmour suggested treating large construction projects more as lane closures, making the permit project-specific. The Commission discussed how to ensure Mr. Stein was notified of projects on Broadway that would need these permits.

Item 6: Discuss Parking System Peer Review
Mr. Stein explained the peer review system and stated that he would like to request for this service. Commissioner Williams asked if it would be possible for Mr. Stein to sit on a committee of this sort for a different city in turn to reduce costs and Mr. Stein responded that he will research the possibility. Jim Gilmour, Fargo Planning Director, noted that the high on-street occupancy in the Broadway corridor and vacancy farther to the east and west of it might make the peer review a worthwhile tool.

Item 7: Consider Additional 4-hour Zone (400 Block of 4th Avenue North)
The Commission reviewed the map of existing and proposed four-hour and unrestricted parking zones. Mr. Stein suggested making the parking unrestricted on the 400 block of 4th Avenue North and then revisiting the issue if a problem arose. He noted that one of the Community Services Officers had brought this block to his attention after Municipal Court had moved. Mr. Engen moved that the parking on the 400 block of 4th Avenue North be changed to a four-hour time limit. The Commission discussed this motion. Ms. Walvatne seconded the motion. All members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Item 8: Review Operator’s Report
John Rogne with Parking Service, Inc reviewed his monthly report on occupancy and income. He noted that the 2nd Avenue North lot was over-rented and he maintained a waiting list of about 25 people for that lot. He explained which events in the Civic Center had brought more income for the adjacent parking lot. He noted that he also kept a lengthy waiting list for the Radisson parking ramp. Mr. Gilmour asked that he bring a report on any such waiting lists so that the Commission could use them in considering demand. Mr. Rogne stated that he had placed signs warning people of snow removal and that they had been effective in getting people to move their cars from the lot. He noted that small signs had been posted in the attendant booth windows and that he had been putting notes on cars left overnight as well.

Item 9: Other Issues
There being no further business to come before the Commission, the meeting was adjourned at 9:05 a.m.