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Parking Reconsidered for Egg Harbor Highway Project

These sketches show two options for parking (marked in blue) in the core area. Previously, the Egg Harbor Village Board had selected Option 2. Given permission to reconsider the options, the Egg Harbor Parks and Public Works Committee selected Option 1. That recommendation will return to the village board for final consideration. Source: Village of Egg Harbor.

Poised on the brink of borrowing up to $7.5 million for its long-planned highway-redevelopment project, Village of Egg Harbor officials are again reconsidering a decision about parking in the core downtown section.

Megan Sawyer, Egg Harbor village administrator, said bonds are on schedule to be sold next week, but the parking decision does not need to be made before then because neither of the two options the village is considering would “result in a significant cost increase for the village.”

Still, village officials have gone back and forth since early March on parking in the core area. 

Currently, there are 12 parking spaces in the area between Greens N Grains and the former Parador restaurant. In the village’s original plan, all 12 of those spots were removed. The public had asked for the restoration of parking in that area when the village unveiled its updated highway-redevelopment plan in January. 

When it was also revealed that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) was requiring a contiguous, two-lane left-turn lane instead of three separate ones, project engineer Mike Simon with McMahon Associates also drafted two options for restoring core-area parking. 

Both Options 1 and 2 would return 11 parking spaces between just south of Shipwrecked to just north of Greens N Grains (on the west side) and the Main Street Shops (on the east side). 

The difference between the two options is that Option 1 has four spaces on the east side along the Main Street Shops, and two on the west side alongside Greens N Grains. Option 2 has four spaces on the west side adjacent to Greens N Grains and two spaces on the east side along the Main Street Shops.

The village board had decided that Option 2 was the way to go during its March 8 meeting with a 3-2 vote. But Public Parks and Recreation Committee chair and village board trustee Lisa Van Laanen – who had cast one of the dissenting votes against Option 2 – asked that the committee be allowed to reconsider the options. She said the committee was unable to arrive at a consensus during its first consideration of the two options but now, with more information, she wanted the committee members to have that opportunity.

The village board consented to send it back to committee during a special May 2 meeting, and when the Parks and Public Works Committee reconvened May 3, it voted unanimously to go with Option 1.

Simon said May 3 that in terms of safety factors – making left turns, crossing and intersection sight distances – both options meet WisDOT’s minimum standards. 

“Option 1 would be slightly better, but not enough to factor into your decision here,” he said.

What did factor for the committee was that Option 2 required a 3.5-foot shift in the road’s centerline alignment starting at White Cliff Road to allow for the west-side parking. That eliminated the terrace in spots – including on the east side where a crosswalk and flashing beacon sign will be located – and also created bump-outs, which the village is trying to avoid.

“The consistency is really, really important [across the project area], so to take three terrace sections out of the core upsets that consistency greatly,” said committee member Kaaren Northrop. 

The motion that the committee passed unanimously May 3 to recommend Option 1 did contain a condition, however, as suggested by committee member Ed Conlon: to receive an opinion from the Door County Assessor’s Office about how the parking options may affect property values.

“For me, a 20% [projected] reduction in revenue would get my attention,” he said. 

The goal, Conlon said, is to give due consideration to claims from business owner Kathy Navis of Greens N Grains, who has said that the existing 12 parking spaces in the core area are essential for her business to survive.

“If we could help her out and nothing else mattered, we’d do it in a second,” Van Laanen said. “We have done ‘one for all’ in the past, and now we need to do ‘all for one.’ Those two parking spots [if located on the west side] are not good for the village in the long run.”

The committee’s recommendation, with the assessor’s determination pending, will next head to the village board, which will make the final decision.

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