The Madison City Commission voted Monday to approve a permit for Dakota State University to occupy the right-of-way for parking near the university’s Van Eps Place housing. But the approval is pending an agreement with the university that will also need to be approved by commissioners.
DSU officials applied for the permit to occupy the right-of-way for the area around the residence hall near the intersection of Northwest 3rd Street and North Van Eps Avenue. The request is similar to one the university made a couple of years ago, which was denied by the commission. DSU wants to provide off street parking to the residents of the residence hall by occupying the area commonly referred to as the “parking or boulevard” lying between the now existing curb lines on both Northwest 3rd Street and North Van Eps Avenue, and the sidewalk at the southwest corner of the intersection.
Several residents who live in the area attended Monday’s meeting to voice their concerns regarding the permit. Elizabeth Hofer told commissioners that she would like to see them follow city law regarding the size of the parking spots and the number that need to be there.
Hofer said that there will also be problems with snow removal. She said that she and some other neighbors feel that the better alternative for the university is to buy a nearby house and make the area into a parking lot for the hall, or to have the students park in city parking lots.
Father Anthony Urban with St. Thomas Aquinas Church told commissioners that he is concerned with the safety of students with the bus pick-up and drop-off that takes place in this area near St. Thomas School.
Mayor Marshall Dennert asked Stacy Krusemark, DSU’s Vice President for Business and Administrative Services, if they had considered the option of buying a nearby house for parking. Krusemark said that they feel that this project is the safest option and that they would like to get it done yet this year if it is approved and they are able to find a contractor.
Commissioner Jeremiah Corbin made the motion to approve the permit pending the agreement with DSU that commissioners will also need to approve. Commissioners approved the motion by a vote of 4-to-1, with Mayor Marshall Dennert voting against it.