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What you need to know for 07/22/2017

Ellis to once again pitch parking garage proposal

Ellis to once again pitch parking garage proposal

Ellis Hospital is trying again for permission to build a five-story parking garage on Rosa Road.

Ellis Hospital is trying again for permission to build a five-story parking garage on Rosa Road.

The city’s Board of Zoning Appeals refused the request in June because the 58-foot-high structure would have been built just 7 feet from the sidewalk. To conform with city rules, the garage would have to be built about a foot away from the sidewalk for every foot in height.

The BZA had given Ellis permission to build a three-story parking garage, at 27 feet tall, just 7 feet from the sidewalk. But 58 feet was too much, the BZA decided after neighbors complained.

Now Ellis has tweaked its design and will go back to the BZA for approval today at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

The new design is 51.6 feet tall and 15 feet back from the sidewalk.

While the new design will look smaller from the front, parts of it will be just as high as they were in the previous proposal.

The height changed because Ellis moved the stair towers from the front to the back of the proposed garage. The stairs protrude above the top deck, adding to the total height, but that part would be far from the sidewalk.

Some neighbors have objected to the plans, particularly because the building would be lighted at all times.

Ellis officials said they had wanted all along to build a five-story garage with their expansion this year, but they didn’t have enough money for the project, so they proposed a three-story garage.

Then construction and demolition of some old parts of the hospital came in under budget, giving the hospital enough money for the full garage.

The plan is to reserve it for patients only — although employees have long complained about the need for more parking.

Ellis is constantly searching for parking. In what some neighbors call “the black creep,” Ellis has purchased houses adjacent to the hospital when they were put up for sale and demolished them for parking. That has left some neighbors living next to a parking lot that wasn’t there when they moved in, and they have complained about it.

They’ve also complained about employees parking along their streets, blocking every curbside parking space.

Ellis built off-site parking lots for its employees and offers shuttle service back and forth, but some employees don’t want to take the shuttle. In the most recent battle over parking, a few employees had their cars towed when they parked at the adjacent Sunnyview Rehabilitation Center.

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