Highland Park Village Updating Shared Parking Model

Highland Park Shopping Village is updating the shared parking model used to determine parking requirements, and community members are invited to give their input on the topic Oct. 3.

The meeting will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Bradfield Elementary cafeteria to discuss the study and update the parking model of the shopping center.

The current parking model was implemented in 2014 and was incorporated into the planned development. It was funded in part by the Village and town. This information is used by Town Council as members consider requests from the Village to expand commercial lease space and make changes in land use.

“The study update is basically looking back at the data and methodologies used in 2014 to create this tool and determine if the data/methodologies are still accurate and functioning as they were designed,” said Hugh Pender, director of development services for Highland Park. “If not, adjustments will be made where appropriate.”

At the Sept. 20 Town Council study session, Highland Park Town Council members shared personal concerns and community complaints with Thomas Brown, principal at Nelson Nygaard, which is the project’s developer.

Mayor Will C. Beecherl said that growing up in Highland Park, accessing the Village was easier when he was a child who could ride his bike there to pick up a Slurpee from 7-Eleven or a Matchbox car from a dime store, leading to “some of the resentment you see” from neighbors.

“Most of the complaints I hear from residents, they don’t like the parking problems,” Beecherl said. “I understand that the Village is trying to be the Rodeo Drive of the East, and they have done a good job of increasing tax revenue for the town, so we appreciate that, but it has lost its community charm, and I think that’s really what most people are upset about, aside from not being able to get in and out of there. […] It brings a lot of traffic in from out of town.”

The parking model incorporates data supporting that shoppers typically visit multiple stores and restaurants during a visit to the Village and “staggered peaks,” meaning that peak times differ for the shopping center based on the mix of retail uses, resulting in varying parking demands throughout the day. Nelson Nygaard used industry-standard data from the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Urban Land Institute to manage parking demand on the mixed-use site.

By the next time the Town Council and Nelson Nygaard meet, the developer plans to have an updated shared parking model based on community feedback and data collection.

No RSVP is required to attend the Oct. 3 community feedback meeting. For questions or more information, community members are urged to contact Director of Development Services Hugh Pender at 214-559-9408 or [email protected].

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