YOUNGSTOWN City plans handicap parking additions

Reopening Federal Street is an event to be celebrated, a bank executive said.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The city will try to create handicap parking in front of main downtown buildings in the new Federal Street's final design.
Handicap spots and other parking in front of buildings on the central square, too, were main suggestions Tuesday at a 40-minute hearing before the city planning commission.
Afterward, the commission voted to accept the latest concept for reopening the entire pedestrian plaza to vehicle traffic. The concept includes 99 diagonal on-street parking spaces from Phelps to Walnut streets.
The project now moves to final design, said Carmen Conglose Jr., city deputy director of public works.
Engineers will try to bring some of the suggestions made by about 10 people Tuesday into the final design, he said.
Sees the need
That included parking. Lloyd Lamm, senior vice president of operations for Metropolitan Bank, and Dr. Fredric D'Amato, an ophthalmologist with an office in the bank building, each said handicap and other spots are needed in front of downtown offices.
So far, no spots are planned for the large public spaces that will remain in front of office towers once the road is reopened.
Conglose agreed that handicap spots, especially, are needed and should be worked into the plan.
Even without spaces right at buildings, Lamm said the plan for reopening Federal Street is a major event.
"This a significant move forward for the city," he said. "We ought to celebrate it."
Ellen Satre of Youngstown asked the city to keep in mind pedestrians as the plan is finalized. Making sure traffic moves slowly and clear signs are part of that, she said.
Items for consideration
The board also recommended two items for council approval:
UAdd 30 acres on Salt Springs Road to the city urban redevelopment plan. The move would let the city give Fallsway Equipment a tax abatement that would keep the company in the city.
UChange the zoning of a parcel on Jacobs Road near Shannon Avenue from residential to community business. Walter McCoy wants to reopen a restaurant that he closed there several years ago. The board agreed the area was mostly commercial despite the residential zoning.
The planning commission also acts as the city zoning appeals board. The zoning board handled these items:
UApproved reducing minimum side yard requirements by a few feet each to CHOICE nonprofit homes to be built at 126 Drummond St. and 132 and 149 South Forest Ave.
UDenied reducing the minimum side yard requirement by 8 feet to a CHOICE home to be built at 400 LaClede Ave. A half-dozen residents and the councilman objected to a new home being built there. CHOICE can still build the home, but with a detached -- instead of an attached -- garage.
UApproved letting the Bates Garage on Market Street use a neighboring lot on East Boston Avenue for parking trucks that the garage services.

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