Huntley approves new downtown parking policy

Policy includes details on more than 560 spots

The former Fire Station 1 of the Huntley Fire Protection District at 11808 Coral St. in Huntley on Thursday, March 10, 2022. A new development that calls for the renovation of the village's old fire station downtown was approved Thursday by the Village Board. The plan calls for three stories to be added to the building, as well as renovations to prepare it for mixed use, including a restaurant on the first floor and residential on the upper floors. The plan is a key part of the village's plans to redevelop its downtown area.

Just a few weeks after originally discussing it, Huntley approved a new parking policy for its downtown corridor, which comes just as the village gets set to open several new buildings in the area.

The policy approved on Thursday is identical to the one the Village Board discussed in late April, and because of no new information, did not see much in the way of comment from trustees.

The policy covers about 20 different areas in downtown, with more than 560 total parking spots, including about 200 overnight spots for residents living in the corridor.

Among that parking will include 58 spaces that will be for two-hour parking during the day, and a dozen dedicated for 15 minute parking throughout the area, according to village material.

More than 100 spots will be dedicated for overflow and event parking, and 188 spaces will be for downtown employees and patrons who need more than two hours, according to village material.

A part of the new parking map Huntley is implementing in its downtown corridor. The village approved a new policy for its parking at its meeting on Thursday, May 25, 2023.

The original discussion in April was taken up by the previous board. Since then, three new members have joined its ranks following the April elections.

Some comments from previous board members, such as trustees Harry Leopold and Niko Kanakaris, said they weren’t huge fans of the proposal, but thought it was worth giving a try.

None of the trustees Thursday – including new board members – gave any further thoughts on the proposal.

City staff also said in April if the policy wasn’t working, it could be changed. However, despite concerns that it could lead to more tickets, City Manager Dave Johnson said that was not the intent of the policy.

Instead, the discussion was needed as the village, thanks to a number of new developments, is set to double the total amount of parking in downtown, Johnson said. It’s also meant to promote businesses.

Trustee Ronda Goldman was the lone board member to voice concern with the plan in April, as she felt some spots should allow longer parking times. Despite those changes not being made, she voted in favor on Thursday.

Goldman said Friday she decided to “wait and see” if the policy alleviates the parking issues downtown. She said the upcoming summer concerts should serve as a litmus test.

With Huntley set to open up a few different businesses and residential spots in its downtown area this summer, including the Cornell apartments at 11117 S. Church St., the old fire station building that has been converted into apartments and a restaurant, it has taken on the burden of developing parking as well.

At the Cornell, for example, will have more than 130 stalls created for residents, with the village fronting the costs for it as part of its agreement with the developer.