The corner of Central Avenue and Fifth Street in the city looks a bit different with the demolition of the former church but it will soon look even more different. The city of Dunkirk Planning Board approved unanimously the request for a parking lot by Brooks Memorial Hospital.
The lot on the corner of the now demolished church will be made into a parking lot that will have a new entrance that will be shifted north toward Fifth Street. The current employee lot has a fence that separates it from the visitor parking lot which will be moved, according to Rod Drake of Habiterra.
"This fence is being pushed (north) about 30 feet," he said. "We'll end up with additional parking (in the visitor lot) and additional parking for the employees."
OBSERVER Photo by Samantha McDonnell
Rod Drake of Habiterra discusses plans for the Brooks Memorial Hospital parking lot located at 501 Central Ave.
The construction of the lot will make an additional 60 parking spaces available, 16 of which will be in the visitor parking lot. Visitors are also eligible to park in the employee parking lot which will see a gain of 48 more spaces.
A barrier similar to a guard rail will be placed between the two lots until something more permanent is found, according to Drake.
Landscaping will be done at the corner of Central Avenue and Fifth Street, including small shrubs which will bloom in the summer. Room for annuals planted each year will be left.
"At the corner, everything is low at the corner. We maintain that 30 foot (clearance) of vision. There's no blocking of vision," Drake said.
A fence lining the outside of the parking lot will be erected. In a later phase of the project, the hospital hopes to have the fence go around to Eagle Street on the west side of the parking lot. One thing noted not included in the landscaping are benches or an area for people to loiter.
"Being a smoke-free campus, we did not want to encourage that," Jarrod Johnson, COO of Brooks Memorial Hospital, said.
Planning Board member John Mackowiak asked about snow removal for the new parking lot. Currently, snow is pushed to the Eagle Street side of the parking lot. Once the snow pile is high enough, a company is contracted to remove the snow and places it in a truck and takes it away. The same procedure will be used in the new parking lot.
Board member Chris Piede had a question about the lights in the parking lot, asking if they would match existing lights.
"They won't match the antique ones ... but existing ones (in the employee lot)," Drake said. "Of course they'll look newer but they'll be the same."
The visitor lot will continue have the antique lights, the new parking lot will have the newer version of lights and the back part of the employee lot will remain the same. The hospital will have to return to the planning board at a later date to discuss relocation or addition of "no smoking" signs, as well as a new Brooks Memorial Hospital sign at the corner of Central Avenue and Fifth Street. The hospital will also come back to the board for approval for the lights, once specifics are known. The hospital is not sure what lights can be ordered at this time.
The board also approved a parking variance at 60 E. Courtney St. and the addition of a sign to the building at 13 W. Third St. Copy Boy in Fredonia is moving to its Dunkirk location and requested for a sign to be on the side of the Service Print building facing Central Avenue. The sign will direct customers to the Copy Boy location around the corner from the sign.
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