Council could change downtown parking rules

By on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

WALLA WALLA – The Walla Walla City Council meets tonight (Wednesday) at 6:30 p.m. The council is expected to amend the two-hour downtown parking ordinance. Due to high demand, parking availability in the downtown area which consists of Second Avenue to Palouse Street, is almost non-existent. According to city records, businesses in that vicinity have requested parking enforcement to assure a steady rotation for vehicles.

However, the area west of Third Avenue to Sixth Avenue does not have a high demand for timed parking spaces, so businesses in that area which include the Walla Walla County Courthouse, do not see a need for two-hour parking and are requesting removal from the current two-hour parking zone. Following a discussion at the city council’s work session on Nov. 1, 2021, city staff recommends amending the two-hour parking ordinance to remove all areas west of Third Avenue.

Also on the agenda, amending the city’s municipal code to allow for the first-floor conversion of hotels and motels to residential dwelling units within the central commercial zoning district. This comes after Fortify Holdings of Beaverton told the planning commission that it is under contract to purchase the Budget Inn and Travelodge Inn with the intention of converting these hotels into studio and single-family apartments with amenities for its residents.  It is the city’s understanding that the sale of these properties has been completed.

The council is also expected to authorize the purchase of 50 portable radios to replace all radios at the Walla Walla Police Department through a National Association of State Procurement Officials contract for $105,891.64. Most of the portable radios the WWPD currently use were put into service six years ago and an unusually high percentage of the units are in need of repair. Further, past experience has shown that mixing radio makes and models results in coverage issues, so the recommendation is to replace all of the department’s portable radio units at the same time.

The city council meeting can be viewed on the city’s website or via Zoom. The meeting ID number is 814 7422 1620.