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Can Cincinnati Council Solve 3CDC/CPS Parking Dispute?

Jay Hanselman

A Cincinnati Council committee holds a special meeting Tuesday afternoon to try to resolve a parking dispute between the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) and Cincinnati Public Schools. It involves 200 parking spaces at the Washington Park garage used by the School for the Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA). 3CDC wants to reduce that number to 100 spaces.  

SCPA teacher Jane Simon told City Council last week there was an agreement about those spaces when the school district turned over land to expand Washington Park to build the garage.

"The need for parking spaces has not changed and the original agreement needs to be honored," Simon said. "For our school community, this is the right thing to do. Promises need to be honored, SCPA workers and families need to be respected."

The two sides have been talking but haven't reached an agreement and school starts Aug. 15.

School board member Eve Bolton is asking for Council's help.

"As we go through this change in the neighborhood, I would encourage you to exercise whatever oversight you may have to make the difference for us in the negotiations," Bolton said. "They're not free spaces, we pay, and our students and our staff need that space."

3CDC said in a written statement it’s working on an agreement.  

“3CDC is actively working with CPS to reach a compromise on parking for SCPA students and teachers that works for all parties involved,” the statement said. “We have been asked to make a presentation to City Council, during which we can outline the facts surrounding this issue and provide the details of our proposal.”

3CDC proposes SCPA staff and students use 100 spaces in the city-owned Town Center Garage behind Music Hall. The future of that facility is unknown with the city considering redevelopment on that site.

CPS officials have said the Town Center Garage is not as close to the SCPA building as the spots in the Washington Park Garage.

The city owns the land for the Washington Park garage, but 3CDC owns the facility. It’s unclear what role the city could play in the dispute other than acting as a mediator.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.