A downtown parking committee presented recommendations to a Faribault City Council Joint Committee meeting Tuesday night at Faribault City Hall.  Among the recommendations is developing a downtown residential parking permit system for people living downtown.

The permit could be a tag hung on the review mirror or placed on a vehicle dashboard with parking in spaces behind the downtown apartments off Central Avenue.

Faribault Chamber CEO Nort Johnson made the PowerPoint presentation to council members and prefaced his remarks by saying, "There is no perfect solution."  The committee recommended the permit be priced at $120 a year.  Before the recommendation becomes a reality there are a couple things that need to be determined.  The Downtown Parking Committee only suggested one permit per apartment but some council members wondered if the permits should be per vehicle.

Other recommendations included revising the parking time limits on Central Avenue from 3 hours to 90 minutes per vehicle.  Maintaining the present no parking from 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. on Central and providing two 15 minute parking spaces in the middle of each block.  The fine for violating the parking limits downtown would also go up from the present $10 to $25.  The restrictions would be from the 500 block south on Central.

Johnson said the committee wants to come up with a way to develop 100 more parking spaces for the 200 and 300 blocks of Central Avenue where the most congestion presently exists.

That could come by constructing a parking garage or placing another parking lot near the area but nothing definitive was suggested.

The Faribault Chamber Executive told City Council members a small cities development grant would help pay for some new way finding signs downtown and throughout the community.  Those signs will be placed this summer.

Johnson said other suggestions the downtown parking committee talked about were developing a program to encourage private investment in downtown parking and coming up with a formal process for any downtown business or property owner to petition the city to change the parking in front of their business or building.

Faribault City Council members talked about having a public hearing concerning the changes and a open house asking for public input before the hearing.

The Downtown Parking Committee will now develop a residential parking permit system that provides for more than one permit per apartment.

Faribault Chamber Executive Nort Johnson talks downtown parking at Council Joint Committee Meeting. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld