The Library plans to construct a 43-space parking lot early next spring on the east side of the block that is south of the current library property (PDF included below). This is in response to:
- The increase in the Library district population, which grew more than 25% between 2000 and 2010, from 43,917 to 55,092;
- The inadequacy of current parking (104 spaces), which falls 32 spaces short of the number recommended (136 spaces) for the size of the present facility constructed in 1908, 1964 and 1989;
- The complaints and suggestions of library users and non-users.
The Library’s inadequate parking is the most frequently voiced concern that we receive from our patrons and those who say they would use the library but find the lack of parking inconvenient. There currently are 104 parking spaces; the number recommended for the existing building is 136. With the failure of the 2010 referendum to expand the building and parking, we are addressing this need now rather than waiting until the next referendum, which would not take place until February 2013 at the earliest.
At the request of the Library, the City recently rezoned the block south of the Library to CBD2-Mixed Use Business District, which will permit the Library to use the houses for work areas, storage, and parking. The Library hopes to move ahead with the construction of additional parking. The Board is now proceeding with the bidding process; construction will not begin until spring 2012.
The Library Board decided to construct a temporary parking lot in order to provide the convenience of additional parking as soon as possible, without the high cost that a permanent lot would entail. The temporary lot actually can last up to 12 years, while meeting all the safety and code requirements. The greatest cost of a permanent lot is the underground detention system. With a temporary lot, dry detention can be utilized. The lot will have curbing and will be attractively landscaped and well-lighted. The additional parking should meet community needs until more permanent parking can be provided.
Entrance and egress will be along the south side of Walnut Avenue. The Library has submitted a request to the St. Charles Police Department to eliminate on-street parking along Walnut Avenue to reduce the congestion that could occur with parking on both the north and south sides of the Avenue.
Only the house on the corner of 7th and Illinois Avenues must be removed in order to make way for the detention area. There are no plans to demolish the other three houses along Illinois and 6th Avenues for this temporary lot.
The temporary parking lot will be funded by the Library’s Special Reserve Fund that was established in 1989 to provide funds for facility improvements.
Drawing of Proposed Lot: 2011 1018 South Parking Plan.pdf