Hearing slated on city plans for downtown
The City Council has scheduled a public hearing tonight on a long-range plan that charts the future of downtown Annapolis.
Business leaders and residents reached a consensus in December on the 300-page document known as the Ward 1 Sector Study. The city's Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously endorsed the plan. But commission members expressed reservations over sections of the document and decided to study it further to develop specific plans for action.
Among the key recommendations in the report, which strives to balance the interests of the residents and merchants, are:
* Replacing metered parking at City Dock with a small garage and turning the area near the harbor into a park.
* Reducing downtown traffic congestion by altering bus routes, running more frequent downtown shuttles and better managing parking with a new transportation agency.
* Designing new traffic patterns for the historic district, including reversing the traffic direction on Main Street to head toward the dock, or making it a two-way street, or making Duke of Gloucester a two-way street.
* Changing zoning to preserve residential "neighborhoods at risk."
* Lengthening off-street parking hours in exchange for substantially higher fees for residential parking permits.
The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 160 Duke of Gloucester St.