The College is applying for an exemption from a city regulation that requires one parking space for every two beds. With the North Professor Street construction bringing 160 new beds to campus, the City’s code dictates that the College create over 80 parking spaces. To apply for variance, the College must meet 20 different qualifications.
Though the College will continue to build the new dorm, there are no plans to increase attendance at the college, which makes additional parking spaces unnecessary. The new dorm’s expected LEED standing has led some in the administration to suggest that students living in the dorm should agree not to bring a car.
“Ideally what they would want is to ban parking for that dorm, but I’m not sure yet if that’s really going to happen,” said PJ Carter ’09, the Community and Government Relations Fellow. “But they’re not going to build another parking lot–that’s their goal. They don’t want to pave another area if they don’t have to.”
There has been some talk about completely banning first-year parking, as has been done at some peer institutions “but it really hasn’t moved anywhere, just because it’s something down the road that they want to talk about,” said Carter.
Some vocal Oberlin residents want the College to build the parking lot. “People already complain to the city about people parking on the street,” said Carter, “There are all these out of state license plates on the street,” which residents know are students.
A number of senior staff will meet during the first week in October to discuss the College’s options. They must handle the situation by December to keep the dorm’s proposed opening date.