FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. (KNWA) — Parents of Fayetteville High School students are concerned after receiving word that a parking lot, which provides off-site parking to students, will close.
A spokesperson for the City of Fayetteville says there is a lot of misinformation out there.
Although the school has an enrollment of over 2500 students, it can only issue 442 parking passes. Those are distributed through a lottery system, but only to junior and seniors.
Shawn Daniels is the parent of a Fayetteville High School junior, and paid $500 dollars for a yearly off-site parking spot.
“I don’t know what is going to happen, there’s a big panic out there among all these parent,” Daniels said.
On Friday he received an email from the parking lot owner that reads, “The parking lot I am providing to students is being shut down by the city this coming Wednesday. No students will be allowed to park at this lot after that date.”
“The city requested that the property owner turn in a permit to us by October the third, but it is not the city that would be closing a parking lot. If the property owner chooses to close a parking lot, that’s their own private choice,” Fayetteville City Planning Director Andrew Garner said.
Garner says the city has had complaints from neighbors from certain off-site lots. The city has four documented cases of zoning violations around the high school for building commercial parking in residential yards. Three property owners currently in violation have submitted applications to the city.
Two will be going to the planning commission on October 22.
“This is a zoning violation, it’s not a criminal violation that the city would — we don’t have police officers that are going to go out there and shut everything down,” Garner said.
Garner says over the past year the city has been working to find an alternative — even talking with the University of Arkansas.
“The school board and school district have also been in communications. My understanding is that the university may have some parking spaces available for the spring semester for students,” Garner said.
But Daniels says something has to be done soon.
“The only legitimate solution at this point in time is to delay the enforcement if it’s been on the table for years. Delaying it for 150 days is not going to cause an irreparable harm compared to what it’s going to do to the families.”