The mediation session many thought would resolve the dispute between the Charlottesville Parking Center and the city of Charlottesville recently ended without producing a satisfactory result. Talks will continue between the parties, but the initial mediation was considered a failure and no immediate settlement will be reached.
The City Council had a discussion concerning the dispute and came up with a settlement offer in a closed session, but there was no end to the dispute. According to Councilor Kathy Galvin, “We are still in process. It feels like there is a sense that we will be getting back to the table again. That is the best we can say right now. ”
The dispute relates to the rates and ownership of the Water Street Parking Garage. CPC owner Mark Brown filed a lawsuit against the city after they were unable to reach an agreement concerning rates in 2015. The city and the parking center co-own the garage via a public-private partnership. Brown has argued the city prevents him from increasing parking rates and that if they would approve the rate increase, he would use the money to improve the facility and still earn a profit.
City official maintain that merchants in the downtown area support their effort to remain invested in the garage and that the efforts made by the city are done in the public’s best interest. According to Councilor Kristin Szakos, “Businesses downtown are very adamant that the city should maintain a role in parking in the Water Street garage. ”
Both sides agreed to mediation in February, following a number of high-profile court hearings concerning the dispute during the summer of 2016.