Cincy planning commission approves parking lease

Mar 1, 2013

Update:  It appears likely five Cincinnati Council members are ready to support the city manager's plan to lease most of the city's parking facilities to the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority and four private companies.  

The Budget and Finance Committee could vote on the issue Monday.  

Council Member Wendell Young confirmed Friday he plans to vote yes and four other members have generally expressed support during recent hearings.

Earlier post:  The Cincinnati Planning Commission today unanimously approved the city manager's parking lease agreement.

The 7-0 vote means the proposal has cleared another hurdle and will allow the full City Council to consider it next week if it chooses too.  

The plan leases parking facilities to a partnership involving the Greater Cincinnati Port Authority and four private companies.  

The Planning Commission only approved the leases for five garages and three lots.  The group doesn't have jurisdiction over the city's parking meters, which are also included in the parking lease plan.  

Commission members asked several questions about parking rates and garage improvements.  

There were also questions about the Port Authority being able to appoint four of the five members of an advisory board to oversee the parking lease arrangement.  Port officials said that's necessary to show the group has control of the parking assets to satisfy the IRS and to be able to issue tax-exempt bonds for the plan.  That's how the port is getting the $92 million for the upfront payment to the city.  

One planning commission member called the plan a good, balanced lease.