City Council Faces Parking Controversy After Picking Downtown Pl - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

City Council Faces Parking Controversy After Picking Downtown Plaza Design

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YAKIMA, WA. -- After more than a year of discussion, the Yakima City Council has now chosen a design for the new downtown plaza but people are still raising concerns. Wednesday we took a detailed look at the design the city council chose to replace the parking lot next to the Capitol Theatre. 

The design chosen included the most parking spaces of any of the other proposed plazas. With this plaza, the city only loses 1 net parking spot..

The design includes fountains for children to play in during the summer months and also has shade, a multi-purpose event space and terraced seating. 

We talked to the city economics developer about some of the backlash the city has heard about the plan and also went downtown to hear what people had to say.

"We are using concepts that have worked in numerous, numerous places," Sean Hawkins, Yakima Economic Developer said. "They have really drawn people. Successful downtowns build an environment where people want to be."

"It would be a good thing for our kids mainly," Alicia Salazar said. "And just to bring more people into the city."

"I think it's a really bad idea because when I come down here every weekend for the farmers market, I can barely find any parking," Martha Torrico said.

"I think it's a good idea because it's a place where people can go and hang out with their kids," Rachel Curvas said.

Sean Hawkins also made a point to tell us that the design chosen was just a rendering and not anywhere close to what the final product would look like. The city claims that the plaza will be an economic driver for people to come downtown and spend their money. But critics simply say the plaza will be too costly.