SALISBURY, Md.- If you drive through downtown Salisbury you have seen them: empty parking lots that seem to just be taking up space. But now Mayor Jim Ireton wants to change that by developing some of those lots.
"I'm hoping that somebody comes in and says 'I want to put up a coffee shop right up by Route 13,'" Ireton said, "because we think we can make a prospective case to developers and businesses that this is where you want to put your stuff because this is where everybody is."
Yvonne Terry said she has an idea that she thinks the mayor may like.
"Whether it'd be a skating rink or a bowling alley but something with a mixture of different things that teenagers and our youth of our community could use," Terry said.
Sandy Raynor said that it is about time empty spots like the one sitting near the library got more use out of them.
"Change is a good thing," Raynor said. "And when it comes to thinking about your kids and what we don't have in our area and things that we do need and don't cost money."
Some Salisbury City Council members like Laura Mitchell said they are on board with the mayor.
Mitchell said that if the lots are utilized in a more productive way then that would generate more tax revenue for the city without burdening residents. But not everyone seems to agree with what the mayor wants.
"I think that the vacant buildings on the [Downtown] Plaza need to be looked at first before they look at the parking lots and they need to revitalize and utilize those buildings first," said long-time city resident Charlie Williams.
Ireton said that he believes building on existing lots would help boost Salisbury's look and the city's economy. However, Ireton noted that any future development would have to get the green light from the City Council.
City Council President Terry Cohen told WBOC that she would rather see the city explore more creative options.
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:19 AM EDT2013-05-18 14:19:20 GMT
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