GR parking woes lead to neighbor disputes

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (via WOOD TV 8) — In downtown Grand Rapids, one business's need to grow and another's need for parking are at odds.

Attorney Brian Plachta has an office in the Loraine Building on East Fulton Street between LaGrave and Jefferson avenues. He and his clients, many of whom are elderly, are used to having parking right at the front door.

That changed this week when fellow Loraine Building tenant MeXo restaurant took up several spaces for patio seating that will be up all summer.

MeXo manager Geoff Gaskin said the restaurant got a special use permit from the city and tried to notify their neighbors, but Plachta said he never got the message.

“The first time I learned about this was yesterday when I got back from lunch and saw the platform being built. I had no idea that this was the city’s plan," Plachta told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday.

Gaskin said putting a platform over the parking spaces was the only option the city allows.

“They won’t let us put tables and chairs out in front of our business," Gaskin said. “With growth, obviously, there come different challenges.”

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