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Neighbors React To Proposed Sanford Parking Lot

May 8, 2014, 9:55 PM by Jared Ransom

Neighbors React To Proposed Sanford Parking Lot

The continuous growth of Sanford Health is leading the hospital to possibly add more parking spaces for its staff. That proposed parking lot will be where 22 homes now sit empty.

"When I heard that it was just like 'Now what?' I didn't personally know what to do myself and then just thinking about all these people here that I've known for so many years," Carol Holtman said.

Holtman has lived in her home for 30 years and is taking plenty of time reflecting on what her neighborhood used to be.

"I guess there will be no neighborhood, that's just a lot to get used to," Holtman said.

Not everyone in the area sees the parking lot as a bad thing. Bobbie Jo Nichols lives a block from where the proposed lot will go, and she sees why this needs to be done.

"I understand the need for expansion. You have to be able to, you're hiring employees so you have to provide for them as far as parking, so I understand that part," Nichols said.

She does however have concerns about potential traffic issues in an area with limited warning signs. She also takes exception to how the entire process of vacating tenants has taken place.

"People that owned the homes that are being rented here had gotten quite a bit of notice, but the renters got a matter of days, and I think that's a lot to ask a single mom with three kids to move in three days time," Nichols said.

The fact that they both could be seeing parked cars where houses now sit is an adjustment neighbors are still preparing to experience.

"I guess I'll watch it. I'll watch my whole neighborhood just be destroyed for progress. I don't know, it's hard," Holtman said.

"I'm optimistic. I respect the fact that Sanford is growing and they're one of the best hospitals in the Midwest and the nation. I just think they need to be a little more aware of the fact that even though they're a business, we're not," Nichols said.

According to Sanford's Vice President of Facilities Planning, Orlen Tschetter, the plan is contingent on the city approving the elimination of a small portion of 19th Street. The lot would include 341 new parking spots and is estimated to cost around $750,000. 

A Sanford spokesperson contacted KELOLAND News after this story aired to clarify that each of the home renters in the area was given 60 days notice that they would have to move. 

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
The information in the last paragraph was changed to correct the attribution of the Sanford spokesperson.

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