By Mary Thurwachter
The Lantana Town Council postponed for one month a vote on a request for a change to a shared parking agreement for Love Lantana Point properties at 201-239 E. Ocean Ave.
Tom Prakas, manager for Love Lantana Point since April 1, asked the town at its Sept. 26 meeting for a modification to a shared parking agreement the town had previously made for one of the properties, Mario’s restaurant at 225 E. Ocean Ave.
Prakas said he wanted to reconfigure the parking spaces on the 200 block of Ocean Avenue and to jointly use the town-owned Third Street parking lot currently leased by Mario’s owner Henry Olmino.
“We could use that lot for my tenants (commercial and retail) during the day,” Prakas said. Mario’s is open only after 5 p.m. for dinner.
Prakas said he has storefronts to rent and first needs to address parking requirements.
“We’re deficient seven spots,” he said. “Without those seven spaces for parking I have to leave retail spaces dark. Those spaces need to have the lights on.”
Prakas said his properties have 44 spaces not including the 24-34 he said could be added by co-leasing the Third Street lot with Olmino.
Mario’s requires 43 parking spaces but has only 15 in its own lot. Love Lantana Point owns three adjacent parcels and has 28 shared parking spaces, which can be used by Mario’s customers. Mario’s also offers valet parking to customers.
Olmino said he was in favor of sharing the Third Street parking lot with Prakas. Olmino leased the lot a year ago for employees but hasn’t needed it. “I don’t think we put a car on it all year,” he said. “Most of my employees walk, bus or bicycle.”
Council members questioned how many parking spaces Love Lantana Point really has.
“I like your concept, your idea, but I don’t think there are 44 spots over there,” said council member Lynn Moorhouse, who also said he didn’t think the town could legally enter into an agreement to share the Third Street lot.
“I’ve never been comfortable with shared parking,” Mayor Dave Stewart said. “Before I can have a level of comfort with this, I’d need to see a survey to show this (parking) meets the requirements … and for Third Street, absolutely not without getting neighbors on board
The council, at Prakas’ request, will revisit the shared parking modification request at its Oct. 24 meeting.
By Mary Thurwachter