Nearby residents express concern over proposed TCU parking garage

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Residents who live close to TCU stormed out of a Wednesday night neighborhood meeting after expressing their discontent concerning the proposed Worth Hills parking garage.

During the meeting, hosted by the university’s physical plant and Office of Marketing and Communication, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Todd Waldvogel presented renderings of the proposed parking garage and discussed the university’s long-term construction plans and goals to a group of about 20 people.

The university’s vision includes constructing a Campus Commons-type area in the Worth Hills section of campus. To do this, Waldvogel said, land that currently serves as parking for students who live in Brachman Residence Hall, Greek and Worth Hills residence halls would need to be utilized.

Subsequently, that parking will need to be replaced and because of this, the university proposed to build a parking garage and simply stack the 1,200 spaces.

Although Waldvogel was clear that no additional parking spaces would be added and the structure wouldn't be used for gameday parking, neighbors weren’t sold on the idea of a five, six or seven level garage.

The height of the garage, “music and screeching tires” emitted from students’ vehicles as they enter the structure, the proximity of the garage to the adjacent neighborhood, additional traffic through residential streets, the possibility of less privacy as students might be able to see into homes from the garage’s rooftop and lower property value were among the complaints neighbors aired at the meeting.

The concern of lighting from the garage spilling over into the neighborhood also came up.

“It’s going to be like we’re living on Berry Street,” one neighbor said.

Another neighbor suggested the university either build two three or two level garages in the Worth Hills area or move the location of the garage.

Although there were many concerns and suggested ideas, Waldvolgel said the university will try to do its best to accommodate the neighbors.

“We have to get together as a leadership team and talk about it. There are no easy solutions that will make everybody happy. It’s going to be a difficult challenge,” he said.

At the end of the meeting, a neighbor pleaded that Waldvogel keep the neighbors’ feedback in mind at the Oct. 9 zoning and planning meeting.

“The neighborhood is a part of the culture and community at TCU. We want to keep the neighbors’ praise," Waldvogel said. "Every effort that we made in this very specifically was an effort to minimize the impact or obstruction of the neighborhood. We’re actually quite surprised that [the proposed parking garage] was so offensive to them.”

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