The proposed Park Square Apartments at Siskiyou Boulevard and Park Street are the kind of high-density, student-friendly housing Ashland residents should start getting used to, but the city’s development rules need to be updated to allow for what are essentially dormitory-style accommodations.
The project would consist of six buildings, half of them two-story and half three-story, with each floor being a separate unit with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a central kitchen. Each four-bedroom unit could be rented to a single family or to individuals. The complex would include a 30-space parking lot.
Neighbors upset about changes to their single-family neighborhood must face the fact that the property in question is already zoned for high-density residential. And having a view does not guarantee that view will never be obstructed by legally allowed construction. Still, critics have a point about parking.
If all the bedrooms were rented to individuals, that could mean as many as 60 cars but off-street parking for only 30. Even if some of the units were rented to two-car families with children, visitors arriving in cars would still add to the on-street parking along Park Street, affecting the surrounding neighborhood.
Ashland’s city government brought this situation on itself when it decided that increased density, not expanded city boundaries, was the best way to make room for more housing. Now city leaders need to make sure that density doesn’t unfairly affect existing neighborhoods by requiring developers to provide enough parking to accommodate the increased number of vehicles generated by projects like this.