Commenter OhioExile points out that todays New York Times runs a story about the ongoing snipefest between the city and the Feds over Akron's plans to develop the lot next to the downtown's Seiberling Federal Building.
Ooh! Can I say this is promoted from comments? That's so cool!
OK, I'm back. The story is interesting for what it does and doesn't add to the coverage. First off, it offers the best reset of the controversy I've read anywhere:
- The south side of the John F. Seiberling Federal Building in Akron faces a city-owned parking lot. Nearby employers, including FirstEnergy, continue to expand, causing a parking shortage downtown, said Dave Lieberth, Akron’s deputy mayor.
City officials originally hoped to replace the lot with a 300-car parking garage. The proposal more than tripled in size, to 1,000 cars, after Signet Enterprises, a real estate development company, decided to build its new corporate headquarters in an office building atop the garage.
As the proposed garage grew, its planned location mover closer and closer to the south wall of the court building. The courthouse, built in 1975, presents an especially challenging security situation because its outside walls are glass. The north side of the building is within a few feet of West Market Street, a busy downtown thoroughfare.
The main thrust of the Times story is to put the controversy in the context of increasing concern about the safety of Federal judges. Unfortunately, the story in the Times doesn't provide any updates on the basic controversy. The city says the plans are evolving and will attempt to address concerns. The Feds seem to be saying that there must always be a space buffer (though as the Times points out, there is no space buffer on the north, or for that matter, along the west side of the building.) I can't tell from the story whether the city and the Feds have been talking and what the status of the negotiations is.
For the most part, this seems like an engineering issue more than a political one, which is a big part of why I haven't covered it before. But the Times story suggests that Akron may turn out to set precedent, one way or the other, as the country continues to grapple with a post-9/11 world.