Landscaping a vital part of planned parking lot

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, May 15, 2007

After a number of months in the discussion and planning stages,work is about to begin on a new parking area for the LincolnCounty/Brookhaven Government Complex. Anyone who has been to thecomplex, especially on days when court is in session, knows howtough finding a parking space can be, so this is a welcomeimprovement.

The $147,000 project will provide 72 parking spaces across thestreet from the complex on Chickasaw Street. Unfortunately however,that budget does not include funds for landscaping the perimeterareas around the new lot.

Why is this important? It is not vital to the purpose of parkingcars but it is important to the aesthetic look of one of the cityand county’s most important buildings. As a homeowner wants his orher home to be pleasing for visitors to see, so should we want ofour public buildings. All it takes is a little planning with wellplaced trees and plantings to break up an otherwise mundane slab ofasphalt.

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It is especially important in this case because between theplanned parking lot and the government complex is a privately ownedvacant lot with the concrete remains of an old gas station. Addingasphalt to the edge of this lot will only make an eyesore worse.Mix in some trees and at least an eyesore is hidden.

Zoning laws for Brookhaven require commercial businesses toprovide a landscaping plan as part of any building project.Interestingly enough, our zoning laws do not apply to city andcounty buildings. Those ordinances should be changed, for city andcounty buildings should set the tone for the rest of thecommunity.

For the supervisors this is one of those issues that obviouslyslipped through the cracks. Hopefully the board will make thenecessary adjustments before construction begins and the beauty ofthe Lincoln County/Brookhaven Government Complex can becomplemented by this new parking facility.