Lantern file photo
After some Buckeye Village residents signed a petition against a parking fee, Ohio State announced residents will not have to pay to park next year.
“When we started to hear the impact of exactly how this was impacting our students and families, we wanted to really review it again really closely and that’s what we did (Thursday) morning,” said Lindsay Komlanc, spokeswoman for OSU’s Administration and Planning.
Buckeye Village, located across the Olentangy River on Defiance Drive near Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, is part of OSU’s student family housing.
CampusParc, the company that has been handling OSU’s daily parking operations since September, informed residents in a Monday email that its previously free parking spaces would cost $620.25 per year starting on July 31, when university parking passes are scheduled to expire before renewed passes become active on Aug. 1.
Thursday afternoon, Buckeye Village residents received an email from OSU Housing stating: “The university is working through the details; however, residents can be assured that, at this time, there will be no changes to the parking fees and assignment of parking spaces at Buckeye Village.”
Many residents of Buckeye Village are happy, said Suzi Yee, a second-year graduate student in the College of Nursing and Buckeye Village resident, but are still moving forward with a petition about the proposed change.
Upset they were not a part of the decision-making process, some residents created a petition and gathered to sign it and protest Tuesday. Residents wanted to ensure CampusParc took the proposed parking fee to the university’s Parking Advisory Committee for approval and to find out why residents were not involved in the discussion prior to the major change.
“There is still room for us to share our voice and put out there the things that we think are good for the community,” Yee said. “We are now going to focus on letting us be a part of the conversation.”
The residents involved in the petition want to know if there is a timeline, and if there is, what it will look like. Yee said they still want to stay informed on the details of the situation.
“We also kind of wondered what the process was, did somebody mess up and now they are trying to do damage control? The turnaround on this was really quick,” Yee said.
Sarah Blouch, director of CampusParc, said in an email that listening to the residents’ requests was a collaborative effort.
“We are working with all involved partners to work through the details of resolving this matter, and we remain supportive of the university community, students, faculty and staff.”
Blouch said in an email earlier this week that the company would not be able to create parking changes without university approval.
“We began discussions with the university in November about Buckeye Village, understanding there would be a lot of questions and concerns,” Blouch said. “OSU asked us to delay implementation of the fee until the new leases began, and while it was not financially advantageous for us to do so, we agreed given the sensitivity of the issue.”
Komlanc said the financial repercussions of this decision on CampusParc are uncertain.
“We were so focused on the immediate matters, we are still working through the details and they will continue to be discussed by all parties,” she said.
Residents were expected to pay a prorated parking cost in May and would have been required to purchase “CP” parking permits, which allow students living in residence halls to park on campus overnight, by May 16. Residents received an email from OSU Housing on Tuesday, stating they only had two more weeks to decide if they were going to renew their leases. According to a Thursday email from OSU Housing, residents have until March 31 to renew their leases, which are set to expire on May 15.
Buckeye Village residents pay $555 or $695 per month to live in the community, and parking would cost roughly an additional $50 for each vehicle per month.
Student Life spokesman Dave Isaacs said in an email OSU’s family housing units consist of “143 two-bedroom apartments and 201 one-bedroom apartments” where more than 170 domestic students and more than 130 international students live. Those numbers don’t include family members living in their households.
Ally Marotti contributed to this story.