Some Buckeye Village residents worried about paying a price more than a month’s rent for a parking pass can breathe a sigh of relief.
About a month after Buckeye Village residents were told parking would no longer be free, the price of a parking pass at the complex has been lowered by nearly $500 after residents protested the changes. Rent, however, could be raised in 2015-16.
Residents received an email Thursday from Interim President Joseph Alutto stating parking passes for Buckeye Village are to cost $150 for the 2014-15 academic year.
Parking fees of either $402 or $620 yearly were originally set to be required for the 2014-15 academic year, a change residents were informed of in an email Feb. 17 that stated “parking no longer will be included as part of the Buckeye Village housing contract.”
Buckeye Village is located across the Olentangy River on Defiance Drive near Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium and features family housing apartments through the university, intended for OSU students with spouses or children. Many residents at Buckeye Village protested the parking increases, saying the new parking passes included lots away from the complex that were too remote.
“What they were asking before was just really ridiculous,” said Leslie Vasquez, chair of Buckeye Village residents’ council and fourth-year in public affairs. “If most people drove to campus and wanted those parking privileges of the Lane Avenue garages and C parking, then it makes more sense, but for the most part, people just want to be able to park near their homes and take the bus over.
“That was just the main issue right there … that we were being charged for privileges we didn’t want.”
In Spring Semester 2013, a similar announcement was made and residents were initially told they would have to pay more than $600 for a pass. After some residents signed a petition protesting the changes, however, the university announced parking would remain free for the 2013-14 academic year.
Alutto’s email Thursday stated “a new parking permit will be available for use only in the Buckeye Village residential parking lots and will not include parking access in any other university parking lot or garage.”
There is set to be one Buckeye Village parking pass available for each unit.
The new parking permits are for Buckeye Village residents exclusively, but A, B and CPN pass holders will be permitted to park in the complex’s lot, except during “the approximately 40 major events that occur at the university,” according to the email.
Residents had expressed concerns about an overflow from parking for events, such as football games, when there are more cars on campus.
Vasquez said some are concerned about people with other passes parking at Buckeye Village for other reasons as well.
“Residents (are) concerned that people with A, B and C passes are still going to be able to park here,” Vasquez said. “That’s just been a concern in the past because of our children, just having people we don’t know parking here.”
Vasquez said communication will likely continue, as she was also concerned for families that have more than one car and might need more than the one pass allotted for each unit.
“I’ve already asked for some clarification and I’m sure that we’ll continue to talk with the university and get the clarification that we need,” she said.
The changes were announced after a meeting between two Buckeye Village residents and the Council of Graduate Students president and university officials.
Rent has been set at $655 per month for a two-bedroom apartment and $515 for a one-bedroom apartment for 2014-15, down $30 each from the 2013-14 rents.
Alutto said, however, “the 2015-16 monthly rates will be raised by a maximum of $10 per month.”
Vasquez said overall, she was happy with the changes.
“It feels so good and I really want to get focused on schoolwork,” she said. “It’s taken a lot of time and energy, so I’m glad that we got where we are.”
Correction: March 27, 2014
An earlier version of this story said rent increased for the 2014-15 year when in fact, rent decreased for that year from the 2013-14 year.