WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WVEC) — Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has withdrawn its application to create a pedestrian plaza in the Merchants Square parking lot, the City of Williamsburg said in a news release.
The city said the foundation decided to pull its plan due to "public concern about the removal of parking spots and the idea of a video screen in the plaza."
Colonial Williamsburg wanted to turn a parking lot off North Henry Street into a pedestrian and family-friendly festival marketplace called Goodwin Square.
The plan included a fountain, benches, and a huge video screen.
There are currently 48 parking spaces. Eight spaces would have been retained once the square was built.
“We decided to step back for a while to see how the city’s parking plan implementation goes before we explore again the feasibility of the pedestrian plaza,” said Jeff Duncan, vice president of real estate for Colonial Williamsburg.
“While we remain excited about the concept of the public plaza as an attractive gathering place, we support the city’s efforts to make parking easier downtown, thereby providing a better experience for all who visit.”
A downtown parking study identified the parking lot as a high demand lot based on its proximity to Merchants Square, the city said.
It recently implemented a parking plan that includes using parking ambassadors and the use of determining parking availability through an app.
The Planning Commission reviewed the proposed project in November and was scheduled to bring it before the City Council next week.
Planning Department director Carolyn Murphy said if the foundation decides "to go ahead with the project in the future, they will have to refile their request with the city’s Planning Department and start the approval process from the beginning."
► Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13News Now App.