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Jefferson County Planning Board sees Woolworth parking lot

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Jefferson County Planning Board officials got their first look at a proposed Public Square parking lot for the Woolworth restoration project in downtown Watertown on Tuesday.

The lot, which would be located in the green space between Cam’s Pizzeria and the Woodruff Professional Building, will have 28 spaces for the proposed 50-apartment renovation.

The slope of the green space, which is currently a 10 to 15 percent grade, will be reduced to 4 to 7 percent grade, and a retaining wall will be installed on the Public Square side of the lot along with a 4-foot-tall decorative fence, according to senior planner Andrew R. Nevin.

With the exception of three spaces, which would be located outside of an access gate, the lot would be for the use of Woolworth building residents only. Trees and landscaping would surround the lot, Mr. Nevin said.

The plans for the lot also include a handicap space behind the Paddock Arcade.

There was no easy way to incorporate the extra three spaces into the space, said Thomas H. Ross, a design engineer with GYMO Architecture, Engineering and Land Surveying.

The Planning Board sent the lot proposal back to the city of Watertown as a project of local concern.

The parking lot project was proposed by White Birch Enterprise, the Gaithersburg, MD-firm that is also involved in restoring the Woolworth building itself.

The Planning Board also approved of the city’s proposal to amend its zoning law to remove a controversial ordinance governing the number of occupants in a dwelling in all residential districts throughout the city.

The board met this month at the administrative offices of the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority.

Robert G. Horr III, executive director of the authority, gave a presentation to board members about the bridge as it approaches its 75th anniversary celebration on Aug. 17 and 18.

The bridge was dedicated on Aug. 18, 1938.

Mr. Horr told board members that he hopes to be able to offer EZ Pass on the bridge next year.

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