Photo by Jim Massara
College Park Mayor Jack Longino said Tuesday he doesn’t want Virginia Avenue to become a “parking lot for limousines.”
Faced with questions from College Park city council members about growing cab clutter on Virginia Avenue, a limousine service withdrew its application to open a dispatch office there until an ordinance could be written to sharpen cab and limousine regulations.
“We don’t want Virginia Avenue or anywhere else to become a parking lot for limousines,” Mayor Jack Longino told the applicant, Joseph Kurai of Conyers, at Monday’s council meeting. “If you have a delivery to make, that’s one thing. But if you’re hanging around waiting for a delivery, that’s something else.”
“I think what we’re concerned with is the onslaught of taxi cabs,” said councilman Ambrose Clay.
The problem, according to council members and residents, is that more and more taxi cabs are using Virginia Avenue to wait for their next calls from airport-area customers, essentially making it a taxi bullpen.
At the same time, argued Councilman Joe Carn, the cabs have to be accommodated to some extent.
“We are a transportation center, like it or not,” Carn said. “But we have to get this taxi cab thing under control.”
Council members asked city planner Bill Johnson to draft an ordinance to be presented at a future council meeting that would regulate cabs and limos parked on private property. Current ordinances regulate the vehicles only on public property.
In the meantime, Kurai will use the office space on Virginia Avenue for administrative purposes only. The $400 he spent for the withdrawn application will be credited to re-applying after a new ordinance is in place.
After the hearing, John Azar, who owns the complex where Kurai leases space, expressed his frustration with the process.
“They keep screwing with his application,” Azar said. “I brought him over here two months ago, three months ago, they told him how to fill out the application and then they said, no, we did that wrong.”
In other action, the council declined to approve renewing an existing contract for landscape services at the Georgia International Convention Center and instead requested new bids.