New Lumberyard event center must solve parking issues

The Wayland City Council will insist that the former Smith Lumber & Coal business take care of a parking problem near the corner of West Maple and Railroad streets before its new event hall opens.

The council Monday night agreed with the Planning Commission’s recommendation Aug. 8 to approve the special use permit, contingent on resolving issues with visibility for motorists when they try to turn left off Maple onto Railroad. City Manager Tim McLean said the issue can be handled administratively, but council wants Marty and Mark Shepard, owners of the Lumberyard Event Center, to provide an acceptable parking plan.

The former Smith Lumber & Coal business that was started in 1898 and closed in 2005, now will become a venue for banquets, wedding receptions and and reunions, including a dance hall.

The co-owners may seek a lease from the city for a parking space, or they might wish to use the lot in back of the building, just to the east.

Gary Annable, a neighbor who appeared before the Planning Commission earlier this month, acknowledged that the owners had blocks removed in front of the business, but there still are parked vehicles that obscure oncoming traffic from the north.

Councilman Tim Rose said, “I think parking is going to be a major issue. I think a parking lot should be a major priority.”

Councilman Rick Mathis also indicated he has issues with the potential of noise.

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