March 26, 2018
Beginning in April, you may notice a change in the church parking lot that may mean changes in how some of us use the parking lot. All parking spaces, including the ones on the side of the lot we currently use during the work week, will be numbered.
What will stay the same once the spaces are numbered?
Parking will continue to be for church services and any other church business or church activities. The entire lot will continue to be available to us on Sunday mornings. Members can continue to use the code for parking during church hours when the gate is down.
What will be different once the spaces are numbered?
Members and staff will not be able to use the code when the church is closed, but will need to pay for parking if they wish to use the lot for any other non-church-related activity.
“The policy about when we can park for free won’t be any different,” said Church Administrator Jesse Hite. “Parking has always been free for church activities and church business. But we’ve just signed a contract that will enable Preferred Parking, which manages the lot for us, to enforce a long-standing restriction that says parking is not free when the church is closed—and this includes during Panthers football games and other special events in Center City.”
A new contract with Preferred Parking means that revenue paid to the church will go up in 2018. This revenue supports the church’s missions. To make that increase possible, Preferred will begin to ticket vehicles that aren’t complying with the restrictions that have always been in place. Anyone who does receive a citation for failing to pay for parking when the church is not open can contact either Preferred Parking (704-375-6014) or Jesse Hite (704-927-0240).
“No matter what time or day of the week, if there is a church activity going on, people will be able to park free,” Jesse said. “When the gates are locked and the lights are off, people will need to pay at the kiosk. That applies to clergy and staff as well as members. We know this may impact some members who may attend church activities then decide to stop for dinner in town or attend other events in Center City. But we feel it is important for us, as a church, to honor our agreement with Preferred. In exchange, the revenue we’ll have to support church programs will go up.”
Session approved the new contract and the intention to consistently enforce parking restrictions at its November meeting. Email Jesse Hite or call him at 704-927-0240 with questions.
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