The Nevada City Council will discuss Wednesday night whether to approve a feasibility study for an underground parking garage and, perhaps down the road, a mixed-use project in the historic downtown.
The plan being discussed calls for lowering the Spring Street lot behind the National Hotel, turning 22 spaces into 70 or 80 spaces. All or part of the spaces would become permit parking.
The new parking lot would be covered with a 23,000 square foot pad that could be used to support space for retail, performing arts or a historical society.
"We would hopefully be able to eventually partner with both the private and nonprofit sector for the construction of retail, performing arts, visual arts, KVMR, historical society and/or other groups for mixed use of the space reflecting those things the residents of Nevada City indicated they wanted in the recent survey," according to a parking committee report.
The necessary first step to an underground parking structure and mixed-use project is a feasibility study, which would cost about $35,000 to $50,000, according to the memo.
"An economic and parking survey also needs to be done in order to determine the need and viability of such a project," the one-page report said.
Funding for the project itself was not discussed in the memo.
A city parking fund has $400,000, "however, there is some question as to whether these funds are to be exclusively used for parking issues," the memo said.
Grass Valley also is taking steps to study the feasibility of a parking garage in its downtown.
Shoppers often complain about a shortage of parking spaces in both historic downtowns.