With nowhere to park their cars, students living in the off-campus apartment, The Summit on College, are becoming frustrated.
The Summit is in its first year of housing students, and residents have complained about the complex being unprepared. The largest problem seems to be a lack of space for parking.
Jeff Jones, Principal of Capstone Development Partners, the company in charge of The Summit apartments, said that The Summit currently provides on-site parking for only about 40 percent of its residents, but plans to increase that to 60-80 percent within the next year.
Despite the fact that she owns a car, sophomore resident Sami Hanes does not have a parking permit. By the time Hanes signed her lease, the complex was out of parking spaces.
Hanes said that she spoke to someone at The Summit about the situation, but was told that for now, extending parking to accommodate for all residents would be too expensive.
“It’s really a bummer, because the only parking I have is in one of the on-campus lots,” Hanes said. “It’s really a pain having to bike to your car, and then backtrack (to get home).”
Hanes and other residents have been forced to come up with creative parking solutions, including parking in restaurant parking lots and risking getting towed.
“I don’t think (The Summit) will be able to handle the parking situation for another couple of years,” Hanes said. “There’s not really anything they can do right now.”
However, not all students are frustrated with The Summit. Nick Millisor, a sophomore business administration major, said that he has enjoyed his experience at The Summit and is considering living there again next year.
“I signed my lease so early that they gave me a retail parking space,” Millisor said.
According to Fort Collins city councilmember Ross Cunniff, new regulations have been put into place in the past month to ensure that future developments are not as unprepared to meet parking needs as The Summit was.
Cunniff said that several individuals and businesses surrounding The Summit have complained about its residents parking in their lots.
The Summit was not required by the city to have a certain number of parking spaces, but future developments likely will be. Parking space for new developments is one of several parking issues that have recently been addressed by the Fort Collins City Council.
“What’s happened at (The Summit), which is probably worse than anywhere else, is that there is not nearly enough parking for the people there,” Cunniff said. “It spills over into the surrounding businesses… it’s really a bad situation.”
Sophomore history major Lawson Stiff described an even more frustrating experience. He said that when he signed his lease, The Summit staff promised him that there would be a parking garage across the street, with plenty of space for all residents.
This did not end up being the case – when Stiff arrived in August to move in with his car, he was informed that there would no longer be additional parking available. According to management at The Summit, CSU had revoked their offer of a parking garage near The Summit.
Stiff was forced to buy an on-campus parking pass for hundreds of dollars, and even with that permit, has a 30-minute walk to reach his car.
Jones confirmed that Capstone Development Partners expected a larger number of students to be able to park in the nearby CSU commuter storage lots. CSU currently allows 150 parking spaces for The Summit residents.
“We worked as best we could to make alternate arrangements for those spaces that we thought we would have on campus, but that we’ve had to make available in other lots,” Jones said. “That’s when we leased the adjacent lot to our site, the discount tire store lot, and a lot at a church off-site.”
Stiff also experienced several other problems living in The Summit. The building’s hot water heater was ineffective for its first eight days, management has occasionally lost his rent checks, and the staff has been unwilling to find quick solutions, according to Stiff.
“I just think that they’ve been very unprofessional, and very sketchy with the way that they’ve dealt with things,” Stiff said. “I think that they’re trying for the most part, (but) I don’t think they know what they’re doing.”
Like other The Summit residents, Stiff has attempted to bring his concerns to the complex’s manager. He has not seen any real improvement in response to his complaints.
“We’ve dealt with the management, and the management is very nice,” Stiff said. “They try to accommodate you, but in the end you can be as nice as you want to be, but if things aren’t working, then things aren’t working.”
Collegian Staff Reporter Ellie Mulder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.