A decision by a Five Points property owner to restrict parking in front of his Lumpkin Street building is pressuring other businesses to get tough on parking as well.
Bary Stiles has erected signs all along the parking places in front of his mixed use brick building. It houses three businesses, , Panache and , on the ground floor and apartments above.
Barry Stiles has said that other businesses, such as the Five Points Laundromat, have closed because of a parking problems. He also claims that his father made an agreement with the City of Athens in 1954 that gave the elder Stiles control of the parking spaces.
Attorney Regina Quick, who represents Barry Stiles, said until the litigation is concluded, her client would not be able to comment on the situation.
The city has contested the Stiles claim in court. Thus far in the skirmish, a temporary oder allows Barry Stiles to control the parking places. So he has erected signs all along the sidewalk and has hired Prestige Parking to patrol the parking places at night, charging people $5 a space.
The new parking restrictions have had a domino effect in the Five Points business district.
has put up signs in front of their building, restricting five spaces to its customers and prohibiting others from parking there. The store also has a parking lot behind the building for customers. it's a popular place for students to park, employees said.
Customers at who used to park across Lumpkin for an hour-long class no longer park there during the day. So they are using 's parking lot, said manager Shane Haley, who arranged with the studio's owners for them to do so.
"it was bad before the [Stiles] signs went up," he said. "Now it's extremely bad. I would love for him to have to take the signs down."
According to Athens Clarke County attorney Bill Berryman, Superior Court Judge Penn McWhorter from Barrow County will hear the case and make a final determination about who owns the parking places. That should happen sometime later this summer.