BY LINDA BENTLEY | APRIL 4, 2012
Parking deficit pits business against business
‘The town does have a problem when it comes to parking’
CAVE CREEK – Call to the Public during Monday night’s council meeting began with Don Sorchych, owner of Sonoran Suds, the Laundromat in Rico Plaza.
Sorchych told council, during Bike Week and every weekend, the parking lot for his Laundromat is full of motorcycles and cars patronizing The Hideaway. Sorchych said he’s had as many as 142 vehicles removed from the parking lot, which has only 26 spaces in the restricted area.
He also said the town should not close down part of Cave Creek Road for the benefit of one business as it did during Bike Week.
According to Sorchych, Hideaway owner Mark Bradshaw (r) was able to get town approval for his business based on the falsehood that he had authorization to use the Horny Toad’s parking lot for overflow parking.
He said council should reconsider the Hideaway as a business because they falsely said they had parking next door when they didn’t.
Horny Toad owner Jeff Price (r) also spoke and stated he was in agreement with what Sorchych said.
Price said Bradshaw had security at his place while he had nothing at the Horny Toad.
“I don’t have anything against Bike Week,” said Price, who stated those who come to Cave Creek for Bike Week eat at his restaurant and spend money in town.
However, he added, “It’s not just Bike Week, it’s every week.”
Rico Bonucelli, who has owned Rico Plaza since 1992, said, “It’s not only a question of parking spaces, it’s a matter of safety.”
On Sunday, he said there were 67 motorcycles he turned away from his parking lot, which has only 26 parking spaces.
But it wasn’t just the parking lot that was a problem, he stated, “There were bikes four-deep lining the driveways,” which posed a safety problem, since there would have been no means for any emergency vehicles to access his property if any one of his tenants called 911.
“Like Jeff said, we face this every weekend,” said Bonucelli, adding, “People I lease to, who are trying to make a living, are hampered.”
Bradshaw told council he had “a really good Bike Week” and complimented town staff on doing a good job handling the traffic and crowds.
Bradshaw went on to say, “Regarding towing, none of them were my customers.”
Sorchych later said that was false.
According to Bradshaw, as he was helping move a couple motorcycles out of the Horny Toad’s parking lot one day, people dining on the patio of the Horny Toad asked him why he was moving their motorcycles.
Bradshaw said, “The town does have a problem when it comes to parking,” but stated he was willing to take the time to meet with Sorchych or anyone else at any time to discuss the matter and try to come up with a solution.
Larry Wendt (r), owner of the Buffalo Chip Saloon, said, “Last week, we had the best week we’ve ever had in Cave Creek.”
He said, “I hear both sides of this issue. But what we have here is business against business.”
Wendt concluded it was a bad situation and said the town will have to step in to come up with a solution.
Bill Vale, managing partner of Harold’s, noting it was a bit of a contradiction, said Bradshaw used most of his parking lot at the Cave Creek Tap Haus for tents, so people parked across the street at Harold’s.
Vale said people couldn’t make their reservations at Harold’s because they had no place to park.
Because it was Call to the Public and not an item on the agenda, council could not discuss or take any action.
However, later on during discussion of the town core plan, Francia asked Planning Director Ian Cordwell if he had information as to how many parking spaces there were in town.
When Cordwell responded he did not, Francia asked if he would put that information together for a future meeting.