Residents and visitors to Downtown Naples will see expanded valet service after the City Council voted to remove the restriction on operating hours and make more spaces available on Wednesday.
The company providing the service, Valet Pros, has been operating in downtown since 2015, but an ordinance previously presented to the council restricted service along 5th Street as well as limiting the hours of operation from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. That ordinance also prohibited the use of public spaces for valet parking.
The new version would allow Valet Pros to operate a new location along the alleyway at the northeast corner of 5th Avenue South and 3rd Street South, behind Sails Restaurant. It will also allow valet service to being operating earlier, which according to county staff, will help fill a demand that has developed due to the success of business on 5th Avenue. In addition, services would be expanded to seven days a week during winter tourist season.
Returning City Council Member Gary Price objected to the removal of the restriction on hours of operation and questioned if the city had the ability to make sure the valets were not overloading the capacity of private parking lots.
“I’m concerned that we get over-parking, over capacity on the private lot where you have say 80 spaces are technically available you may have 200 cars on them,” said Price. “I don’t know how you have a check valve on the intensity of parking on these private lots.”
City staff told Price that the ordinance did require the valet to be careful about their use of private spaces, especially those that are being used by other businesses during the same hours. Private spaces would still be the ones used by default in most situations, but the council would have the flexibility to allow valets to use public space if necessary.
The ordinance passed 6-1 with Price descending.
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