Proposal would shrink city’s impound lot

The city’s impound lot located west of downtown is in line for a major makeover that would reduce its size by 40 percent.

Under a proposal approved by a Council committee on Tuesday, the impound lot would reduce in size to roughly 15 acres from 26.5 acres today, freeing up new space for potential redevelopment to the west.

The impound lot at 51 Colfax Ave. N. takes in about 39,000 towed vehicles and auctions roughly 3,000 abandoned vehicles annually, according to a report presented by Jon Wertjes, the city’s director of traffic and parking services.

Overall, the number of vehicles towed to the impound lot each year has been trending down since 2002.

The cost of the makeover project is estimated at $7 million. Pending final approvals, construction would start in 2017.

City Council Member Blong Yang (Ward 5) said the community engagement process on the proposal has been very difficult with many people showing up at meetings to say they wanted the impound lot moved from the area altogether.

“This is a thing that nobody wants. That’s just the reality,” he said.

The impound lot will be close to the Southwest LRT Van White station when the line opens in 2020. 

(Below: The new concept plan for the impound lot)