The Sumner City Council voted 5-2 Monday against prohibiting parking garages within the downtown business district.
Councilman Steve Allsop said now isn't the time to "stick a finger" in Sound Transit's eye as both the transit agency and the city explore ways to provide more parking for commuter rail patrons around the stations in Sumner and Puyallup.
Both cities want more parking options for the increasing numbers of commuter rail users that are taxing existing parking downtown.
"I believe we need dialogue, and we have been doing that," he said, defending Sumner Mayor Dave Enslow's work as a member of the Sound Transit 18-member board of directors.
Councilman Matt Richardson, who proposed the prohibition, took direct aim at Enslow for what he called seven months of silence and delays in meeting with Sound Transit officials to discuss parking issues in Sumner. The council passed a resolution last November asking for alternatives to a downtown parking garage.
Richardson said it is his opinion that a five-story concrete parking garage on Traffic Avenue across from the rail station would be the worst possible place for it.
He said now is the time for the city to tell Sound Transit it doesn't want a garage downtown as the agency prepares a second ballot measure to fund expansion of Sound Transit to include expanding parking at stations. Only Councilman Randy Hynek voted with Richardson.
Enslow said Sound Transit has indicated that it wants to work with communities to come up with options for expanding parking. He noted that Sound Transit Chief Executive Officer Joni Earl plans to attend the City Council's June 9 study session to talk about Sound Transit plans.
Richardson said he supports a parking lot halfway between Puyallup and Sumner to serve both communities. He has met with several Puyallup City Council members to talk about that idea.
Puyallup City Councilmembers Rick Hansen and John Knutsen showed up at the council meeting to also urge cooperation between the two cities to find alternatives to downtown garages.
Sumner City Councilman Curt Brown said he would vote against the prohibition because he did not want any alternatives taken off the table before there has been more public discussion.