SARTELL -- A problem with lack of parking near Bernicks Arena took a step forward tonight (Monday).

A public hearing was held during the Sartell City Council meeting for approval on a Conditional Use Permit for Pinecone Regional Park, which would allow for an additional 283 parking spots on the lot.

Currently the park has 90 parking spaces which isn't enough for the number of people who use it. The park also has occasional flooding and is protected by a floodway ordinance, which is why a CUP is needed for grading purposes to meet requirements.

City Engineer Mike Nielson says the plan is to raise the flood fridge zone (directly in front of the arena) about three feet to allow for permanent parking.

Several members of the council did have concerns on the project. Council member Amy Braig-Lindstrom was concern on the lack of green space, while council member Steve Hennes felt that many parking spaces was not needed at this time.

After further discussion the council unanimously approve the Findings of Fact and CUP for the project.

Nielson says there is no immediate plans to construct the parking lot because they still need to figure out costs and if they want to construct all 283 parking spaces.

Financial updates and options for the council to consider will be brought at an upcoming meeting.

Additional parking spaces at Bernick's Arena have been a topic of discussion since April.