It wasn't long, and Iguana crews removed the cones, the cable and several large concrete barricades that had cordoned off 36 parking spots for more than two years.
With the appropriate pomp and circumstance Wednesday morning, a section of private property on The Strip in Lake Ozark was opened to public parking.
A document signing ceremony between the city of Lake Ozark and a representative of Lakeshore Holdings and Development, Inc., aka Iguana, opened the door to having the white and orange cones and attached cable barrier removed.
It wasn't long, and Iguana crews removed the cones, the cable and several large concrete barricades that had cordoned off 36 parking spots for more than two years. A city street sweeper quickly swept the area clear of debris that had accumulated along the curb.
The city and Lakeshore Holdings officials have been in discussions for months to find a solution to the parking spaces that were barricaded by former property owner Don Feece of Lake Ozark.
Lakeshore Holdings bought the land from Feece, but left the barricades in place. The city and Iguana agreed a few weeks ago that the city would lease the property for $12 a year. Lakeshore Holdings was given a prorated check for $8 as part of the ceremony.
Feece and the city were embroiled in a legal dispute over the land several years ago, and because of a surveying error Feece ended up owning a section of sidewalk and city street. As an affront to the city, he blockaded access to the parking spaces and sidewalk that the court ruled he owned.
But that era is behind the city now that the renewable lease is in place, helping the city and business owners work toward increasing the number of parking spaces.
Lake Ozark Mayor Johnnie Franzeskos spoke briefly during the ceremony, thanking Lakeshore Holdings for its cooperation and community involvement. The business owners, residents and visitors will be the beneficiaries of the decision to open the area to parking.
"We're very glad this came about," Franzeskos said after the ceremony. "It's a benefit to all of us and shows the type of private-public partnership that will continue to make Lake Ozark -- especially The Strip -- such a great place to live and work."
Business owners, property owners and city officials came together about two years ago to find a solution to a lack of parking. Through a series of meetings, upwards of 90 additional parking spaces have been arranged as business owners opened their off-street employee parking, the city demolished its old police station and found other areas along Bagnell Dam Blvd. for parking.
As the popularity of The Strip has grown the last several years, and as more businesses have expanded or located there, parking has become a premium.