- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - There will be more parking for the zoo, a new entrance for a city park and the magnolia trees will be saved under a compromise aimed at resolving a dispute between the Memphis Zoo and the Overton Park Conservancy.

The greensward deal was reached just ahead of a city council vote on Tuesday, The Commercial Appeal reported (https://bit.ly/29L0Z18 ). The council voted unanimously to approve the plan later Tuesday.

The zoo and conservancy had been in mediation over the zoo’s use of the greensward for overflow parking on peak attendance days. When the mediation failed, Mayor Jim Strickland proposed his own solution, which drew criticism from the zoo. The compromise being presented to the council amends the mayor’s plan.

A conservancy statement said the consensus plan has broad support and “preserves these important public assets for generations to come.”

Overall, the plan creates nearly 1,000 possible parking spaces. Zoo CEO Chuck Brady’s statement said that’s fewer than the zoo currently uses on overflow days, but the zoo is “committed to making this compromise work.”

“I’m glad everyone involved worked together to find consensus for the good of all park users and I’m grateful to the City Council for approving the amended plan that will solve this issue, which has been debated for many years,” Strickland said in a statement Tuesday.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, https://www.commercialappeal.com

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