WPCNR COMMON COUNCIL CHRONICLE-EXAMINER. By John F. Bailey. CORRECTION September 27, 2002: The Department of Public Works and the Parking Authority are still exploring scenarios on procedures in snow emergencies in the Old Mamaroneck Road “Overnight Parking Test Zone,” should the city decide to go ahead with the plan for allowing overnight paid parking at that location, the Common Council learned Wednesday night.
COUNCIL HEARS FROM SUSAN HABEL ON THE HIGHLANDS AREA PARKING GAP: Susan Habel, Commissioner of Planning, in foreground briefs council on the 366 space gap said to exist in the Old Mamaroneck Road corridor in the Highlands Wednesday evening. The figure of 466 in yesterday’s first edition was erroneously stated in the meeting.
Photo by WPCNR
Consequently passing of the test ordinance will be delayed until at least November, and the public hearing continued October 7.
The council also learned principals behind the planned luxury apartment tower, The Hamilton, do not have their equity financing lined up.
The Overnight Parking Test Trauma
Mayor Joseph Delfino informed the council with gravity, “We need another month” to work out policies of how to handle cars parked overnight during snow emergencies. The issue has been raised as a result of the Common Council consideration of a plan proposed by Councilman William King to allow a one-year test of overnight paid parking along Old Mamaroneck Road in the Highlands.
The Mayor pointed out that the policy to date has been to plow cars on the street in, but that the issue was still being agonized over by the Departments of Public Works, Traffic and the Parking Authority. The Mayor mentioned that the Parking Authority is preparing an extensive report opposing the plan, and so is the Traffic Department.
A Highlands resident, Cary Gouldner, reported the Highlands Civic Association Board has by majority vote, gone on record as opposing the overnight parking test, and said the Association would speak at the October 7 Public Hearing on the Test Ordinance.
Mayor Delfino noted that the Planning Department had identified a 366-space parking shortfall (not 466 as previously reported, the number was misstated at the meeting) in the area in order to have one parking space per living unit, and highlighted his main concern: persons now parking overnight in city parking areas with permits, would allow their permits to expire, thinking they could park overnight on the street more inexpensively. The Mayor said the spaces to be created would not handle all the persons who perhaps would allow their overnight permitted parking permits to expire.
“Where do those people go (when the onstreet parking is used up)?” the Mayor asked. He suggested they would park illegally overnight on Greenridge Avenue.
But, the Mayor said “I’m not here to debate the issue.”
Susan Habel, Commissioner of Planning confirmed Friday that the actual parking space gap in the Highlands is 1,400 parking spaces, in order to have 2 parking spaces per vehicle.
The Hamilton Still Looking for Equity.
Edward Dunphy, Corporation Counsel for the city, informed the Common Council that it was the city’s recommendation to extend the Special Permit to build The Hamilton, a luxury apartment complex on Church and Barker Avenues for only three months, pending The Seltzer Group, owners of the rights finding the rest of their financing. Dunphy said the group had their capital loan in place from GMAC, but was looking for “equity holders” to put together the rest of the financial package. It is expected the permit will be extended until January.
Grant Writer Position to be Created.
Susan Habel spoke to the Council about a new position to be created within the Urban Renewal Agency, that of Grant Coordinator Capacity Builder. The position was spearheaded by Councilman Glen Hockley in his campaign for council last year, and Mr. Hockley was pleased at the decision to establish such a position. “It takes the (financial) burden somewhat off of the taxpayer,” he said.
Ms. Habel advised that the position would pay approximately $47,000 to $63,000. She said that the city and the school district could not reach an agreement on sharing the position, but the city had decided to add the position anyway.
Nicoletti reports Eastview fields on schedule.
Joseph Nicoletti, Commissioner of Public Works, reported that work on the Eastview track would begin October 4 and a new track, approximately ¼ of a mile and a soccer field just shy of adult regulation field dimensions, would begin to be created shortly. He said he expected the track to be completed by January and the soccer field to be in playing condition by May, 2003. He remarked that the other Eastview fields being renovated were completed with a soccer field, a baseball field with 90-foot bases, and a softball/little league field with 60 foot baselines were now ready for play.
Nicoletti said the cost of renovating the playing fields and the track was $250,000, with $120,000 going to the two ballfields and soccer field, and the cost of the track and soccer field, $130,000, the cost of the track being approximately $50,000.
In other news…
The council was given a detailed explanation of the proposed transfer of development rights zoning proposal to study so the Planning Department proposal could be discussed in depth in October.
The council said it would consider passing the agreement to lease the Dellwood Property at its October 7 meeting for a nominal fee to follow county approval of the Pettinichi Property purchase that must precede the city acquiring the Dellwood property from the county for a passive park.
Mr. Nicoletti described exterior improvements to Fire Stations the city would be making at the Highlands Station, Ferris Avenue No. 2 and the Ridgeway Station at a cost of $500,000. The Highlands station would receive new windows, Ferris Avenue, no bathroom fixtures and floor sealings, and Ridgeway a repaving of the parking lot and interior floor seals. Nicoletti noted that the Highlands Station was the newest fire station, built in 1951, and that the headquarters and three other active facilities date back to 1911.