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No decision yet on parking waiver fee issue

Public hearing closed on Aug. 11 after month-long examination

— The village board of trustees officially closed the public hearing period on the contentious village parking waiver fee issue at its Aug. 11 meeting after opening the floor one last time for public comments. Despite the large resident turnout at the July 14 public hearing, the August meeting had few spectators in the audience and no public comments were made.

“There have been many meetings and discussions about this since July 14, and there has been considerable work done,” said Mayor Martin Hubbard.

At issue was proposed Local Law No. 1 of 2011, which would amend the village code to reduce the “off-street parking space fee” from $7,500 to $1,500.

The current law, which has been under a moratorium since 2009, requires all residential and commercial buildings in the village to have a certain number of off-street parking and loading spaces available to their residents, customers and employees. Anyone who cannot produce the prescribed amount of parking — calculated by building or business size — can apply for a waiver from the village zoning board of appeals at a cost of $7,500 per needed parking space.

The July 14 public hearing on the proposed law had a large public turnout with comments being overwhelmingly opposed to the law as outdated, unfair and injurious to local business.

After that meeting, which lasted a full hour, the public comment period was kept open by the trustees for further examination and discussion until the board’s Aug. 11 meeting.

With the public comment period closed, the board now has 60 days to vote on the issue.

“We won't be taking any action tonight,” Hubbard said at the Aug. 11 meeting, but added that he expected the law ultimately “will probably be withdrawn.”

The existing law imposing a $7,500 per parking fee waiver is currently in effect, since the moratorium expired on July 14.

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