A proposed village law to drastically reduce - but not eliminate - the "off-street parking space fee" affecting mainly business owners in downtown Skaneateles has been scheduled for a public hearing in mid-July.
The text of proposed Local Law No. 1 of 2011 would amend the village code to make the fee $1,500 per parking space, a reduction of $6,000.
"It is the judgment of the Village Trustees that it is necessary and appropriate to reduce the amount of the 'off-street parking space fee' associated with the granting of certain variances by the Zoning Board of Appeals," according to the text of the proposed law. "The public interest will be served by reducing the 'off-street parking space fee' from $7,500 per space to $1,500 per space."
The current law requires that all residential and commercial buildings in the village must have a certain number of off-street parking and loading spaces available to its residents, customers and employees. Anyone who cannot produce the prescribed amount of parking - calculated by building or business size - can apply for a variance from the village Zoning Board of Appeals at a cost of $7,500 per needed parking space.
The law has been such a heavy burden on downtown business owners who, due to the shortage of available public parking, are forced to apply for a variance, that it has been under a moratorium for nearly two years.
It was temporarily suspended in 2009 and extended last December after a public hearing full of loud resident opposition. The majority of opinions voiced at that time, in fact, called for the elimination of the fee altogether.
The public hearing on Local Law No. 1 of 2011 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 14, in the village offices.
The full text of the proposed law can be found on the village website, villageofskaneateles.com, under the Legal Notices category.