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Parking Trust Fund changes to be proposed

— After months of discussion, drafting, and debate, the ad hoc parking committee appointed by the Village Board has come up with recommendations for changes to the Parking Trust Fund law — no fee to businesses for a lack of required parking spaces and a scaling back on the requirement for off-street parking spaces.

These changes will be presented at the Oct. 13 Village Board Meeting. At that time, the village board will decide if it approves of the recommendations, and if so, when to hold a public hearing on the proposed changes.

“I feel good about it,” said Trustee Mary Sennett, one of the members of the parking committee. “We hope this is something that is accepted; hope we’ve dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s. It will be great to have more eyes look at it and think about, and if anybody has anything they want changed they can speak at the public hearing or get in touch with us.”

Sue Dove, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce and parking committee member said, “We’re not done with process yet, but after listening to the public and to businesses who told us what they didn’t like about the previous law, this is what we’ve come up with.”

The issue has been ongoing since 2009, when the parking trust fund law was passed that required 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 could not produce the prescribed amount of parking — calculated by building or business size — could apply for a waiver from the village zoning board of appeals at a cost of $7,500 per needed parking space.

This past summer, a new local law was proposed to amend the village code to reduce the “off-street parking space fee” from $7,500 to $1,500. After public hearings and board debate on the proposed law, it was shelved and the parking committee was organized to recommend changes to the parking issue.

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