Parking Trust Fund changes to be proposed

— The committee was comprised of Trustees John Cromp and Mary Sennett, Chamber Members Bob Eggleston and Arnie Rubenstein (With input from Sarah and Peter Wiles), and Chamber Director Sue Dove.

The committee’s recommended changes include:

—No fee to businesses for a lack of required parking spaces.

—Scaling back the requirement for off-street parking spaces. Going forward, the only time a business would have to meet off-street parking requirement guidelines are if they provide housing or overnight accommodations, and for all uses in the Commercial “C” District, and for the “general” and “accessory” uses currently in the Village Code such as churches and schools. Off-street parking would not otherwise be required for the “D” District.

Dove explained that if you are opening a retail store or an office you not have to provide off-street parking. If you are opening a restaurant in the Downtown “D” District you do not have to provide off-street parking. However, if you are opening a hotel/B&B or inn you must provide the appropriate number of off-street parking spaces.

“The rationale behind this is that we do not have an abundance of overnight spaces in the village, and the market demands that these uses generally require on-site parking,” she said.

Dove further explained that the recommended changes would not be retroactive. For example, The Sherwood Inn would not have to make any more parking spaces, but any new lodging, houses or apartments must be able to provide proper amount of parking for its customers.

“So if the Holiday Inn wants to come they must have parking on-site for number of rooms proposed,” Dove said.

Both Dove and Sennett said the committee was focused on supporting economic development in the village with its recommendations.

“It was felt that the $7,500 fee was a deterrent to economic development, so that was something we took into serious consideration,” Sennett said.

Another significant issue the committee discussed was available parking in the village. Sennett said the committee used the existing municipal lot — which has a mixture of free and fee parking — as a “good model for us to use as we make more parking available.”

The committee will present its recommendations at the village board meeting, 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 13.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at editor@skaneatelespress.com.

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