To the editor:
The parking issue facing Manlius is not a result of who controls the Clancy-Magley Enterprises, LLC (“Clancy-Magley”) parking area. Parking is a premium in the Village of Manlius, as noted in the Jan. 22 Manlius village board meeting. Bella Cigna recently went through issues of parking, just as the newly opened Ironwood Pizza now faces. The parking issue is a matter of quantity, not of control.
The village board, through its code, has determined the number of spaces appropriate for different uses. One or two family homes are required to have two spaces per unit. Businesses, professional and medical offices are required to have one space for every 300 square feet. Commercial uses are required to have one space for every 250 square feet. Restaurants, such as Ironwood Pizza and Café 119, are required to have one for every 150 square feet.
Had the Village of Manlius required Ironwood Pizza or Café 119 to come before the Planning Board and present their parking plans, the current situation could have been avoided. As these are new uses of their respective properties, the Manlius village code requires these businesses to come into compliance with the code. Properties such as the Manlius Art Cinema, who have been in continuous operation since before the enactment of the code, are exempt from the code’s parking requirements.
The unanswered question in this controversy is why the Village of Manlius elected to ignore the provisions of Section 99-26 of the Manlius village code and allow Café 119 and Ironwood Pizza to open after changes of prior use without first appearing before the Planning Board.
By seizing the parking spaces now owned by Clancy-Magley, the Village of Manlius will deny Clancy-Magley and its tenants the opportunity to operate and expand businesses in favor of the businesses which have opened knowing that they lacked adequate parking. Even if the Village of Manlius seized all of Clancy-Magley’s parking, the parking issues facing the East Seneca businesses will not be alleviated. The problem is one of numbers, not of ownership. If the Village of Manlius was truly interested in solving the problem it created through its inactions, the village would seek new parking spaces, not existing ones.