The Town of Mamaroneck Council voted in favor of local law "Residential parking system for Lester Place" last night after holding a public hearing on the subject.
Lester Place, a dead end street close to the gas station on Fifth Avenue in the Town of Mamaroneck, is a walk away from the Larchmont Metro-North station and one of the Town's commercial districts.
"Parking on Lester Place by commuters and employees of the businesses in the nearby commercial district has become unduly burdensome to the persons residing on Lester Place who often cannot find parking in the vicinity of their homes," town officials said.
To alleviate this issue, the town board requested the New York State Legislature to pass legislation allowing for a residential parking system for specific public streets in the town, as it has done in the past for other municipalities in the state. The request was granted and the law was signed by Governor Paterson in July 2009, which enabled the town to adopt a residential parking permit system for Lester Place, among other streets.
The law, which will go into effect as soon as the parking signs are erected, will only allow vehicles to park on Lester Place if they have a resident permit attached to its rear windshield, rear bumper, or another location determined by the town clerk.
The permit can be obtained from the town clerk at the Town Center by providing proof of residence, such as a ConEd bill or a lease, and paying the yearly $25 fee. Residents must have their license plate number and vehicle identification number available when purchasing the permit, as that number will have to match the number on the permit. The money collected from the sale will go to the General Fund Part Town.
The law will become effective in approximately three weeks, said Town Supervisor Valerie O'Keeffe, and there will be no limit on the number of permits a Lester Place resident can get. If the resident owns five cars, the town can issue a permit for each car. The town, however, does not guarantee that parking will be available for every car.
The only area where the law won't go into effect is the first section of Lester Place right off of Fifth Avenue. That area, which represents about 15 percent of the entire street, lies within the service business district and cannot be enforced by the town, according to state legislature. Therefore, any vehicle will be allowed to park there.
The entire street will have between 20 to 23 parking spaces, said Town Administrator Stephen Altieri. The board estimates that three of those spaces, or close to 15 percent, will be available to residents and non-residents alike.
At the public hearing, a group of about ten Lester Place residents expressed their concerns regarding the current situation on their street, most of them enforcing the town's view that non-residents were parking there for days, even weeks.
"Once we can stop all those people from parking there, we will have plenty of spaces for people who live there to park," said Saul Rueda, a Lester Place property owner.
Carden Victoria felt that the $25 parking fee was unfair. "We are being punished for parking our car where we live," she said. "People who come from New Rochelle and park there, they are never going to be punished?"
O'Keeffe explained to the residents that the board was doing the best they could for them. "Give us a chance," she asked.
Altieri explained that cars that are not allowed to park there will accumulate parking tickets and eventually be towed away. "It gets expensive [for them]," he said.
"If the law does not clear up the situation, come back and address the traffic commission, which will address the board so we can come up with a new law," said Town Attorney William Maker.
Looking at the glass half full, Councilman Ernest Odierna told residents that if the law happens to work, "you are welcome to come and tell us, 'Hey, it worked!'"
Lester Place residents will receive a letter in the mail letting them know when the parking permits are ready. Likewise, signs will be erected to notify drivers that the law is being enforced.