Board studies shift in parking rules

Stephen Romano

The Village of Manorhaven Board of Trustees on Thursday discussed a proposed law that would eliminate parking during snow emergencies.

The law, which was not voted on at the public hearing, would lift the  rules that allow alternate-side parking in the winter. 

“These laws are strictly for the safety of the village during snow emergencies,” Mayor Jim Avena said. “A major concern is the safety of the people.”

The village currently enforces alternate-side parking from December to March, permitting parking on the odd side of the street on even days and the even side of the street on odd days.  The newly proposed law would allow the village to create room for snow plows to plow the roads when the village declares a snow emergency, Avena said.

The law was proposed  after the village struggled to plow streets during previous snow storms.

“We want to make sure we can move the snow in a timely fashion,” he said.

In the case of a snow emergency, the village would contact the residents before barring alternate-side parking, Avena said. 

When the hearing was opened to public comment, some residents voiced concerns about the law, saying it would be difficult to enforce.

Frank Ottaviani, a resident, said the village is used to alternate-side parking and enforcing something new wouldn’t work.

“You’ll never get people to comply,” Ottaviani said. “They’ll deny they got a letter or a phone call.”

Another resident, John Orr, said he was opposed to the law, saying that instead of moving their cars, people might rather take the fine, which would prevent the plow from cleaning the streets.

“I just have a gut feeling that it’ll be a disaster,” Orr said.

 Some residents said certain roads were wide enough that parked cars did not affect plowing. Patrick Gibson, a resident, asked what the village would do if someone were on vacation or out of town.

With the recent hiring of more code enforcement officers, Avena said, the village will be able to better enforce the code, preventing people from leaving their cars on the street when it’s not permitted.

The village’s justice court clerk, Donald Badeczewski, said that with the recent improvement of code enforcement, he has seen at least four times the number of code violations.

Avena said the village is currently compiling contact information  to alert residents about parking regulations when a snowstorm is anticipated.

The board thought residents would be in favor of the project, Avena said. 

He added that the board would revisit the issue during a work session and consult residents on how to improve the situation.

The board was also set to vote on a law that would reduce the number of Board of Zoning Appeals members from seven to five, but decided to delay the issue until next month to collect more information on state regulations.

Avena said the purpose of reducing the amount of members is to conform with state law.

By Stephen Romano

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