Plandome Manor residents voice concerns over new no parking zone

Amelia Camurati
Plandome Manor Mayor Barbara Donno, right, said the parking ban on Circle Drive was extended after years of complaints from residents. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

Two Plandome Manor residents voiced disdain for new parking restrictions that village officials said are to ward off commuters parking on neighborhood streets.

During a Board of Trustees meeting Feb. 28, Circle Drive residents Elliott Sperber and Michael Gilbert both said they were against an approved extension of a no parking, stopping or standing zone around the Plandome Long Island Rail Road Station in July to include all of Circle Drive, Circle Lane, Colonial Drive and Janssen Drive from 7 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Plandome Manor trustees approved in July an extension of the existing no parking, standing or stopping law to include all of Circle Drive, Circle Lane, Colonial Drive and Janssen Drive. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

The previous law only extended 1,500 feet from the station, including some of Circle Drive, and Mayor Barbara Donno said the restricted area was expanded because commuters were parking on the street and people were waiting for commuters in the street before afternoon rush hour trains.

Deputy Mayor Matthew Clinton said before the signs were approved, many residents voiced their concerns about people parking immediately outside the 1,500-foot restricted zone.

“We didn’t do this lightly,” Donno said. “It wasn’t just done, it was years in discussion. We did promise that once those signs were up and we were enforcing those rules, we will re-assess this in three months and take everyone’s concerns into consideration.”

Sperber, however, said the problem does not exist in the newly expanded zone and the new restrictions are inconveniencing guests, contractors and babysitters.

Sperber said he started an online petition in October for the neighborhood to voice concerns about the new regulations and signs. Of the 56 occupied homes on Circle Drive, Sperber said he got signatures from 30 people representing almost 20 homes.

In the newly restricted area, Sperber said he got signatures from at least half of the 18 homes affected.

“We don’t think there’s a problem that needs to be solved,” Sperber said. “Commuters aren’t parking in that section where the signs were extended, and my house is the first place they would park, right past the old signs. I asked my caregiver to look outside every day since this was talked about being passed, and her answer is there aren’t any cars there. No one is parking there.”

Trustee Patricia O’Neill said she has been approached to rent her driveway to Long Island Rail Road commuters. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

Trustee Patricia O’Neill, also a Circle Drive resident, said the village is also trying to ward off residents renting their property to commuters and parking their personal cars on the street.

“There are a number of residents in the area that rent their driveways or garages and they end up parking on the street so they don’t block their way in, and we don’t want to encourage that, either,” said O’Neill, who has been approached to rent her driveway.

Village Attorney Rachel Scelfo said while it is illegal to charge others for use of a residential driveway, it can only be enforced if the physical exchange of money is caught.

In other business, trustees set a public hearing date for 9 a.m. on March 15 to possibly extend the village’s existing moratorium barring construction of wireless telecommunications towers.

The moratorium is set to expire March 18.

Scelfo said ExteNet Systems Inc. had paid a deposit to the village to potentially install cell nodes, or small antennas, in the village but had not yet filed an application with specifics about the nodes.

Scelfo said the deposit was needed for an initial meeting with the company.

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