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The Impending Parking Crunch in Huntington Village

 

TOH Resolution Approving Paramount Special Use Permit. Click to enlarge photo.

TOH Resolution Approving Paramount Special Use Permit. Click to enlarge photo.

Like throwing a stone into a quiet pond, sometimes seemingly isolated actions by the Huntington Town Council and the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) create ripples that have very big consequences.

Take the ZBA’s August 2010 Declaration of a Negative SEQRA (http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/357.html ) for a Special Use Permit application filed by the Paramount Theater, an entertainment venue in Huntington Village. The ZBA’s finding paved the way for the Town Board to approve a License Agreement granting Paramount the occasional use of the public parking lots on Upper Elm Street; at Town Hall and on the west side of New York Avenue near the LIRR depot in Huntington Station.

Then, on August 2, 2011, the Town Board unanimously approved Paramount’s application, allowing them to use the lots for valet parking whenever they hosted an event. In their Resolution, the Board cited their intention to “facilitate the development and functioning of the Paramount Theater, LLC business as an entertainment destination in the Town” (See document in photo above). Town Spokesman AJ Carter says that the authority extends only to the times that Paramount holds an event and expires thirty minutes after each show has begun. At that time, the lots return to use by the general public. Paramount’s annual fee for the use of the lots is $9000.

Fast forward nearly three years to May 2014 . . . . . .

The Town has installed highly unpopular mini-meters that require a minimum $1 payment for parking on New York Avenue, Main Street and some adjacent roadways. The hourly increase is 400% over the previous rate of 25₵, which had been in effect for many years. If you want to stay more than an hour, you can pay $2 for two hours or $3.50 for three hours; – the maximum allowable at one parking space.

Restaurateurs, merchants, store-owners, daily shoppers, library visitors, coffee-house patrons, weekend bar-hoppers and the ubiquitous dinner crowd are understandably upset. The parking rate is higher than other Long Island village shopping districts – specifically Port Jefferson and Patchogue (25₵ for 30 minutes); Greenport and Montauk (free). Huntington Village is the only area in the Town of Huntington that demands parking meter payment.  There are NO parking charges in the downtown shopping areas of Greenlawn, Cold Spring Harbor or East Northport.  Even the bustling shopping district on Northport’s Main Street charges only 25₵ per quarter hour for on-street parking.

The Huntington system doesn’t give change; demands a minimum payment of $1 (even to drop off a book at the library); and features a computer screen that is hard to read when the sun is shining brightly.

Not wanting to pay an additional $3.50 for a leisurely lunch or dinner, many village visitors are opting for the free lots on Elm, New, Green and Carver Streets.  But if there is an event at Paramount and the new valet system is using the Green Street and New Street lots, drivers are likely to find that many of their options have been eliminated.

A similar controversy swept through the Village of Rockville Centre in 2012 and is considered a key factor in the defeat of then- mayor Mary Brossart.

 

 

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4 comments to The Impending Parking Crunch in Huntington Village

  • Hutch Dubosque

    Just remember, Huntington, you get what you (don’t) vote for!

  • This is all old news – whatI want to know is how to STOP this nonsense. Isn’t there an organized group to protest? What ever happened to the voice of the people??

  • citizens dont care

    Nothing will happen. People dont vote. they dont care. So they cant complain because its their fault the 78% who dont vote. And it will happen again next year and the same two dopes will be re elected.

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