Town approves new parking for shoppers on Plandome Road

Town approves new parking for shoppers on Plandome Road
Mary Jane Davies Green in Manhasset

The North Hempstead Town Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution designating 13 parking spots adjacent to Mary Jane Davies Green for shoppers and park users.

“The plan is totally uncontroversial and supportable,” said Richard Bentley, the president of the Council of Greater Manhasset Civic Associations. “They’re making more park and shop goer parking for the area and that’s a good thing.” 

The town parking lot located on the west side of the park has 20 spots, all of which had been available for lease to nearby businesses for employee parking. Seven of the spots are currently in use under such an arrangement, a Town statement said. 

Under the new resolution, the remaining 13 parking spots could be used for up to two hours by anyone wishing to shop along Plandome Road or visit the park.

“Parking is often a challenge in downtown Manhasset and it is our goal to make it less so by designating these spots for shoppers and park goers to use,” town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said last week. “This will also allow for easier access to Mary Jane Davies park so that parents and their children can take advantage of this wonderful facility.”

The passage marks the end of a plan for the Manhasset Park District, which has its own neighboring parking lot, to take over the town lot next to Mary Jane Davies Green and re-designate the parking spaces.

“The Park District raised the idea of taking over the lot but ultimately settled on requesting a reconfiguration that would connect the [Mary Jane Davies] lot to its lots,” Carole Trottere, a town spokeswoman, said in an email last week.

The reconfiguration plan involves an intermunicipal agreement proposed by the Town of North Hempstead in early March that would permit the Manhasset Park District to add 16 to 18 parking spots to its parking lot in exchange for a yearly fee.

Under the terms of the proposed agreement, the town would allow the district to remove a fence and make curb cuts on the eastern edge of the park district’s parking lot between Manhasset Avenue and Memorial Place, which neighbors the town parking lot.

In exchange for use of its property the town would charge the park district $1,000 a year over the first five years of the agreement and, if renewed, it would charge $5,000 a year for each of the subsequent years.

“It’s plain and simple extortion this town is putting upon the park district,” Bentley said this month. “A lot of residents are furious with the town.”

Earlier this month, talks between the Manhasset Park District and the Town of North Hempstead appeared to have stalled.

Bentley said on Tuesday that town officials received a negative response from the Manhasset Park District and intend to review the proposal, according to a conversation he held with town Deputy Supervisor Aline Khatchadourian.

Bentley said he is confident that Khatchadourian, Bosworth and Kaplan will address criticism of the proposal.

“All three individuals have very strong support for the Manhasset community, and will recognize that the proposal was bad and will try to rectify the situation,” Bentley said.

“Manhasset has a decades-long problem of parking on Plandome Road,” he added. “I have strong faith we’re gong to see this worked out.”

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