Devane asks residents to meet in the middle on parking solution

Devane asks residents to meet in the middle on parking solution
Christopher Devane said the village has increased its code enforcement in light of parking violations on front lawns and in the street. (Photo by Brandon Duffy)

New Hyde Park Mayor Christopher Devane asked residents to meet him in the middle to reach a resolution on parking issues that have come up in recent weeks.

Residents that received code violations for parking on the street or sidewalk came to the board of trustees meeting Thursday night to voice their concerns.

“If your car covers the entire sidewalk and goes into the street, that is a problem,” Devane said. “If your car is not covering 100% of the sidewalk, you will not have an issue with the Village of New Hyde Park.”

Devane, who was village justice for 18 years before being elected in 2021, said he believes residents when they say it hasn’t been an issue in the past but first told the village’s code enforcement team when he was elected to treat everybody equally.

“I am not looking to make money off your backs,” Devane said.

Devane said the parking violations that were issued will be held in abeyance until he and Binu Pillay, building department superintendent, can meet with each resident to evaluate their property and see if they can come to a resolution. 

The village’s neighborhood watch, which was formed last year, brought the parking issues to Devane’s attention, he said. 

The mayor, who clarified that 99% of the village does a phenomenal job with parking, showed a slide show of multiple houses that had cars stretching over sidewalks into the street, parking horizontally across driveways on the sidewalk and, in one case, four cars parked on a front lawn. 

“If we have lax code enforcement, we are abdicating our responsibility as village trustees,” Devane said.

New Hyde Park has had a longstanding ordinance, one Devane said has probably been in place for the entirety of the village’s history, that prohibits overnight street parking from 3:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. 

Devane’s stance on prohibiting overnight parking in the village was also echoed in 2018 by his predecessor, ex-Mayor Lawrence Montreuil. 

“What we have always strived to do is have a clear demarcation between suburbia and the city, because we’re right on the city line here,” Montreuil said during a 2018 board meeting to a resident concerned about parking. “That is really such an elemental issue of sort of defending the character of the village.”

The village board in 2018 also passed amendments to driveway encroachment laws that adjusted the definition of driveways and front lawns to better regulate the issue.

Devane cited concerns over illegal renters, fire safety and catalytic converter thefts among the reasons to keep the streets clear overnight. 

Fines for parking on the sidewalk are $75, according to the village code. 

John Nicastro, head of code enforcement, said there are currently 96 cases to be heard on June 21. Of those cases, 50 of them are notice violations or warnings.

Nicastro added that parking on the lawn is a large number of notices along with property maintenance, among other things. 

Annual fees to purchase a yearly parking permit in the village cost $100.

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