Residents raise issues with potential changes to parking meters

Residents raise issues with potential changes to parking meters
A car sits parked by a parking meter along Middle Neck Road, the site of the Kenwood Gardens apartment complex, as traffic rolls by. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Residents from the Kenwood Gardens apartment complex felt nickled and dimed – or perhaps quartered – at a Great Neck Estates board meeting on Monday, where trustees floated a law to double the price of parking meters.

The six residents present questioned the need to change current rules, asking what benefit it could bring the village. They also said that essentially doubling the quarters needed on hand is unfair and harms families, and people living in Great Neck already pay enough.

“We live in an apartment building, people come to visit, and to put in a quarter for every half hour, I think is not right,” Barbara Spun, a resident of the apartment complex, said at the public hearing. “We’re not a shopping area. We’re in a residential area.”

Officials said the proposal aims to get the village in line with its neighbors in Great Neck Plaza, which charges 25 cents per half hour at its meters. Currently, Great Neck Estates’ parking meters charge that much for each hour. The hours people could park at the meters would not change from their four-hour limit.

Village officials also said that the current rates are from two decades ago and an update was necessary.

“The bill only increases the rates,” Deputy Mayor Jeffrey Farkas, who headed the meeting due to Mayor William Warner’s absence, said. “This bill does not talk about changing the time or restrictions.”

Residents also raised questions about whether officials intended to allow parking to be free in the municipal lot on weekends to match the Plaza’s interior parking lots, rather than just remain free on Sunday.

Farkas said board members would look into the possibility.

“We’re going to review the parking in the various lots,” Farkas said.

Rosalind “Roz” Resnick, a resident of the Kenwood Gardens complex, said that she understood why the village was considering the change. However, Resnick said that the rates should remain the same.

“I understand why they’re doing it, but we feel because we are a residential building, not a commercial enterprise, we’re different. We’re one of two buildings in Great Neck Estates. Everything else is a house,” Resnick said after the meeting. “The other building has no meters near them because they’re on an off-street somewhere.”

Kathleen L. Santelli, the village administrator, said the 13 parking meters lining Kenwood Gardens and Linden Boulevard brought in $25,833 last fiscal year. Meters on the east side of town, meanwhile, brought in $10,042, while the municipal parking lot brought in $23,172.

But, officials noted, changing the meter system will cost $20,000 to $30,000. They added that the municipal lot will accept credit cards.

The next public hearing for the law is on Monday, Sept. 11, at 8 p.m. Trustees said they are likely to take action on the proposal then.

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