Vehicles fill the parking field at an LIRR station in...

Vehicles fill the parking field at an LIRR station in Glen Cove. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The Glen Cove City Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to ban nonresident parking in most spaces at two Long Island Rail Road stations.

The 7-0 vote came after Mayor Reginald Spinello said he has received repeated complaints from residents who arrive at LIRR stations to find full lots.

“It’s important we take care of our residents first,” Spinello said.

The city pays to maintain the lots.

The problem is worse in the winter, when during inclement weather people who typically drive into New York City opt for the train, and when plowed snow sometimes covers parking spaces, the mayor said.

The new ordinance will reserve 90 of 150 spaces at the Glen Cove station and 90 of the 138 spaces at the Glen Street station for city residents. The LIRR has a different count of the number of spaces at each station.

Councilman Michael Famiglietti was the lone vote against a separate ordinance establishing a $250 fine for nonresidents who are caught parking in a residents-only lot.

“I do believe that $250 is a bit punitive for first-time offenders,” he said.

Spinello said the fine is so high because “I don’t want to have a $50 ticket that many people think is the cost of doing business.”

The remaining spaces at the two stations would remain open to anyone. Enforcement would be carried out through license-plate checks.

One Glen Cove resident who spoke in favor of the ordinance said the parking crunch “is not just in the winter.” The woman, who in an interview afterward declined to identify herself, said she has arrived at the station for midmorning trains to find no spaces.

But she urged the council to allow nonresidents to park in the lots on weekends.

Spinello said Glen Cove’s plan is to allow nonresidents to use the lots on the weekends and starting in the late afternoon on weekdays.

In a recent check, the city found that about 50 of the 180 spaces in the two lots were taken up by nonresidents, the mayor said.

“It’s certainly significant enough that I believe as a council we have to act,” he said.

If the new ordinances don’t solve the parking problem, Spinello said, city officials would consider issuing free or low-cost parking permits to residents who park at LIRR-owned and LIRR-regulated lots within the city, with a limited number of more expensive permits for nonresidents. The LIRR has veto power over fee proposals for its lots and bars municipalities from excluding nonresidents from them, LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said.

Glen Cove isn’t the only place on Long Island with increasingly tight LIRR parking. A recent Newsday report found that rising ridership on the train system is causing more lots across Long Island to fill to full- or near-capacity.

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