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Kings Park parking lot plan to be studied

Smithtown Town Hall

Smithtown Town Hall Credit: Erin Geismar

The Smithtown Town Board has asked the town planning department to submit a preliminary drawing by the Feb. 27 board meeting to determine whether the town should build a municipal parking lot in downtown Kings Park.

Councilman Robert Creighton, who urged the board Tuesday to decide whether to secure an appraisal on the property, said the proposed lot would create about 20 to 22 parking spaces on the vacant land behind Park Bake Shop on Pulaski Road.
Town Attorney Matthew Jakubowski has said property owners want $279,000 for the land.

Councilman Thomas McCarthy said in an interview he was reserving judgment until he finds out the precise number of parking spaces and benefit the lot would create.

“It’s an expensive proposition,” he said, adding that building the lot would cost in excess of $500,000 with construction costs. “Is that kind of money worth the minimal amount of spaces you’re going to get?”

McCarthy said the investment “would definitely be better” if the parking lot yielded more spaces.

Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said he opposed buying the property, adding that residential taxes should not be used to benefit private business owners. Vecchio said that the businesses should create a Business Improvement District to buy the land and tax themselves to pay for the lot.

“What’s to prevent any other business entity from saying, ‘I want you to buy that lot up the block ... you did it in Kings Park,’ ” he said. “I just think it’s wrongheaded. It’s not as if you are buying a parking lot in the center of a community where everybody is going to use that parking lot.”

Creighton said about 600 people signed a petition saying they were in favor of the lot. “Municipal parking areas exist for the people ... they’re the ones who benefit,” he said.

But Vecchio said he has not received any parking complaints from area residents.

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