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Westbury shelves plan to ban parking on 77 streets

Westbury Village Hall in Westbury on March 14,

Westbury Village Hall in Westbury on March 14, 2013. Credit: Ian J. Stark

A plan to ban overnight parking on nearly 80 streets in Westbury Village -- part of a bid to combat illegal housing -- has been put on hold, and instead the mayor said he would amp up code enforcement efforts.

The village was weighing a ban on street parking from 2 to 6 a.m. that would affect 77 streets.

At meetings over the past few months, residents voiced mixed reactions to Mayor Peter Cavallaro's proposal. Residents worried the regulations would lead to parking headaches.

There would have been "hardship exemptions" for people with temporary needs and for applicants without driveways, people with physical handicaps, or emergency vehicles. Hardships would not have been granted for some vehicles, such as ones that were commercially licensed, operated by scofflaws, or liveries.

Cavallaro said he was sympathetic to complaints that the law would impinge on law-abiding residents. "We should get the people who are not complying to comply."

Instead, the village will ratchet up code enforcement efforts, he said. Two new employees will be hired so that three full-time staff members will work solely on housing violations.

Residents and school and village officials have said they worried about the effects of illegal housing on school overcrowding. Westbury school district officials opposed removing requirements in New Cassel -- including bans on outside stairways to basement dwellings and forbidding more than two bathroom fixtures in a basement bathroom -- that were designed to curb illegal housing.

The Westbury school district has seen enrollment rise nearly 20 percent from 2008 to 2013, officials said when the New Cassel issue came up before the North Hempstead Town Board in January. The district draws largely from New Cassel as well as from Westbury.

"We have to do what we have to do as elected officials to protect our residents and our taxpayers," Cavallaro said.

Enforcement officers will be exclusively dedicated to investigations, inspections and compiling evidence in order to secure search warrants, Cavallaro said.

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