Commuters in Roslyn could be charged for the first time to park in the community’s only Long Island Rail Road lot, under a plan being considered by North Hempstead Town officials.
The lot has drawn noncommuters who take as many as 20 of the 254 spaces, and officials are weighing several options: limiting the lot to commuters, adding new spaces and setting parking fees. The town does not currently restrict the space to commuters or residents of Roslyn. A residency requirement is prohibited under a restrictive covenant approved by the town, the LIRR and New York State in the 1980s.
The equation for solving the area’s parking woes is complicated, North Hempstead Councilman Peter Zuckerman said.
“My goal is to get those spots back. My fear is that if we add spots, without some type of commuter-based regulation, more people will be able to use the lot and leave their cars there,” Zuckerman said in an interview. “Legally, they can.”
A survey will be distributed to residents, who can select a range of fees which they would be comfortable paying, Zuckerman said.
“We’ve heard from people who don’t use the lot,” saying, “ ‘We don’t want to pay for this,’ ” he said.
Town spokeswoman Carole Trottere said a survey will be distributed to residents within the next month to determine how often residents use the lot, and if they buy monthly or daily train tickets.
“We do not have a price or price range yet because we need more feedback from the community. Our goal will be to make the permits comparable with other commuter parking permit fees in the area, but it’s still too early in the process to guess at what that might be,” Trottere said.
Elsewhere in North Hempstead at municipally owned LIRR lots, fees vary by community. The only town-operated lots in Port Washington charge residents $240 annually. The Manhasset Park District charges residents $700 annually to park in its commuter lots and $60 per month. Nonresidents are charged $180 per month.
The Great Neck Park District allows only district residents to park in its commuter lots, charging them $748 annually to park there and $68 per month at its lots at Canterbury Road, North Station Plaza and Shorewood Drive. The Village of Great Neck Plaza charges $250 per quarter to park on the rooftop of the Plaza Center Garage, while the Village of East Williston charges $90 per year for its lot with 60 spaces.
Frank Anderson, 52, of Roslyn Heights, said, “With respect to limiting it to commuters only, it’s a fantastic idea, that’s what the parking lot is intended for.” But he said he feared the price would be raised too high.
“It’s my concern that the town, knowing the affluence of the community, may charge a fee that doesn’t segregate commuter versus noncommuter, but rather segregates ability to pay versus inability to pay,” he said.
He said he hopes the town beefs up its code enforcement presence.
“What I hope they do is enforce a commuter restriction, and if you’re not commuting and doing business with the LIRR, your car will be physically removed,” he said.