This story has been updated to include comments from N. Chatsworth Avenue resident Janet Scully.
MAMARONECK, N.Y. – To stop commuters who use the Larchmont train station from parking their cars all day in the nearby Washington Square area, the Town of Mamaroneck has proposed a local law restricting parking to three hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays for non-residents.
A public hearing will be held at 8 p.m., Wednesday, June 4, in the Town Center on the local law, which would issue parking permits to residents. Because many who live in this area are elderly, caregivers would also be allowed to have permits.
The area includes Washington Square, New Jefferson Street, Old Jefferson Street, a section of N. Chatsworth Avenue and Murray Avenue between Myrtle Boulevard and Leafy Lane. There are 686 housing units in that area with 539 off-street parking spaces on private property and 175 on-street parking spaces.
Residents who don’t have private parking have to compete for on-street parking with not only Metro-North commuters, but those who work and shop on Myrtle Boulevard. Some residents initially presented the problem to the town in 2010, and then quieted down when a two-level 118-space parking deck was constructed.
“That seemed to resolve some of the problem and people were finding places to park,” Town Administrator Stephen Altieri said.
However, Janet Scully, of 14 N. Chatsworth Ave., brought the issue back up in 2013 when she learned that the state legislature passed a law allowing the town to adopt a residential parking permit system for certain streets, which include the five streets in the Washington Square area, as well as Lester Place.
Lester Place residents have had access to those permits since 2010. Scully has since put heat on the town to get her parking permit and is eagerly awaiting the hearing on the proposed local law Wednesday and a subsequent vote.
Despite the benefits of the proposed law, some residents oppose it because they are concerned it will make it difficult for them to have guests.
“It’s all meant to be a way to discourage commuter parking, which is an issue. But, as many people have said the cure that’s being proposed is vastly worse than the disease,” said Ralph Engel, who owns an apartment in the area.
Pat Konvalinka, who has lived in town for 45-plus years, said she belongs to a book group that periodically meets at her apartment and has several members who don’t live in Mamaroneck. She said they usually get together around 10:30 a.m. and sometimes meet for more than three hours.
In addition to guests, Konvalinka said she worries about building employees and utility workers who may have to stay for long periods of time during the day.
Scully said it boils down to who has private parking and who doesn't. The residents of 14, 17 and 21 N. Chatsworth have insufficient parking or none at all, she said, and want the parking permit system created.
“I think at this point there are a fair number of people opposed and a there are a fair number of people in favor of the ordinance,” Town Administrator Stephen Altieri said. “I think the (public) hearing will be a good exercise for the Town Board to hear, what are the issues of concern and what should be the solution.”