The New Paltz Village Planning Board changed the required Schedule C Amendment, which deals with non-residential parking, to serve as guidelines in the board’s evaluation of commercial parking applications.
The existing requirements, according to Planning Board Chairman Maurice Weitman, are unable to consider site-specific conditions, such as the area, business hours and use, which make the requirements either too relaxed or strict.
“Consideration of particular knowledge of the immediate area, the specific use of the business [and] its hours of operation, etc. was not able to be given in making our decision,” he said. “This problem has existed for many years and has been discussed many times by the planning boards over the years, its attorney and our planner, Curt Lavalla.”
Currently, the Schedule C 212-47 Amendment states that the minimum off-street parking requirements for public places including assembly halls, churches, auditoriums and theaters is one space for each six seats. In the case of schools, a minimum of one space for each nursery school employee and two spaces for each classroom is allotted, as well as two spaces for each elementary school classroom and five for each high school and college classroom.
In regards to businesses, a minimum of one space is given to restaurants for each three seats devoted to service and one space for every two washing machines is devoted for self-service laundry establishments.
The changes made to Schedule C, titled 212-44, make it clear that minimum off-street parking spaces are recommended.
According to the new document, “the number of off-street parking spaces required for any use shall be determined by reference to Schedule C, the Guidelines for minimum off-street parking schedule.” It also states that the “guidelines shall consist of the sum of the spaces recommended for each individual non-residential use unless it can be demonstrated that staggered hours of use would permit modification.”
Previous requirements were removed from the original amendment such as the use of a permit from the Planning Board to have spaces exceeding 400 ft.
Weitman said that the changes to the amendment will allow the board to make fair and balanced decisions considering all factors of each application.
“Businesses need as much consideration as possible without unduly impacting nearby residents and other businesses,” he said. “The current requirements can unfairly limit a prospective business use and unduly burden neighboring residents. This proposed amendment allows the Planning Board to consider all impacts and factors.”