Vil­lage moves to ease busi­ness park­ing rules

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Pa­tri­cia Doxsey pdoxsey@free­manon­line.com pat­ti­at­free­man on Twit­ter

Vil­lage of­fi­cials are work­ing on new park­ing reg­u­la­tions that would make it eas­ier for small busi­nesses in the com­mu­nity to get site plan ap­proval.

Mayor Joel Grif­fiths said the new reg­u­la­tions would eliminate the re­quire­ment that some of the small­est busi­nesses have off-street park­ing.

Cur­rently, he said, all busi­nesses in the Broad­way busi­ness district are re­quired to pro­vide off­street park­ing.

That re­quire­ment, he said, made it more oner­ous for some to open small busi­nesses in the com­mu­nity. At one point, the vil­lage did of­fer busi­nesses the op­por­tu­nity to pay a fee in lieu of pro­vid­ing park­ing, but that sys­tem was dif­fi­cult to ad­min­is­ter and was elim­i­nated, Grif­fiths said.

“The way the old park­ing rules were writ­ten, all these busi­nesses had to have all these park­ing spa­ces with no com­mon sense,” he said.

Un­der the pro­posed new reg­u­la­tions, no busi­ness of un­der 1,000 square feet would be re­quired to pro­vide off-street park­ing.

“So the lit­tle bou­tique here, they don’t need to pro­vide park­ing,” Grif­fiths said. Grif­fiths said that one-third to one-half of the busi­nesses in the vil­lage are in spa­ces of less than 1,000 square feet.

Grif­fiths said the new rules will pro­vide an “over­ar­ch­ing” park­ing plan that takes into con­sid­er­a­tion the size of the vil­lage and that of­ten peo­ple will park in one spot and visit sev­eral busi­nesses in the area.

“Peo­ple are not mov­ing their cars from one park­ing lot to an­other,” the mayor. “They’re walk­ing.”

As part of its re­view of the park­ing reg­u­la­tions, Grif­fiths said, the vil­lage also is mak­ing changes to some of the def­i­ni­tions in its zon­ing law, which he said “is old and cob­bled to­gether.”

He said the new law will change the def­i­ni­tions of some uses, such as dryclean­ing es­tab­lish­ments, of­fices and houses of wor­ship.

The Vil­lage Board is sched­uled to meet Tues­day to con­tinue dis­cussing the pro­posed changes. The board will hold a pub­lic hear­ing on the fi­nal plan prior to its adop­tion.

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