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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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Here's my solution to the parking problem...

What we need is about 3 square blocks of parking spaces in the middle of town. If each block can fit 4 rows of 100 cars, we could take 1200 cars off the street. To ensure it helps alleviate street parking, we'll make it a co-op and institute the following rules:
- Spots will be deeded to local residents only.
- To purchase/use a spot, you need to be a local resident (spots will be unavailable to local owners that rent their unit and live elsewhere).
- Each apartment/condo can own a maximum of 1 spot.
- Anyone who purchases a spot surrenders the right to on street parking permits.

If we sell the spots for $10,000 and charge $100/month maintenance, we'll bring $12 Million into the city initially, and $120,000/month.

Ok, so where do I come up with 3 square blocks of available space? That's right, the embankment. Now I'm sure the Make My Park crowd will hate this idea, but it has several benefits. First, it will fund creating park space on the other 3 embankments. Secondly, we can connect the embankments by a foot bridge and set aside a path on the blocks that have parking to connect the open space. Third, it will solve the security issue of having an elevated park that can't be seen from the ground. Through the monthly maintenance fees, we can provide security guards to monitor the cars and the parks, maintain the grounds, and pay for adequate lighting.

Since the embankment previously supported trains, they should be able to handle cars (perhaps after a bit of renovation). The only drawback would be the creation of ramps on every other block to allow car access, and that the park area would be limited to half the possible size.

Ok, I'm sure there are issues I didn't think of, and I'm sure this will enrage a few people. It's just an idea I came up with this morning that I thought was worth sharing.

Posted on: 2006/2/25 16:53
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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The residents should decide the zoning, not the developers. Yes, I know, it's not reality, but it's what we should be striving for. Besides, Developers will continue to make plenty of money by selling the spots instead of renting them.

Posted on: 2006/2/24 19:43
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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I think most developers will strongly oppose only deeded parking, but I agree that would only help things. If a condo owner doesn't need their spot, they should be able rent it out. Increasing the cost of resident permits is also problematic. I doubt that the Parking authority could charge different prices for different zones. In the heights, some people go ape Sh&%& over having to pay $5. They believe free street parking is their right. Your other suggestions are good. Stick it to the commuters. after all, why did we spend spend a fortune on light rail?



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Doozer wrote:
I feel a bigger improvement would be if the zoning was changed to require at least 1 deeded parking spot per unit for new construction (or perhaps higher), a crack down on illegal curb-cuts, a reduction in the number of non-resident permits, and an increase in the cost of resident permits.

Posted on: 2006/2/24 19:38
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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Sure, there's a risk (having to deal with finding a spot on the street, increased likelyhood of crime, etc...). But why should their risk be increased while their neighbor's (who also lack deeded parking) risk remains the same? I feel this is unjust and will not do anything to help the current parking situation, so I'm against the ordinance. I'm all for it if it's limited to new buildings.

I feel a bigger improvement would be if the zoning was changed to require at least 1 deeded parking spot per unit for new construction (or perhaps higher), a crack down on illegal curb-cuts, a reduction in the number of non-resident permits, and an increase in the cost of resident permits.

Posted on: 2006/2/24 19:29
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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Car owning condo owners without deeded parking expose themselves to a great deal of risk. My friends with condos
in Hoboken, where there is little available street parking, would never have considered a place without deeded parking.

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Doozer wrote:
Also consider the people who own but rent a space (many of the garage spaces are not deeded), they're only option is to move. Selling a unit is way more expensive then paying the increase (5% to the realtor, a thousand to a lawyer, moving expenses, etc...), so really it's not as much of a free choice as people like to make it out to be.

Posted on: 2006/2/24 19:15
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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Quote:

25mcwilliams wrote:
If the parking fee increases, there should be the same notice given as for the rent increase. If the combination rent and parking fee is too high -the tenant can move or get rid of their car.


But we can say the same about the street permit fee as well, which will more equally distribute the issue.

Also consider the people who own but rent a space (many of the garage spaces are not deeded), they're only option is to move. Selling a unit is way more expensive then paying the increase (5% to the realtor, a thousand to a lawyer, moving expenses, etc...), so really it's not as much of a free choice as people like to make it out to be.

Posted on: 2006/2/24 19:01
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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I'd bet that the vast majority of residents tht pay for parking already have a zone permit. When friends visit, the friend gets to park in the garage, the tenant parks in the street. One problem I see is a mix of year long apartment lease and month to month parking, since the monthly parking could increase before the end of the term of the housing unit.

If the parking fee increases, there should be the same notice given as for the rent increase. If the combination rent and parking fee is too high -the tenant can move or get rid of their car.

The parking ordinance is not a total solution, but is a start.



Quote:

Doozer wrote:
JC, my issue is with residents in the units who either do not own a car or currently park in their garage. If they use their garage and the price increases, they have no other option but to continue paying. If they don't currently need a car, but due to a change (say they lose their Job in JC or NYC and take a job out requiring they drive), they're only option would be to pay for garage parking.

It's not fair to tell existing members of our community that their access to street parking is being removed. If we're ok with this, then all units with off-street parking available should lose their right to street permits.

Also, from a short-term perspective, I would anticipate the majority of people who will be affected running out to get street permits so they are grand-fathered in. If this happens, it could make the situation worse, not better.

Posted on: 2006/2/24 18:53
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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JC, my issue is with residents in the units who either do not own a car or currently park in their garage. If they use their garage and the price increases, they have no other option but to continue paying. If they don't currently need a car, but due to a change (say they lose their Job in JC or NYC and take a job requiring they drive), they're only option would be to pay for garage parking.

It's not fair to tell existing members of our community that their access to street parking is being removed. If we're ok with this, then all units with off-street parking available should lose their right to street permits.

Also, from a short-term perspective, I would anticipate the majority of people who will be affected running out to get street permits so they are grand-fathered in. If this happens, it could make the situation worse, not better.

Posted on: 2006/2/24 18:43
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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Doozer, Steve's proposal excludes all current permit-holders, regardless of their zip code.


Posted on: 2006/2/24 17:32
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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Do people think the parking situation is a problem now, or that it will be once the 9,000 new units are built? If you think its only a problem going forward, then stop zoning new construction without adequate, deeded parking (deeded is key here). If this is the case, Steve's proposal is an adequate solution (preferrably if limited to only new construction).

If the problem is now, then it's an issue of too many cars and not enough parking spots. So we need more parking, or less cars. Asking current owners of 30+ units to surrender their right to street permits is not a fair solution. And since I don't see any new parking garages under construction, the only solution is to reduce the number of cars. Once cars become a financial liability (as opposed to $5/year), people will re-evaluate their need for a car, and hopefully a large percentage will decide they don't need one.


Posted on: 2006/2/24 17:21
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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I am vehemently opposed to DanL's counter proposal to "[i]ncrease on street parking permit fees to $25 monthly".

While I agree that car ownership is somewhat of a luxury for some people living in metropolitan areas, my car is an absolute necessity for me. I need it to travel to and from school, where I almost always stay until midnight and sometimes even later. Public transportation is not an option for me given my hours. Also, many JC residents work in the NJ suburbs, which are not accessible by public transportation.

Anyway, as Steve Fulop mentioned here and on other forums, his intention for his proposed ordinance is to benefit residents overall. I still haven't decided if I support it or not, but DanL's alternative proposal clearly hurts residents more than it helps them.


Quote:

DanL wrote:
Back to the semi, kind of free market.....

Problem, residents of buildings that offer parking for a fee choose to park on the street. Why. Certainly, it is generally more trouble, less safe and time consuming.

The cost differential between garage and on street parking is too great. Close the gap and create more centralized municipal garages for residents, business and visiters.

As long as overnight or full day street parking is near free, parking will be and become more and more dificult.

Increase on street parking permit fees to $25 monthly. As a previous poster mentioned, on street parking is NOT an inalienable right. Dedicate by statue, a majority of these funds to go to creating new parking and enforcement.

Of course it goes without saying that we need an efficient and true to its mission Parking Authority.




Posted on: 2006/2/24 17:11
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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Are there any public garages in downtown? Should there be any? Where could you put them?

Posted on: 2006/2/24 16:28
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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Hi Steve -
I support your plan -- but I have an additional suggestion. Can we incentivise large buildings with parking garages to provide discounted space for car sharing (zipcars)? I think there's a large population in JC that uses public transportation to commute, and only has occasional need for a car. If more zipcars were available nearby, it might encourage these residents to give up their cars. Could large parking garages with empty spaces be required to offer these spaces to zipcar?
Karin

Posted on: 2006/2/24 16:08
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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Back to the semi, kind of free market.....

Problem, residents of buildings that offer parking for a fee choose to park on the street. Why. Certainly, it is generally more trouble, less safe and time consuming.

The cost differential between garage and on street parking is too great. Close the gap and create more centralized municipal garages for residents, business and visiters.

As long as overnight or full day street parking is near free, parking will be and become more and more dificult.

Increase on street parking permit fees to $25 monthly. As a previous poster mentioned, on street parking is NOT an inalienable right. Dedicate by statue, a majority of these funds to go to creating new parking and enforcement.

Of course it goes without saying that we need an efficient and true to its mission Parking Authority.


Posted on: 2006/2/24 15:28
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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Initiating an income tax is not the solution to this problem. Once this tax starts, it will only grow and it will be seen as a new tap for revenue for whatever the administration wants to spend it on...especially for the $40 mil tax shortfall we are seeing now.

One thing to keep in mind here is that there are many of us who live and own here and find it very difficult to park just one car. A car for us is not a luxury and with the pace of development AND rowhouses being converted to multiple condo, there will NOT be enough parking for everyone. What to do????? Steve Fulop's idea is exactly what is needed and probably even comes too late.

Posted on: 2006/2/24 15:19
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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and stop treating renters and property owners differently based on where they live and what they own.


One way to do that is with a city income tax - I paid a 1% income tax when I lived in Columbus, Ohio. The taxes on my house in a beautiful Victorian historic district were less than $800, and services were excellent - including an historic district office who had people come to your house and consult with you on restoration work. NYC has an income tax too.

Posted on: 2006/2/24 13:58
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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At city council the parking ordinance was withdrawn last night. Also, Mariano Vega was not at the meeting.

Posted on: 2006/2/23 14:54
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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Steve,

There are some really crazy people in Newport -- a hand full who are really active on their Newport message board -- are really nuts! Don't let them get to you. They always think there is some big plot against them. They must have a great rental deal or something -- I don't know, but it's that big fish little pond kind of thing for these active people -- only a few ever post and they seem to talk to themselves, then they get worked up and try to get other Newport tenants all worried about whatever their NEW issue is. I don't really know if your parking idea is good or not, but don't worry about their crazy personal attacks.

Quote:

StevenFulop wrote:
...the Newport Waterfront Association was the exact opposite.

I certainly tried to convey to the Newport group how this will help them as I wholeheartedly believe it will, however, the conversation with a select few of that group became nasty to the point on the Newport Board people were accusing me of having a quid pro quo agreement with the Lefraks for a campaign contribution in exchange for a ordinance change (bribe). If you know me as a person, you would know this is not a possibility but it is hurtful nevertheless because I put everything I have into this job – and that is an attack on character not policy

Truthfully, my reputation means more to me than forcing a situation on a community that had little support for the ordinance - even if I believe it is best for them.

Posted on: 2006/2/23 14:15
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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In JC, as I understand it, new construction apt buildings - are not covered by rent control. When a lease expires, or when a new lease is offered, the landlord may charge whatever the market will bear. Is there no cap on rent increases for new construction apt buildings? Is there any control over ownership of the garage portion?

Also, I'm curious what ordinance or PA regulation excludes Jeannegenie's building from zone/ on street parking.

Posted on: 2006/2/22 20:26
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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I don't know about parking spaces but I do know that Newark Avenue needs to be paved. It is a mess, especially past Monmouth towards the turnpike.

Posted on: 2006/2/22 20:01
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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I guess I shouldn't be surprised - a government official arguing that more government regulation actually makes markets more efficient! I respect your running these ideas past people in the site, but I have to say that legislating mandatory parking will (at least in the near term i.e. four, five years) will create greater inefficiencies that hurts renters and benefits wealthy developers. A renter will be less able to choose a cheaper off-street parking option because that they have no choice but to rent one from their landlord. What happens when landlords raise parking spot rents 25% a year? Well, I suppose, people can just move - but that's not so efficient for people's lives or their wallets. Give the market a shroud to push through price hikes, and it will take it Forinstance, when the E.U countries legislated the switchover to the Euro, it theortecially shouldn't have meant an increase in prices - yet in reality it did, on a magnitude of 20-30%. Closer to home, as a JC landlord, if the city bumps up my water bill or property taxes 3-percent, I raise my tenants rent 5-percent and blame it all on the government (can you blame me? perhaps I wouldn't do it if I had a nice tax abatment though, can you help me out there?). I hate to say it, but there will be a situation of landlords charging rent of $x plus $200, at least in the next few years after your legislation goes through. In the long-run, the efficient market will mean people will get priced out, and new wealthier people will move in. Okay fine. If you really care about efficient markets, get rid of abatements for wealthy developers which results in a higher burden on individual property owners and stop treating renters and property owners differently based on where they live and what they own.

Posted on: 2006/2/22 19:48
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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It's in garage/lot owner's best interest to have a certain percentage of empty spaces. For example, let's say a garage has 100 spaces available. It may work out that at $150/space, it could rent all the spaces, at $200/space, it could rent 80%, and at $250/space, it could rent 55%. If these numbers are correct, the owner should charge $200, becuase it returns the largest profit and leaves available spaces should the demand increase.

If we now limit the residents to only be allowed to use the garage parking, the owner should increase the fee even more. If the owner increases the fee to $300/month and can only rent out just over 50%, his profit will remain basically static. However, since future residents would have little choice in where they park, the owner would eventually realize greater profits.

While the garage owner will profit, the residents in the building are clearly penalized. If the residents knew the ordinance was coming, it would be in their best interest to run out and get a permit so they'd be grandfathered in. When the price increases in the garages, the end result would actually be more cars parked on the street.

The units currently allowed permit parking which lose this right can expect to see their property value decreased. If there are two identical condos, but only one allows me to have a street permit, then the one with street parking has a clear advantage.

If the goal of the ordinance is to reduce the number of cars in downtown, I think it will be successful in the long term, since residents of 30+ unit buildings will have an incentive not to own a car. However, unless the same residents make up a decent percentage of the current street permits, I don't expect this to have much of an impact on the street parking situation.

To help the parking situation, I'd prefer an ordinance that penalizes garage owners who do not fill 90%+ of their lots with resident vehicles, a reduction in the amount of non-resident permits granted, and an increase in the fee for a resident permit (perhaps done by zone to avoid unfairly penalizing poor sections of the city).

Just to be clear, I do not live in a 30+ unit building. I just feel it's unfair to penalize a select group of residents. If the ordinance is only for new units that have never been occupied, I'm all for it (and other changes, as detailed above).

Posted on: 2006/2/22 19:24
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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Doozer-
Per your request, I will look to get you that information.

However, to further put into perspective what I am asking for help to deal with, I can immediately tell you without much thought of 9,000 units that will be on-line in Ward E alone within the next 4 years. That is a conservative number.

The vast majority of the buildings that will house those units will have parking built in as is the case with the existing buildings. However, as is the case now, many of the new buildings will be entitled to get parking permits.

Whichever way you choose to look at the numbers and the policy, the parking situation will be getting significantly more difficult if not addressed

Steve

Posted on: 2006/2/22 19:17
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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This will veer a bit off topic, but I'll try to make it relevant.

As Nuada points out, in this country (and elsewhere), automobile ownership brings with it a certain status. People who can afford to own cars often do even if it is not that necessary or convenient.

Still, individuals owning multiple cars in an urban setting is a bit of overkill. And automobile dependence in a city is not sustainable. We can't tell people "you can't own cars." But we shouldn't try to build a city around excess automobile ownership either.

The only reason I own a car is because a few years ago my grandfather decided that he was too old to drive. So now I have a 1988 Toyota Camry which he hardly put any miles on. We primarily use it when we go away for the weekends. Occassionally I'll sometimes drive it to synagogue or to the vegetable market on 440. There are weeks where I don't touch the car at all.

Right now, I can use public transportation to get to most places I need to go. If Zipcar expands a bit more in Jersey City to the point where I know I can get a car nearby when I really need one, I'll pass up buying a new car and possibly even get rid of this one (although I kind of take pride in being able to stretch out the life of a vehicle over 20 years). That's one more free parking space for downtown. You're welcome.

Anyway, to relate this to the proposed legislation. I think the councilman has hit on an issue which is a sore spot both ways. Residents of the brownstones resent that developers get tax abatements, residents indirectly benefit, and then don't use the parking spaces which the developers agreed to build. Residents of the high rises resent being told that they can't park on the streets in the neighborhood in which they live.

Right now it seems that there are several valid concerns being raised, and my worry is that the final legislation will have so many loopholes that it will be too narrow to have an effect. Then there is the question of how serious the city will be when it comes to enforcement.

All in all though, this is a band aid solution to a more serious problem, which is the overabundance of automobiles and lack of alternative transportation in dense urban areas. That's not to say that Steve shouldn't try to do something like this to address the problem immediately. But some longer term solutions are necessary (and I know through discussions with Steve that he is looking at these as well).

Joshua

Posted on: 2006/2/22 19:10
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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Yes, whereas generally speaking, my conversations on this ordinance at neighborhood meetings in Paulus Hook, Van Vorst Park, Hamilton Park, and Harsimus have been very positive and teh residents overwhelmingly support the change, the Newport Waterfront Association was the exact opposite.

I certainly tried to convey to the Newport group how this will help them as I wholeheartedly believe it will, however, the conversation with a select few of that group became nasty to the point on the Newport Board people were accusing me of having a quid pro quo agreement with the Lefraks for a campaign contribution in exchange for a ordinance change (bribe). If you know me as a person, you would know this is not a possibility but it is hurtful nevertheless because I put everything I have into this job – and that is an attack on character not policy

Truthfully, my reputation means more to me than forcing a situation on a community that had little support for the ordinance - even if I believe it is best for them. That would just be a lose-lose at the end of the day

Regarding the ordinance, in my eyes, the purpose of the ordinance is to eliminate the competition between on-street and off-street parking. Newport does not have this competition for the reason that there are no buildings without off-street parking in that area. I think the ordinance would have served to force compression on pricing for residents but I can’t have a conversation when it resorts to baseless personal attacks such as I would take a bribe – even though it made no sense.

I do still think they are missing a positive opportunity but ordinance will still achieve the said goal in the communities that are mixed between larger and smaller buildings without that zone included.

Posted on: 2006/2/22 18:57
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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I support the proposed changes. Thanks for keeping us involved, councilman.

Posted on: 2006/2/22 18:54
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
#13
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Steve, Do you have any estimate what percentage of housing is in 30+ unit buildings (or will be in ~5 years), and how many currently use street parking? Assuming the ordinance removed all of the street permits for the large buildings, how great would the impact be? Also, how many non-resident permits are given out for your ward?

Posted on: 2006/2/22 18:45
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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Councilman: Did I hear correctly ... that you are contemplating some kind of temporary exemption for Newport? If so, who requested this?

Posted on: 2006/2/22 18:27
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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I have to agree, penalize landlords/developers. And make them prove that spaces are rented to BUILDING RESIDENTS!

Many of us rented in JC with the promise of off-street parking and when we have unloaded the moving van, we are then told the spot went to someone else and there is a waiting list of up to a year. Some landlords/developers have 2 and 3 spots for themselves or associates and you are left out in the cold.
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I would be much more in favor of a system that penalizes the building for empty spots. That would force the building to lower monthly prices until the spots are filled or open the spots to outside residents (or both). Unless the developer/building management faces a penalty, there is no reason they shouldn't raise their prices and capitalize off their new found monopoly.

Posted on: 2006/2/22 18:26
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Re: IMPORTANT FEEDBACK PLEASE ON PARKING - STEVEN FULOP
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I am confused. I believe I am already in that second class of residents -- I cannot get a permit because I live in one of the large towers, so that ordinance already exisits, right? And I am therefore being forced to pay a lot each month for parking. As JC has done little to protect tenants in these high-rise buildings (my rent went up 10 percent last year, and after contacting the city, I was told I have no recourse), it would be nice if, for once, JC looked after tenants rather than developers. Why is it that, if I live in a small building, I get street parking, and if I live in a big building, I don't? And why is it that some people in big buildings get permits, while others don't? The problem is that you can't give a logical, fair explanation, and that would be a problem for the new ordinance.
Besides, you can't tie the parking directly to the apartment, as many residents don't have cars and won't want to have a parking space that they won't use included in their rent.
Maybe people who don't qualify for a permit should get some sort of rebate -- at least then it would seem more fair.
Also, the garage in my building is pretty much full-- I don't see the developer wanting for renters for the spaces. Perhaps that's because we can't get permits?

Posted on: 2006/2/22 18:24
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