Thursday, March 24, 2016

What Happened to Local Law No. 1 for 2015?

Last night at the Common Council Legal Committee meeting, Alderman Priscilla Moore (Fifth Ward) asked about the residential parking plan that was proposed for the area around Columbia Memorial Hospital. Moore lives on McKinstry Place and wanted to know what had happened to the plan to relieve the parking problems caused for residents of the neighborhood by hospital workers taking their onstreet parking spaces.

Last year, a new local law was crafted--Local Law No. 1 for 2015--that would provide parking permits for residents. The law became a bone of contention for Mayor William Hallenbeck, who believed he had proposed the perfect solution, and Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward), who chaired the Legal Committee, which worked for six months to revise and perfect the plan. Last night, the question arose of what had happened to that law. Gossips thought the mayor had vetoed it, but it turns out that was not the case. 

The Common Council voted to place the law on their desks on March 17, 2015. The action barely passed with 1,104 affirmative votes (1,015 are required for a simple majority). A law needs to wait on the aldermen's desks for at least seven calendar days (excluding Sunday) before it can be enacted, but this one waited for close to seven months--through April, May, June, July, and August--before it disappeared from the Council agenda. Thanks to city clerk Tracy Delaney, Gossips now knows what happened next. On November 9, 2015, Council president Don Moore advised Delaney: "In that the Mayor and the Common Council have not come to an agreement on the final form of a Residential Parking Permit Local Law, I am withdrawing the proposal from the agenda for this term of the Common Council." The law is still sitting on the aldermen's desks. 

Last night, not certain of its current status, Council president Claudia DeStefano, who was chairing the Legal Committee meeting, suggested that it may be time to resurrect the law. 

Register-Star reporter John Mason brought up a situation that could make solving the parking problem at the hospital even more challenging: the American Legion is selling its building on Fairview Avenue, along with the parking lot that CHM has been leasing to provide offstreet parking for its employees.


  1. We can hope, can't we, that CMH is pursuing the property.

  2. Thank you, Gossips for your reporting. I had understood that the former Mayor had vetoed the law. I had pointed out the parking problem again to my aldermen and the New Mayor. It definitely needs to be studied and the Hospital needs to do something to alleviate the fact that Rossman Ave and other surrounding streets have become free parking lots for their employees from 7 am to 5 pm causing considerable inconvenience to residents. Thanks to to Priscilla Moore for digging it up and getting it back on the table. I know the hospital is a big employer and is a much needed entity, but please try and be a good neighbor.

  3. not so fast! the American Legion building is historic as it gets but not part of any historic district, not protected. i don't trust CMH with anything, doctors yes, CMH no, most elected city officials less than no.

  4. I'm late to the game here, and I'm sure my ignorance is showing, but there are a couple of things I don't understand. First, how can residents, or anyone else, regard parking spaces on a public street as "theirs"? And if parking permits for public street spaces can be sold by the city, why can't they be sold to everyone? As to the residents, isn't there some way many of them could utilize or adapt their own properties to off-street parking? As to the hospital, couldn't it, like most corporations with parking facilities, provide free or discounted spaces to its employees on duty? And aren't there empty lots and spaces in numerous locations in the vicinity which could be rented either to residents or to hospital employees?