Thomaston residents upset with Plaza’s parking change

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Village of Thomaston Mayor Steven Weinberg listens as village residents explain their parking problem. (Photo by Samuel Glasser)

By Samuel Glasser

A delegation of residents from a Thomaston apartment building on Monday appealed to the Village of Thomaston Board of Trustees to help solve a parking problem that they said was thrown at them “out of the blue.”

Tenants of the building at 50 South Middle Neck Road, who for the past several years were allowed to park across the street on the east side of Middle Neck Road, said they suddenly began getting tickets for violating the three-hour time limit.

The residents, none of whom wanted to be named or photographed at Monday’s board meeting, said the parking spots are in the Village of Great Neck Plaza, which, under an informal arrangement, waived the time limit for building residents who had an identification sticker on their cars. The apartment house, however, is located in Thomaston.

The residents said they were told by Great Neck Plaza code enforcement officers that they were no longer entitled to use those spaces. At least 30 or 40 cars need spaces, they said, noting that the building has a garage but can only accommodate about 20 or 24 cars.

Thomaston Mayor Steven Weinberg said he would do what he could to resolve the situation, but cautioned that there was no quick fix.

“If anything can be worked out it will take a long time,” he said.

When asked if parking restrictions could be modified on the Thomaston streets surrounding the apartment house such as on Pont Street or Brompton Road, Weinberg said it would be a time-consuming process.

Hearings would have to be convened since the surrounding neighborhood would want a say, and the process could take two or three months, he said.

In the meantime, he suggested as a short-term solution that building residents get a Great Neck Park District permit for the district’s commuter lots on Shoreward Drive and Canterbury Road. He acknowledged that it was not an ideal situation, but could be a way for car owners to avoid daily parking tickets.

The idea was not received well by the building residents. Daily parking passes cost $4; monthly passes are $68.

It also means that residents who are now walking distance to the train station would need to move their cars to the commuter lots early in the morning to ensure they could get a spot.

They would also have to make sure they were out of the lots before the 3 a.m. curfew. This could exacerbate the already limited supply of commuter parking. Additionally, on-street overnight parking is not permitted in Thomaston.

Weinberg said the village does not own any land that it could use for parking.

In other business, the village accepted a bid of $351,500 for repaving Schenck Avenue submitted by John McGowan & Sons Inc.

Weinberg said the work would involve the entire length of the street from Northern Boulevard to Gilchrest Road and would include work on Prospect Street as well.

It is anticipated that the job will take two or three weeks. It is expected to be done this summer.

The board also accepted a bid of $62,207 from Tower Ford for a new dump truck. The old truck will be either traded in or sold.

The board also authorized Mayor Weinberg to execute a grant disbursement agreement with the state for a $50,000 grant for new road signs and repaving.

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