Town to weigh additional shopper parking near Plandome Road

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Mary Jane Davies Green in Manhasset

The North Hempstead Town Council on Tuesday will consider a resolution that would designate 13 parking spots adjacent to Mary Jane Davies Green for shoppers and park users, the town said on Monday.

“Parking is often a challenge in downtown Manhasset and it is our goal to make it less so by designating these spots for shoppers and park goers to use,” town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said. “This will also allow for easier access to Mary Jane Davies park so that parents and their children can take advantage of this wonderful facility.”

The announcement signals the end of a plan for the Manhasset Park District, which has its own neighboring parking lot, to take over the town lot next to Mary Jane Davies Green and re-designate the parking spaces.

“The Park District raised the idea of taking over the lot but ultimately settled on requesting a reconfiguration that would connect the [Mary Jane Davies] lot to its lots,” Carole Trottere, a town spokeswoman, said in an email.

The reconfiguration plan involves an intermunicipal agreement proposed by the Town of North Hempstead in early March that would permit the Manhasset Park District to add 16 to 18 parking spots to its parking lot in exchange for a yearly fee.

Under the terms of the proposed agreement, the town would allow the district to remove a fence and make curb cuts on the eastern edge of the park district’s parking lot between Manhasset Avenue and Memorial Place, which neighbors the town parking lot.

In exchange for use of its property, the town would charge the park district $1,000 a year over the first five years of the agreement and, if renewed, it would charge $5,000 a year for each of the subsequent years, Elizabeth Botwin, a town attorney, has said.

“It’s plain and simple extortion this town is putting upon the park district,”  Richard Bentley, president of the Council of Greater Manhasset Civic Associations, said this month. “A lot of residents are furious with the town.”

Earlier this month, talks between the Manhasset Park District and the Town of North Hempstead appeared to have stalled.

Asked if the announcement to re-designate the 13 spots adjacent to Mary Jane Davies Park was a result of the break in negotiations, Trottere said, “Not really.”

An attempt to reach the Manhasset Park District for comment was unavailing.

The town parking lot located on the west side of the park currently has 20 spots, all of which have been available for lease to nearby businesses for employee parking. Seven of the spots are currently in use under such an arrangement, Trottere said.

If the resolution passes, the remaining parking spots could be used for up to two hours for anyone wishing to shop along Plandome Road or visit the park, a town statement said.

The resolution will be considered at the April 25 Town Board meeting at North Hempstead Town Hall, which begins at 7 p.m.

“I am very pleased that we will be considering designating these town parking spaces for our residents to use,” town Councilwoman Anna Kaplan said. “We hope that it will encourage people to frequent downtown Manhasset.”

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