Village of Russell Gardens trustees approved traffic and parking changes on Melbourne Road last Thursday that include increasing on-street parking time limits from two hours to four hours and installation of a stop sign aimed at preventing speeding.
Russell Gardens Mayor Steve Kirschner said at Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting that the move to increase parking time limits on Melbourne Road was to “conform with the rest of the village,” since the other streets in the village with restricted parking hours have a four-hour time limit.
But overnight parking is still not permitted between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Melbourne Road.
Kirschner said the board proposed placing a stop sign on Melbourne Road after a resident told him it was difficult to back out of his driveway because of speeding cars.
The location is a point where Melbourne Road curves, he said, and he felt the stop sign would improve safety. The stop sign will be placed 613 feet west of South Middle Neck Road.
The board also proposed a parking change to Darley Road, which calls for increased parking restrictions in front of one home.
Instead of the village’s on-street parking restriction ending at 8 a.m., the proposal calls for the restricted time to increase to 10:30 a.m. in front of 1 Darley Road.
Kirschner said the homeowner at 1 Darley Road made the request after experiencing an inability to exit his driveway “succinctly” and the board was attempting “to accommodate him with the least amount of impact on the village.”
But residents at the meeting voiced displeasure about the proposed change.
Mitch Pitnick, a resident of the apartment building at 160 South Middle Neck Road, said the board did not present a “sufficient rationale for making the changes.”
“Many of us who live in the apartments knew or should have known that, when we rented the apartments, parking was limited in the area, but I do believe that it’s not a justification for the village to further restrict parking during daytime hours in front of one particular house,” Pitnick said. “In fact, I think the village should be doing the opposite and trying to find places where we can park and not creating additional restrictions when they’re not necessary.”
He said the proposed change would have more of a negative impact on other residents than it would benefit the one homeowner.
Another resident, who said she also lived at the apartment building at 160 South Middle Neck Road, said if approved, the Darley Road proposal would set a “dangerous precedent.”
“Our concern is now if we make this exception for 1 Darley, then 3 Darley is going to complain and have the same exception,” she said. “It’s going to go down the line.”
Kirschner said any change the village makes to its code can be changed back if it is found that the law did not accomplish what it was intended to.
The proposal was adjourned to the next board meeting as there was an error in the proposed law that was distributed to the public identifying where on Darley Road the parking restriction would begin.
Kirschner said he would find the correct “dimensions” for the proposed change and the board would present it again at the next meeting on Feb. 2.