No Objections To Sag Harbor Paid Parking Proposal

Sag Harbor Village is expected to require paid parking on Long Wharf only this summer. STEPHEN J. KOTZ

But for a few formalities, paid parking for the Main Street business district and Long Wharf will likely come to Sag Harbor this year.

The Village Board, which once again discussed the proposal after airing it last month, had no objections. It plans to revisit the issue at both its regular monthly meeting on February 9 and its February 24 work session before making a final decision.

Trustee Aiden Corish, who has been shepherding the idea along, has said the village could reap up to $1 million a year in revenue from paid parking — money that could be used to replace sidewalks, add bicycle lanes, and undertake other infrastructure projects to make the village more hospitable to pedestrians and bicyclists.

The plan calls for 221 of the 898 spaces in the business district — most of the spaces on Main Street and on Long Wharf — to be reserved for paid parking between the hours of 10 a.m. and midnight. A handful of spaces limited to 30-minute parking will remain unpaid, as will handicapped spaces.

Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., parking will be limited to three hours with a one-hour grace period, with a fee of $5 for the second hour and $7.50 for the third hour. After 5 p.m., there will be a four-hour limit. The first hour will be free, the second hour $5, the third $7.50, and the fourth hour $15. Mr. Corish said the fourth hour fee is higher to promote turnover in the business district at night when village restaurants and stores are often at their busiest.

The paid parking would be in effect between May 29 and October 11.

The village would contract with Park Mobile, which offers a smartphone app to collect the fees. It would charge 35 cents per transaction and link to the system used by village traffic control officers to allow for easy enforcement of parking violations. People who want to park in one of the paid spaces would be required to download the app, even if they planned to stay for less than an hour.

Trustee Corish said he would like to see the system provide a discount of 20 to 25 percent for village residents as well as emergency service responders — whether they were residents or not. Trustee Thomas Gardella asked if the village saw a bonanza of revenue from parking if it could consider returning some of the money to village taxpayers. Mr. Corish responded that having the revenue would reduce the need for the village to collect real estate taxes for projects that parking revenue would pay for.

Plus, he said it would be wise for the village to “get one summer under our belt” to determine just how much money it could expect to earn.

East Hampton Village is planning to work with ParkMobile this year, and Southampton Village is also considering it.

Lex Blum, ParkMobile’s regional sales manager, said the company manages parking fee collection with 450 municipalities across the country and said there would be “a minimal cost to the village to get this up and running.”

The board also continued a hearing on a proposal that would allow two members of the Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review to sign off on minor projects such as paint color changes, new fences, and decks without requiring applicants to go before the full board. Those members could refer the applicant to the full board if they deemed it necessary, and the applicant would be allowed to request a hearing before the full board if their application was denied. The change is expected to reduce the board’s heavy agenda.

Village Attorney Denise Schoen said the village had to wait until the New York State Historic Preservation Office weighed on the proposed change.

The board also agreed to hold a hearing on February 9 to tighten up its “dark sky” law, which aims to reduce the amount of pollution caused by light fixtures that are not directed downward or contained on one’s property.