Those waiting for permitted parking spaces to free up at New Canaan’s municipal lots will receive a letter this fall requesting that they pay $10 in order to stay on the waiting list through next fiscal year, following a decision that town officials made Tuesday.
The new fee—approved 3-0 by the Board of Selectmen on a one-time trial basis, with the possibility that it becomes a regular annual occurrence—could become “a little bit of a burden because it’s an additional task,” First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said.
“But it would be great to know who is truly and sincerely interested,” Mallozzi said at the selectmen’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “There are so many families that have moved into town, so many folks moving out of New York.”
Members of the New Canaan Parking Commission have made a strong case that the town needs more parking for commuters. The waiting list for the Lumberyard and Railroad lots is eight years long, while residents are waiting three years for a permit to park at Richmond Hill lot, according to data released earlier this year.
In Darien, the parking authority each December issues a letter asking those on waiting lists for permit to pay $10 or else lose their place in line. New Canaan is eyeing a similar strategy, in hopes that it shrinks the long waiting lists here to an accurate level.
According to Karen Miller, supervisor of the New Canaan Parking Bureau, a full half of those whose names linger on the waiting lists “do not want permits.”
The Parking Commission, which oversees New Canaan’s municipal lots, discussed the matter of the new fee and felt that some could be annoyed by it, Miller reported, but ultimately felt it could be good housekeeping.
Selectman Nick Williams, a commuter himself, said he supported imposing the fee once and that “if folks say it’s a huge nuisance, we can revisit it.”
“I do think the key is that we need to get more parking and there are people on the list” who remain year after year though they really do not want a permit, Williams said.
A letter from the Parking Bureau to those on the waiting list likely would go out in September, officials said.
Here’s a table that looks at municipal parking lot demand in New Canaan, with figures updated as of a few months ago:
Parking Permits and Demand in New Canaan
|Parking Lot||Total Spaces||Metered||By Permit||Permits Sold||Waiting List||Yrs Waiting|
|Park Street||120||98||22||See Note*||n/a||n/a|
|Center School Lot||168||75||93||238||none||0|
* The Park Street Lot has several grandfathered permit holders and 17 permits for 175 Elm St., and Town Hall workers and municipal vehicles are now taking 28 spaces in the Park Street Lot