LETTER: New Bayonne parking policies raise more questions than answers

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In a letter to the editor, Bayonne resident Peter Franco says that a new parking ordinance introduced by the city council earlier this month would raise more questions than answers.

Photo via bayonnenj.org.

Dear Editor,

At the April Bayonne city council meeting, our city council unanimously passed an
ordinance (O-10) that would restrict new residents in new redevelopment properties
from being entitled to receive on-street parking permits.

I believe this ordinance has a few problems.

Number one, it seems discriminatory as a city we are saying “Come Live Here, just don’t park here.” There may be ways to cheat the system as these new residents may be able to register their vehicle at another address or even apply for a guest pass for their vehicles.

It also creates a problem for developers. If a building is at capacity with parking, owners will have to turn away prospective tenants that have more than one vehicle, leaving a would-be rented apartment vacant until a tenant with one vehicle comes along.

Other questions remain such as, are the owners of the new development or property
management going to document the vehicles parking on their facilities and willingly
share that information with the city?

Can the city legally demand that information? May this be a violation of the Equal Protection Clause under the US Constitution? There are many unanswered questions here for an ordinance which 5 members voted for and is now city law.

A solution does not create more problems and this ordinance does. I believe there’s a
better approach to take that will eliminate the potential problems with this ordinance and
help burdened neighborhoods already suffering from a lack of parking.

We start by shredding O-10 and by revising the local ordinance to increase the on-street parking requirement on all new high-rise apartment buildings to a ratio of to 2 parking spaces per unit.

Right now, the state’s ratios on high rise buildings are as followed:1 Bedroom/ 0.82,
space, 2 Bedroom/ 1.3 spaces, 3 Bedroom/ 1.9 spaces.

The city has its own ordinance where the requirement is less than the state in two key areas and makes the parking problem worse: 1 Bedroom/ 1 space, 2 Bedroom/ 1.25 spaces, 3 Bedroom/ 1.5 spaces.

By proactively increasing the ratio requirement to 2 parking spaces per unit, our city
would essentially create private parking for public use.

Every new resident could have access to on-street parking, and we eliminate any potential for abuse of the current system.

This change would not hamper developers either as they can still apply for a parking variance and the planning board would ultimately decide to approve the request.

I plan to introduce this new ordinance to our governing body by next month’s scheduled city council meeting and hope we can make this idea a new law.

Peter Franco
Bayonne resident

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