Sutherland seeks Artpark parking plan
By Joshua Maloni
Village of Lewiston trustees struggled with pop-up parking lots popping up along south streets on Artpark & Company concert nights last summer. In July, the board voted to get rid of such entities, only to reverse course one month later upon complaints from residents.
Mayor Terry Collesano said trustees would review the policy in the offseason and come up with a better plan. On Monday, with the mayor out of town, Deputy Mayor Bruce Sutherland brought the topic before the board.
"Pop-up parking lots, that came in towards the end of last Artpark season, where we did away with them. There was a lot of consternation about that," he said. "I think we need to get the local folks - some of the people in that (South Fourth Street) area - together with some of us."
"I think you need to reword this," Trustee Dan Gibson said. "Pay-for-parking lots should be the issue. Not the guy who has a group of people to his house. Where's the harm?"
"I know that, at the end of last year, we talked about it," Lewiston Police Department Sgt. Frank Previte said. "Mr. Jesella (and) the mayor actually had some of the law with that."
He said it a gray issue and asked Village of Lewiston Attorney Joseph Leone if there was a statute positively prohibiting pay-for-parking lots.
"I think it does (prohibit them)," Leone said. "My recollection is there is a portion of our village code that talks in terms of having more than two vehicles parked in your home at any one time. ... There's certainly permitting that would be required for operating a business - which, essentially, you would be doing - with sales tax numbers and that sort of stuff for people parking on your lawn.
"The vagueness or the complexity comes in where the fella or lady are having a number of guests over their home and now they have more than two cars parked there. So, how does that fly in the face of somebody who's collecting 10 or 15 bucks to park on their front lawn?
"But, clearly, they can't operate a business, which is what they're doing, because of zoning issues, and because of sales tax and so forth."
He added, "It is illegal, under the village code, to park, and to charge to park - I think it is."
Sutherland said the board would put a group together to study the issue.
"It's not something we're going to settle in just one meeting," Trustee Vic Eydt said. "We're going to have to chew on this and digest it."
Previte cautioned against residential parking lots.
"It adds to the load of traffic that we're putting down," he said.
With regard to parking on the streets on concert nights - specifically, where cars can and can't be placed, and what portions of which roads will be limited to one-way traffic - Sutherland said, "I would like to get the plan for parking and that'll include the police and firemen and (Superintendent of Public Works Terry Brolinski) to make sure that we've got it where we want it.
"I think, right now, we may get the funding for doing that through the (Town of Lewiston) and what they're working with Artpark.
"This is our baby. We should be telling them where to park, and not Artpark going out there putting (parking signs) where they want."
"The problem with them being involved - and I don't know what the solution is, or how we can mitigate it - the problem with them being involved is that they don't stick to what we want," Previte said. "By, probably, midseason, the signs trickle down to maybe once every other block."
He said "no parking" signs are taken and not replaced.
"Well, I would like us, then, internally - the village, police and firemen - to come up with that plan, and that's the plan we'll go by. And we'll live with it," Sutherland said. "I just don't like other organizations coming in and putting signs on our streets and we lose control."
"Once we have that and get that together, then we can meet with Artpark, Park Police and everybody, and say this is how it is, and we've worked it all out," he added.
Previte said it's imperative to control traffic on the south side to ensure an orderly flow of cars exiting the park.