The Glen Cove City Council voted to pass fees for its Payment in Lieu of Parking program, which would charge incoming businesses seeking special use permits a one-time fee that would go toward upkeep of the city's existing parking.
Councilman Anthony Gallo was the only member to vote against the fees. He cited the concerns of numerous residents he said he has spoken with who are worried the fees will discourage new businesses from locating downtown.
Several other members said the fees would only apply to those businesses large enough that the amount required would not be so significant to them to be a deterrent.
"I think PILOP is very widely misunderstood," said Councilman Reginald Spinello. "We would have to be crazy to pass something that would discourage businesses from coming here."
Councilman Timothy Tenke agreed, noting that the fees would affect no existing businesses and would not apply to incoming businesses of the sort which are already located downtown, including retailers, photography or art studios and small restaurants.
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The fees would primarily apply to any large chain stores looking to locate in the city's downtown shopping district, council members said, and would be a single payment for maintenance of existing parking rather than the alternative of spending money to build new parking to accomodate the increased traffic.
Gallo asked city planner Max Stach, who was in attendance to answer questions about the fees, how much a 60-seat restaurant would have to pay. Stach said the fee would be $2,200.
Gallo responded that the figure was a significant burden on a restaurant of that size, which could be owned by a sole proprietor, and could discourage such a business from locating downtown.
Under the current guidelines, the only project currently triggering a fee is the proposed Piazza Apartments, which would be charged $402,000 for the use of 134 parking spaces in one of the city's municipal parking garages.