"We're not looking to charge businesses for parking for the sake of parking," mayor Ralph Suozzi explained Monday during an informational session at City Hall on the .
Several business owners from the downtown district were present at Monday's forum. One businesswoman asked whether the fees would discourage business startup in Glen Cove's central business district.
"Parking is what brings people downtown. It may be for the summer concerts and dinner, it may be the doctor and Starbucks - this is part of a plan for strategic growth in the coming years," he said.
The one-time fees for new businesses were explained to apply mostly to special use applicants - businesses which deviate from the code of the city's central business district, which stretches from School Street through Glen Street to the Pulaski Street interesection. Special use businesses include restaurants with over 64 seats, retail stores of 20,000 square feet or more and medical offices, according to city planner Max Stach.
Stach said that while surveys reveal a third of parking currently unused, upcoming development will create a tighter picture for the downtown's parking, which needs to be expanded and maintained.
In accordance with the criteria for the implementation of the fee, Stach explained, "most businesses will likely not pay anything under this structure, including retail stores, restaurants, and anything already covered in the zoning for Glen Cove's downtown."
The planning board would continue to have a mechanism in place to waive up to 50 percent of an applicant's required spaces, albeit a power that would be limited in the implementation of this new fee structure, according to the mayor. However, Suozzi said that if a restaurant is able to show that the fee will be a hardship to startup costs, the fee can be waived completely.
The fee structure will be open for discussion at the city's next two council meetings.