by Barrett Seaman –
Attempts by Bridge Street Properties in Irvington to win approval for additional parking spaces for tenants in the Trent Building on the village’s south side have been stymied for years because of opposition by nearby homeowners. Last month, however, Bridge Street co-owner Bill Thompson presented the village’s trustees with a new plan that just might fly. But that will happen only if the village amends its 17-year-old law banning parking structures. A public hearing was scheduled for February 3rd to consider doing just that, albeit in a limited way.
The proposed legislation would allow an elevated parking structure in an already existing building, except on Main Street or North Astor Street, a block-long stretch opposite the Irvington Metro North Station.
The idea comes from Thompson’s proposal, made at the January 13 trustee work session, to use the ground floor of the building adjacent to the Trent Building that houses The Loft entertainment space as an indoor parking lot. Unlike the earlier outdoor lot proposals, this space would be completely out of sight of homes across Buckout Street. Residents of those homes have indicated that they find the idea acceptable.
Even though it is single story and on the ground floor, the proposal would run afoul of the 2003 comprehensive ban on parking structures, originally enacted to prevent Bridge Street from building a multi-story parking garage under the hill just west of the train station. That ban has since prevented the village from pursuing a practical solution to its chronic parking shortage. Whether the new proposal draws fire from the public may determine if it represents a threat to the overall ban.