Some Tighter Parking Regulations and Higher Merchant Fees for Parking Permits Proposed

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At this coming Monday’s meeting of the Board of Selectmen, the board will consider a proposal to raise the small annual fee for employee parking on town lots for merchants with stores near the lots.

The board will also consider a proposal to limit the amount of time vehicles can be parked at certain spots.

Both proposals came from Town Administrator Kathleen Buch in memos dated Sept. 5 and addressed to the town parking authority, which is the Board of Selectmen in Darien.

In the memo about merchant fees, Buch wrote:

  • The merchant parking permit fee has not been raised in over a decade, while we have increased commuter permit fees more than once over that time. I am suggesting a modest increase of $15 per permit, raising the fee from $85 per year to $100.
  • The increased income to the Town would offset the cost of maintenance of the lots and enforcement of parking regulations in the lots. The suggested change in the regulation is shown below.
  • If the Parking Authority wishes to move forward with the rate change, a public hearing needs to be held and the proposed changes published in the newspaper.

In the second memo, Buch proposed a number of changes for the town’s spaces on Tokeneke Road, the Center Street parking lots and on Center Street itself.

These are the five specific changes, numbered below. The map Buch provided to selectmen (also accompanying this article) has the five numbers on it, showing which parking spaces would be affected by each change.

(1) On Tokeneke Road, where the four spaces closest to the Post Road allow parking for one hour (two hours are allowed for spaces farther from the Post), Buch proposed adding the next seven closest spaces to the Post Road on each side of Tokeneke. The 14 more spaces plus the present four would mean 18 spaces where parking is limited to one hour.

Buch wrote that the businesses nearest those spaces would benefit, because their customers generally don’t park as long as elsewhere, so it would be more convenient for customers who found more parking spaces open.

(2) On Center Street itself, there are 13 spaces, all with a three-hour limit. Change them all to one-hour. That would help delivery trucks and the nearby businesses, she wrote.

(3) In the Center Street north lot, there are 12 three-hour spaces closest to Old Kings Highway South. Convert them to permit parking.

(4) Change seven two-hour parking spaces in an area at the northern part of the Center Street South lot to permit parking.

(5) Finally, there are 11 two-hour spaces abutting businesses in the Center Street south lot. Convert them to one-hour spaces. Currently, there are no one-hour spaces in the Center Street north lot.

The Board of Selectmen is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 9 in Room 206, Town Hall. Darien TV79 is expected to cover the meeting.

You can find Buch’s memos and other documents prepared for the meeting here.

Center Street lots northern end

Image from Board of Selectmen meeting documents

Map of the Center Street parking lots (northern end) and parking on Tokeneke Road.

Center Street Parking Lots map

Image from Board of Selectmen meeting documents

Part of the Center Street South parking lot (southern end).

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