Main Street parking fees, times to change

Parking meter in the municipal parking lot on Main Street near the post office, as seen on Tuesday, April 20. (News photo — Andy Flynn)

LAKE PLACID — The Lake Placid Village Board of Trustees has made some changes to the Main Street parking rules, including a slight increase in the hourly rate at the municipal parking lot across from the post office.

More changes, like extending the hours the village will collect parking fees, could be on the horizon.

Village trustees adopted three parking changes during their regular meeting on Monday, April 19. They approved an annual transferable pass of $1,000 for short-term rental owners with units that don’t offer off-street parking. The board approved a $50-per-day, per-spot fee for contractor parking, including work vehicles and dumpsters. Mayor Art Devlin said that before, contractors have used parking meters while using spaces on Main Street. Trustees also approved an increase to the parking fee at the large municipal lot from 50 cents per hour to 75 cents per hour, doing away with the $5-per-day cap on parking fees as well.

The board also approved a $150 fee for the annual parking pass for workers and residents, which is unchanged from the current rate.

The changes come while Main Street is under construction, and after months of state-imposed restrictions on businesses because of the coronavirus pandemic. Lake Placid Business Association President Lori Fitzgerald said on Tuesday, April 20 that some businesses did fine during the COVID-19 pandemic, but others did not.

The sign at the Main Street municipal parking lot near the post office is seen here Tuesday, April 20. It shows the old parking fees. The Lake Placid Village Board of Trustees Monday, April 19 approved a rate increase of 75 cents per hour, up from 50 cents per hour. There will also no longer be a day rate. (News photo — Andy Flynn)

“Hopefully the plan is not to increase parking rates while all this construction is going on,” she said. “I think that given all that’s going on, the timing may not be right.”

The changes also come more than six months after former Mayor Craig Randall first publicly mentioned that village officials were considering making these types of changes after reviewing the current parking rules ahead of groundbreaking on the Main Street project, and more than a year after the village temporarily suspended parking enforcement for two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Devlin said these changes have needed to be done for a while. Part of the reason the village decided to pursue these changes now is to raise money for a parking garage, but it’s also to encourage more parking turnover, according to Devlin.

Other parking changes that couldn’t be approved without a public hearing were also discussed on Monday.

Some of the proposed changes — such as the times parking fees are collected — need to be packaged in a local law, according to village Attorney Janet Bliss. Based on the board’s input, Bliss will be drafting a local law amendment that includes the following proposals, and possibly others:

– In the large municipal lot, the village would collect parking fees 24 hours a day.

– In the municipal lot across from NBT Bank, the village would extend the hours it collects parking fees. The new enforcement hours would be 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at $2 per hour, and from 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. at $1 per hour.

– Other meter enforcement times would be extended from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Currently, Main Street parking fees are collected from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, and never on holidays.

Devlin said the village is considering collecting fees on holidays, and officials have discussed extending enforcement hours on Sunday, but whether that will happen is less clear.

Fitzgerald said she hasn’t spoken with business association members about specifics yet, but she believes there’s a consensus among business owners that the parking enforcement hours should be extended. Some feel that a 6 p.m. enforcement cutoff favors restaurants over retailers.

Asked if the village would need to hire another parking enforcement officer to accommodate the possible changes to the enforcement hours, Devlin said the village is considering it.

“If the hours get extended, we’ll have to look into either splitting people up or hiring a part-time person,” he said.