Stacked parking in the Borough's three garages has been legalized, after Borough Council passed an ordinance 5 to 1 at its meeting on Tuesday, November 9. Councilman Roger Martindell cast the lone vote against it.
The ordinance allows Borough garages with at least 100 parking spaces to "park in" cars, in order to maximize space. In some cases this would mean that cars would be parked by a valet service, at the garage owner's discretion. This will affect the Palmer Square garages on Chambers Street and Hulfish North, as well as the Borough's Spring Street garage.
Mr. Martindell said he voted against the ordinance because the Spring Street garage is currently never filled to capacity. Opening up more parking spaces in the other garages could mean less patrons at the Borough's new garage, he said. A proponent of non-tax revenues, in the past he has asked Council to consider raising parking fees in town to help alleviate Borough taxes.
"My beef with this ordinance...is the well known and much repeated statement that the Borough of Princeton is strapped for non-tax revenue because of high taxes," said Mr. Martindell. "This initiative is an opponent of non-tax revenues."
David Newton, vice president of Palmer Square, said he believes the ordinance will help the Borough bring more patrons to town since there will be more parking available.
"Stacked parking can only benefit the residents," he said.
The Borough was asked to consider stacked parking as part of an arrangement with Palmer Square that dates back to 1990. After the Borough came to an agreement with Palmer Square in January to finally allow the construction of the 97 luxury-unit townhouses on Hulfish North, the need to find adequate parking spaces for these new units became an issue that Mr. Newton wanted resolved through stacked parking.
However, the agreement was that the Borough would consider stacked parking, and did not guarantee it, said Councilman David Goldfarb.
A non-refundable fee of $300 must be paid by garage owners in order to facilitate stacked parking, along with an escrow fee of $1,500 to cover the cost of professional services, such as engineering, zoning, and legal expenses.
in other parking areas and lots will still be considered illegal,