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Pelham Board: Overnight Parking Ban To Be Enforced

PELHAM, N.Y. – A resolution to enforce Pelham's overnight parking ban on Carol Avenue was unanimously approved by the Village Board of Trustees on Tuesday night after several residents spoke against the measure.

Pelham police officers have been instructed to begin ticketing cars that park overnight on the east side of Carol Avenue starting Oct. 1, which Mayor Ed Hotchkiss said allows a transition period for the residents.

Carol Avenue residents, who have formed the Carol Avenue Neighborhood Association, said they are not done fighting the board. Resident Kathy Mattesi said the group planned on getting “the entire town involved.” She said she also will be speaking to County Executive Robert Astorino at his town hall meeting in Pelham on July 18.

“They had no business passing the resolution tonight,” she said. “It should have been postponed. So what they’re telling me is basically take a hike. That was the wrong thing to do because our group will now get the entire town involved.”

The dispute over the parking ban began in December when neighborhood residents squared off with the board over the status of several streets that residents say had been considered private for some 80 years. When the residents and trustees came to an agreement to allow parking, it did not include all of Carol Avenue.

Mattesi had presented the board with minutes from the Oct. 2, 1979, board meeting during its June 19 meeting. The minutes detailed a discussion between board members and the mayor at that time about whether Carol Avenue is a private street. Hotchkiss and the board agreed to look into the matter further.

“I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but we are out of options,” said Trustee Adam Kagan, who said he spent two hours at the Westchester County clerk’s office, looking at the deeds and speaking with the town engineer and tax assessors.

Hotchkiss has maintained his support for the village law against overnight parking for “public safety reasons, emergency vehicles, and the quality of how we present the village.” He also said that there is strong support for it throughout the village.

Mattesi presented the board members with a Freedom of Information request asking for the minutes concerning overnight parking from 1974 to 2012. She and the residents asked the board for a reason why police officers did not ticket those who had parked overnight on Carol Avenue. They had strong words for Hotchkiss and the board, excluding Kagan, and their plans to make sure they are not re-elected in March and said that they are ruining the character of the village.

“Should I, as a senior citizen, walk from Sparks Avenue to Carol Avenue when I come home at night?” Mattesi asked. “Is the mayor going to come and meet me and make sure no one hurts me – no. He doesn’t care about the people in this town.”

Hotchkiss and the board members said they sympathize with the Carol Avenue residents, but that they must enforce the law.

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