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Pelham Dispute Continues Over Parking on Carol Avenue

PELHAM, N.Y. – A resolution to enforce Pelham's overnight parking ban on Carol Avenue was tabled by the Village Board of Trustees on Tuesday night after a homeowner presented a document from a 1979 board meeting addressing the issue.

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.

Tuesday night, minutes from the Oct. 2, 1979 board meeting were given to the trustees by Carol Avenue homeowner Kathy Mattesi. The minutes detailed a discussion between board members and the mayor about whether Carol Avenue is a private street.

Mayor Ed Hotchkiss and the board agreed to look into the matter further and continue the discussion at the July 10 board meeting. Trustee Adam Kagan said the document was not clear and that the village, including the board, “should get a clear answer.”

“If it’s not clear to us and it’s not clear to them, we should make it clear,” said Kagan, who added that the board “should bear the responsibility” of looking into it. Hotchkiss said the 1979 document was not definitive and featured “one trustee who had an opinion.”

Hotchkiss ended the discussion by stating the board did not “like to disrupt people’s lives” and that “it’s not a goal.” He added the board feels empathy for the residents.

Mattesi promised to do more research before the next meeting.

The board tried to quell the Carol Avenue overnight parking dispute, which began at the May 9 board meeting , by talking to New York State legislators about alternatives. The mayor and board were told that there had to be a “compelling reason” for an exception to be made and that it probably would not pass through the state legislature.

Carol Avenue residents said they have parked their cars on the street overnight for decades in violation of village law but were never ticketed. That changed due to a dispute that was settled in December between the board and the Clovelly Homeowners Association when the board noticed that cars parked overnight on Carol Avenue were not being ticketed.

The board passed a resolution in December that names Hillside and Brookside avenues as public streets in order to avoid litigation from the Clovelly Homeowners Association , which was disputing that those avenues were private streets. They made an exception to the law and agreed to grant overnight parking permits to residents of that area.

However, residents on the east side of Carol Avenue were not granted permits and were issued warnings from the Pelham Police Department that they were violating the local overnight parking law.

The residents had been given until June 1, which was later extended to Sept. 1, to find other parking arrangements to avoid tickets. Tuesday night they were granted an extension until Oct. 1.

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