Floral Park considering residential parking permits in areas near UBS Arena

Originally published in The Island Now

The Floral Park Board of Trustees is considering including the village in proposed state legislation that would require residential parking permits, along with portions of Elmont and Bellerose Terrace.

Officials said the idea is to keep  UBS Arena patrons  from parking in nearby residential areas. The opening of the arena has led to traffic and noise complaints in surrounding areas.   

Since the public opening Nov. 20, the UBS Arena has been the home to the New York Islanders as well as hosting concerts, which will be held year-round outside of hockey season. Nearby residents have said that ever since November there have been issues with the venue.

At a December special board meeting of the Town of Hempstead, officials unanimously approved parking regulations on roads off Hempstead Turnpike including Locustwood Boulevard, and Heathcote, Huntley Sussex, Warwick and Wellington roads. In addition, 106th and 109th avenues and Fieldmere and Pine streets were included. Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin said that issues have worsened due to delays to the completion of the parking garage on Hempstead Turnpike, which should be finished in the spring. 

Floral Park may follow suit with a request to be included in proposed legislation, officials said.

The potential remedy, sponsored by state Sen. Anna Kaplan and Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, would institute residential parking permits for certain streets. Officials from Kaplan’s office said in order to pass a law creating a parking system in New York, there has to be an agreement between the municipalities and state. Once the bill is introduced, Floral Park, Bellerose Terrace and Elmont would pass a local law in the form of a home rule message, indicating their desires for proposed changes in order for anything to be passed and signed into law.   

Mayor Kevin  Fitzgerald of Floral Park said a special meeting may take place in the next three to five business days to pass the home rule message. 

He said Floral Park has been able to avoid these issues by keeping the Mayfair Avenue Gate closed, which maintains the quality of life for residents on the village’s West End. Future problems may occur, according to the mayor, when the Elmont LIRR station in Bellerose Terrace, unveiled in November, becomes fully functional in both directions.

“We haven’t seen the same problems as Elmont right now,” Fitzgerald said at Tuesday’s board meeting. “It is conceivable that patrons can park in Floral Park, take the train a few stops, and go to their event.” 

Fitzgerald said the parking system would incorporate a “large part of the village,” including the entire West End, portions of Plainfield Avenue, Ward Street and Jericho Turnpike, among others. Officials said they are working with state officials to add themselves alongside Bellerose Terrace and Elmont by the end of the month. 

Many residents thanked officials for being proactive.

Resident Michael Culatta said: “I think this proposal is a great idea; we definitely support it. I just wanted to thank the mayor and all the trustees for all the work you do to protect the quality of life in our village.”