Owners of new rental properties in the Village of Saugerties will be required to provide three off-street parking spaces for each two apartments in the building. The existing law called for one-and-a-half spaces for each two apartments, so the amended law doubles the parking requirement. The law would apply only to new apartment buildings; it would not change the requirements for existing buildings, code compliance officer Eyal Saad said.
In its review of the proposed law, the Ulster County Planning Board (UCPB) stated that the requirement of three spaces for each two apartments is a reasonable standard. However, the County noted that the law does not specify whether it covers commercial buildings as well as apartments, nor that it applies only to new construction. The UCPB also recommended that the proposed law not be applied outright, but after a study of parking in the Village, including municipal lots, is undertaken with the involvement of the Village Planning Board. The review should cover the use of waivers and possible payment in lieu of spaces to enable the village to expand its parking lots.
In response to a question from trustee Jeff Helmuth, Saad explained that the Village does not have a parking requirement for commercial buildings; the law applies only to residential buildings. Helmuth pointed out that the proposed amendment does not specify that it applies only to residential buildings. Saad replied that the only change is in the number of apartments required in new residential buildings in the B1 (business) zone.
In order to override the County recommendation, the Board needed a two-thirds majority. The vote to override was unanimous, as was the vote for the zoning change.