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Contentious Airmont Overnight Parking Hearing Continues Tonight

Airmont Village Hall
Airmont Village Hall Photo Credit: File photo

AIRMONT, N.Y. - A public hearing on changes to the overnight parking laws in Airmont will resume Tuesday night at the Crowne Plaza hotel.

The Board of Trustees are considering changes to overnight parking regulations in the village, specifically changing the current overnight parking hours of 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. to between 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. and prohibiting parking overnight on village streets year round. Currently overnight parking is only prohibited November through April.

Hundreds of residents attended the last meeting on June 20 to protest the changes, suggesting it targeted religious members of the community. 

Due to the large attendance, the meeting was deemed to be in violation of the fire code and was postponed. A larger venue was sought to accommodate everyone for the next meeting, Mayor Phil Gigante said.

According to Gigante, the changes will enhance safety for residents and will also increase the aesthetics of the village.

"Overall, it will improve the quality of life for all residents," Gigante said in an email. 

However, residents like Alan Straus disagree. 

“I think the only purpose that it serves is to inconvenience and harass people for whom moving their car on certain nights would be impossible,” Straus said, adding the changes pose a problem to all community members.

Straus, an attorney, has been a village resident since it incorporated. While he would not be directly affected by the changes, Straus feels the Board of Trustees have not presented any logical reasons to justify the changes, like emergency responders being unable to get down a street due to parked cars.

He referenced the federal civil rights lawsuit filed against Airmont in 1991 over discriminatory zoning practices intended to keep Orthodox Jewish members of the community from moving into the village.

Gigante previously dismissed the idea that the proposed changes target specific members of the community.

Tuesday's meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, located at 3 Executive Blvd. Also on the agenda is a proposal to establish a "do not knock" registry.

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