Proposal to expand the Talmadge Hill Parking Lot
On September 7, 2000 the Parking Commission recommended to the Board of Selectmen that the Talmadge Hill Parking Lot be expanded to the maximum extent possible for New Canaan permit parking, consistent with reasonable accommodation with neighboring property owners. This was not a new proposal. The Town of New Canaan acquired the one acre property adjacent to the current Talmadge Hill Parking Lot in 1989 to build additional commuter parking.
The Board of Selectmen approved our September 7, 2000 proposal. A new plan was developed to comply with current rules. The new plan was submitted to the Environmental and Planning and Zoning Commissions who approved the plan, with minor revision, which now would create 49 new parking spaces. Recently, the controversy over the School Buses has side-tracked the proposal but we want to get it back on track.
There is a commuter and commercial parking shortage in New Canaan. All of the town parking lots, whether commuter or commercial, are desperately needed. Unless that situation changes, under almost no circumstances should the Town ever accept any proposal that eliminates or degrades any town parking lot or the off or on-street parking within the Magic Circle. For the Talmadge Hill Parking Lot in particular, there is currently a waiting list of over 165 people. These people deserve your support. The expansion is critical and if we can obtain more land from the State for commuter parking at Talmadge Hill, we have enough people on the waiting list to fill those lots too.
It should be noted that there are long waiting lists for all the New Canaan commuter permit parking lots. If we can provide more commuter permits spots, then we can get some cars out of the town supermarkets, gas stations, etc. so these spaces can be available for town commercial parking. Accordingly, there is a demonstrated immediate need for the additional parking spaces that would be created by the proposed expansion. Please note that expanding the Talmadge Hill Parking Lot will generate additional permit revenue and would pay for itself.
The Parking Commission is opposed to the idea of putting school buses at Talmadge Hill. In our view, this is unnecessary and would be expensive and could lead to dangerous traffic and congestion. Our fundamental objection, however, is that the town cannot afford to give up any opportunity to increase commuter parking.
The Parking Commission hereby formally proposes that the current plan to expand the Talmadge Hill Parking Lot be immediately approved and put out to bid.
Respectfully submitted to the Board of Selectmen by the unanimous vote of the Town of New Canaan Parking Commission. June 8, 2005