HBPOA received many of the over 200 letters that the Commissioners received (links on the Hot Topic Parking Page). We found these to be well thought out, well-written responses from the citizens and taxpayers to the Town government and Staff about what the community envisions for parking in the future. HBPOA read the feedback and summarized the most common points. The following was sent to the Parking Committee and the Commissioners. If you have comments as always please contact us! Our email is HBPOA@hotmail.com.
After the HBPOA notified property owners about the Town’s plans to build new public parking lots, over 200 letters and emails were submitted. These comments provide a very comprehensive view of what property owners want and don’t want with regards to public parking. After reviewing this feedback, here is our summary:
- Protect the unique character and beauty of the island (don’t ruin paradise to create parking).
- Don’t overly burden property owners in an effort to accommodate day-visitors.
- Recognize we won’t always be able to provide a sufficient number of parking spaces to meet future demand.
- No new small “pocket” parking lots in residential neighborhoods next to or across from homes and spread out such that visitors have to drive all over the island looking for a spot.
- No right-of-way parking in property owner yards or adjacent to residential property.
- Any new public parking should be:
– Close to public beach accessways
– Close to permanent public restrooms (not porta-potties)
– On land zoned for commercial businesses who could benefit from the visitors (and vice versa)
– Centralized as much as possible to minimize traffic congestion and improve safety.
- Public parking should pay for itself and not be a financial burden on the property owners:
– Paid parking should be implemented to help cover the cost of the additional services needed as the result of day-visitors (e.g., police, garbage collection, bathroom cleaning, etc.)
– Any land purchased for new parking lots should be cost neutral (i.e., the parking revenues should pay for the purchase cost within a reasonable period of time).
- Start planning now for what we will do when the public parking spaces on the island are all full:
– Determine how many spaces we plan to have on the island for public parking (i.e., what is our total capacity goal)
– Determine how we will know when all these spaces are full so we can notify day-visitors before they come on the island that there is no place for them to park
– Engage the County regarding off-island parking/shuttle service solutions, since it is predominantly County residents who are the day-visitors coming to the island.
The HBPOA, as a representative of the property owners, will support plans that achieve these objectives.