November 27, 2021

Homer OKs parking changes

Time limits changed near Village Green and the post office

Todd R. McAdam/managing editor

Cathy Robinson of Homer returns to her car Tuesday after a three-minute errand at the post office in Homer. The village voted Tuesday to change parking in the village, including shorter-term parking in front of the post office.

Cathy Robinson paused Tuesday on Main Street in Homer before a three-minute errand inside the post office.

“Every day, I see people parked right there, where there’s a no-parking sign,” she said, pointing down the street.

Later in the day, the Homer Village Board passed two laws related to parking in the village. No residents spoke at public hearings on the ordinances.

The first change limits parking along the Village Green on Main Street to two hours to “alleviate some of the parking issues we’re having in our retail area,” said Mayor Darren “Hal” McCabe.

The law, approved unanimously, also creates 30-minute parking on Main Street from Central Park Place to James Street, in front of the First National Bank of Dryden and post office.

Those changes will be enforced during school hours.

“Right now, the bank is having to go out there and park cars in front of the bank until school starts, so that teachers aren’t parked in front of the bank all day,” McCabe said.

Robinson, of Homer, doesn’t mind a stroll from car to destination, but shorter-term parking near the spots where she’ll run a quick errand, like the post office, wouldn’t bother her. It would spread the convenience around, particularly as she talks about new restaurants, new apartments and other new developments.

“Homer is building up, and that’s great,” she said. “But where are people going to park?”

The other law, also passed unanimously, removed “no parking on school days” restrictions from South William Street, Meadow Drive and Bartlett Street near Homer Senior High School.

McCabe said law was put in place before the high school built a parking lot, so the restrictions are no longer needed.

As the village of Homer has grown, adding new businesses and housing in its downtown area, it has also experienced parking problems.

Ken Teter of Teter & Teter design consultants of Homer presented a parking study to the board in March that showed people can generally find a parking space, but with projects finishing and others planned, finding spaces could get harder.

Teter’s study of parking from the Center for the Arts and the American Legion to Clinton Street looked at the number of spaces, the regulations and local codes and peak hours of operations for businesses.

Homer village zoning requires retail stores to provide one parking space per 400 square feet of gross floor area, and two parking spaces per apartment. Teter told the board the village has 603 parking spaces between on-street parking, quasi-public and private parking areas and two village lots.

However, Homer Elementary School causes problems “because of their inadequate number of spaces,” he said.

During the day, 20 to 25 spaces — mainly along the Village Green, the north side of Cayuga Street opposite the Center of the Arts and along Central Park Place — are occupied by people associated with the school.

He recommended the board discuss with the Homer Central School District District increasing on-site parking. District Super intendant Thomas Turck could not be reached this morning.