When the City Council approved a zoning amendment barring residents from new residential developments from getting city parking permits if the developer requested relief from the parking requirements, it also prevented those residents from getting city visitor parking passes.
At Monday night’s meeting, Council President Roy Avellaneda presented an order to change the zoning amendment so those residents will be eligible for the visitor parking pass program. The proposal still needs to go to subcommittee and the planning board for a recommendation before coming back for a public hearing before the council.
“In talking to some residents, I think there might have been a mistake, at least on my part,” said Avellaneda.
He said he was fully in support of making sure anyone who got a special permit because they did not meet the ordinance requirements for parking spots could not take part in the city parking program.
“You want to build your building or you want to convert this building to be residential or whatever it might be, and not provide off-street parking, that’s fine,” Avellaneda said. “You say you’re not going to need parking on the street, that’s fine, but, your residents are not going to be able to participate in the resident parking sticker program.”
But what Avellaneda said he did not know at the time was that the residents would not be able to get visitor parking passes.
“I didn’t think that would stop your mother from visiting you or anything like that,” said Avellaneda. “The visitor program is underneath the residential program, it’s all one. So I thought I want to bring this to my colleagues; I don’t think we were trying to be cruel and unfair to everybody and not allow people to have visitors.”
Avellaneda said he also checked with the city parking clerk to make sure the visitor passes couldn’t be used by residents to circumvent the parking program
“I feel fine going forward and trying to make this amendment, and that’s what this does, it basically says if you have a new building that comes along, no, you cannot participate in the resident sticker program, but your residents can still have a visitor,” Avellaneda said.
District 6 Councilor Giovanni Recupero said he supported Avellaneda’s motion, and would also like to see the city explore a program like one in East Boston where a street or part of a street is set aside on weekend nights for visitor parking spaces. Councilor-At-Large Damali Vidor said she also supported the motion, noting that it was a blind spot that the council did not notice at the time that the residents would not be able to get visitor passes.