Hartsdale Parking Metro North

 

Summary of 2005 EVEC Report on Metro North Parking (Page 15)

“WOULD EDGEMONT RESIDENTS CONTINUE TO HAVE ACCESS TO PARKING AT THE HARTSDALE TRAIN STATION?

Incorporation of Edgemont as a Village could affect the rights of Edgemont residents to purchase parking permits at the Hartsdale Train Station and could also affect the amount of money the Hartsdale Parking District may charge for such permits.

Under the relevant law, residents of the unincorporated areas of Greenburgh, including Edgemont, have the right to obtain monthly parking permits on a first-come, first served basis at the Hartsdale Train Station.  The relevant provisions governing the Hartsdale Parking District, which controls the parking spaces, grant that right to residents of unincorporated Greenburgh only.  Upon incorporation, the residents of Edgemont would no longer have that status.

If Edgemont were to incorporate, however, the District would also be impacted. Under the relevant law, the Village of Edgemont would have the right to a proportionate share of the assets and liabilities of the District…Ultimately, the issue of parking permits for Edgemont residents, the rates charged for them, and the nature of the relationship between the District and the Village of Edgemont, given Edgemont’s apportionment rights, would be subject to negotiation.”

Moveover, the legal status of a district is far from clear, and Contrary to the EIC claims, the ability to park at the Hartsdale train station will change if Edgemont becomes a Village.

The Hartsdale Parking District is solely user supported, and receives no town funds

The Hartsdale Parking District, a district governed by the Board of Commissioners, is solely user supported.  The property of the Parking District consists of parcels conveyed to the Parking District by the Town, Penn Central, and local property owners.  The Parking District does not benefit from any town services, tax revenues or parking violation fines.

“Special Districts” have been defined as funded by town assessments.  The Hartsdale Parking District does not meet this requirement.

While the Parking District has been variously referred to as a “special district” and a “special improvement district” (terms that are not synonymous) and thus subject to particular New York State statutes, the status of the Parking District remains unclear.  There are various kinds of “special districts” and “special improvement districts”, with varying definitions.  According to New York State[1], special districts as defined under the Legal Framework for Providing Local Government Services have three features in common:

1) it is located in a defined geographic area or “district” within a municipality or more than one municipality;

2) it serves as a funding vehicle and operational means by which certain public improvements and/or services are provided to benefit the inhabitants of the district; and

3) real property within the district is subject to a “special” levy or assessment to finance the “special” improvement.

The Parking District does not meet that third requirement. 

If the Hartsdale Parking District is a Special District under Town Law, Edgemont would have to pay for the land- and the amount is likely to be the subject of litigation.

The EIC’s reassurances that the Parking District must provide spaces to a Village of Edgemont is based on New York State Town Law Section 2-258.  Although promised in August 2016, the EIC has not yet provided a legal opinion to support its conclusion that the Parking District is a special district within the meaning of that statute.   If the application of the statute to the Parking District were so clear, obtaining a supporting opinion should not take more than nine months.

NYS Town Law Section 2-258 contemplates the standard special district meeting the three part definition, such as a water or sewer district. Even supposing that the EIC is correct and the statute applies, under Section 2-258 the Village of Edgemont has to assume its proportionate share of the underlying bond on the property.  However, as the EIC has also acknowledged, the Village of Edgemont would have to purchase the land from the Parking District.  Section 2-258 contemplates litigation if there is a disagreement on the terms. While the EIC suggests litigation will be avoided because the statute has a formula for the division, the statute anticipates litigation on the application of that formula.  Indeed, it is even unclear how much “Edgemont Village land” falls within the Parking District.  Further, the statutory formula applies to apportionment.  There is no “formula” in the statute for determining how to value the land if it needs to be purchased by the Edgemont Village. 

The Hartsdale Parking District has more requests for spots than it can fulfill

            The EIC claims that the Village of Edgemont will be in a favorable negotiating position with respect to obtaining parking spaces in the Parking District.  However, the Parking District currently has a waiting list for its spaces.  The EIC’s conclusion that the Parking District needs Edgemont residents is not based on any hard information.

[1] “Special District Defined”, Legislative Commission on State-Local Relations, 06/2009.