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City Hall notebook — parking, landmark, redevelopment project

A few odds and ends from Tuesday's Common Council committee meetings:

Parking restrictions

HELFER_headshot--The city will try to clarify its "confusing" rules related to parking in front parking meters on federal holidays, Parking Commissioner Kevin Helfer told the Legislation Committee.

Currently, city law explicitly allows free parking at some meters, but just in the downtown business district. However, the practice has been to allow free parking at all meters in the city on six federal holidays, said Helfer (pictured at left; photo by Charles Lewis/Buffalo News).

"To me, it makes sense to get rid of that confusion," he said.

Helfer was invited to the committee's meeting to talk about a proposal to relax parking restrictions on some residential streets on 10 federal holidays.

As far as that proposal, Helfer said his concern would be its impact on snow removal and the ability for emergency vehicles to maneuver.

North Council Member Joseph Golombek Jr. agreed with Helfer, and noted he would not favor waiving any of the parking rules because of his concerns about emergency vehicles.

Golombek_headshotRelaxing some restrictions on alternate-side parking could open the city up to lawsuits if there are delays for emergency responders due to vehicles parked on both sides of a street, said Golombek (pictured at left; photo by Derek Gee/Buffalo News).

Listen to Golombek's complete comments:

Delaware Council Member Michael J. LoCurto noted, however, that parking is already allowed on some residential streets after 4 p.m. and on weekends.

The committee did not act on LoCurto's proposal.

Landmarking a former library

--The same panel of lawmakers also did not move forward a proposal to make the former Fairfield Library a local landmark.

The Parkside Community Association recently voted to oppose granting that designation to the Amherst Street building, said Ben Johnson, the group's executive director.

Making it a landmark would not be the fastest way to preserve the building, said Johnson, adding he doesn't believe the city would have the capacity to quickly stabilize the property.

Two proposals for development of the site have been recently outlined.

Our Lady of Lourdes/St. Paul Mall proposal

Residents interested in discussing a proposal by Ellicott Development regarding the proposed redevelopment of a parcel on Main Street between Best and East North streets are invited to the committee's next meeting at 2 p.m. March 27.

Ellicott Development CEO Bill Paladino talked about the project Tuesday.


--The Legislation Committee also passed the "commingling" proposal.

--Aaron Besecker
Follow me on Twitter: @BeseckerBN


City of Buffalo | Common Council | Joseph Golombek | Michael LoCurto
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Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

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Tom Precious

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Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

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