December 17, 2012
Attending: John Kincart, John Savoca, John Flynn, Ann Kutter, Darlene Rivera, Richard Fon
The sole item on the agenda was a discussion of the proposed changes to the zoning code regarding changes to the parking requirements for the JV Mall and other commercial zones. The Town Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed changes on Tuesday, December 18.
Representatives of Simon Properties discussed the findings of a parking study that was conducted at the mall on Saturday, December 1, 2012.
Parking: Of the existing 2,917 spaces, the mall experienced its peak usage of 1,387 cars at 2:30 pm which calculates out to 2.98 spaces per gross leasable area (GLA), or to 3.28 spaces per GLA if a 10% growth factor is added in. The proposed parking requirement is 4.25 spaces per GLA and would result in a loss of 575 spaces.
The mall currently has 551,000 of GLA (this includes the kiosks and the food court). Future expansion plans that keep to the 4.25 spaces per GLA call for a possible addition of a maximum of 50,000-60,000 square feet.
The Board was comfortable with the proposed new requirement.
Landscaping: The Board was comfortable with the 1 tree per 12 parking spaces requirement as a bare minimum in order to provide shade and create a canopy effect. The Board would like to see additional language requiring additional landscaping that would be reviewed as part of the site plan approval process.
Other site plan considerations: At the suggestion of Ms. Kutter, the Board would like to see language added related to pedestrian amenities, including bike paths and sidewalks that would connect the parking lot to the stores.
Berm: Although not part of the proposed amendments, there was a brief discussion about the berm along Route 6. According to Planning Director Tegeder, itís the trees, not the berm, that blocks the view of the stores and he suggested that the trees could be replaced with other landscaping.
Movie theater: Mall representatives indicated that at this time they were not hopeful that Simon could attract another movie tenant to the vacant space and that their current thinking for the future use of the space called for more retail and restaurants.
Parking requirement for other commercial zones
Much of this discussion focused on parking difficulties at the Turcos during certain days. According to Planning Director Tegeder, the existing ratio at the site is 3.87 spaces per 1,000 square feet. The proposed amendment calls for 4 spaces per thousand, down from 5 per thousand, a change the Board felt comfortable with. Representatives of the JV Mall explained that food stores typically require more parking spaces that shopping malls.