Edgemont has the opportunity to own and operate the Pipeline spots and the Bronx River Parkway Spots, which is more than enough for Edgemont Residents.
If Edgemont incorporates, our access to parking permits at the Hartsdale train will be unchanged, or even improved. In one scenario, Greenburgh and the parking district cooperate with Edgemont and the current parking space availability stays as is. In the alternative scenario, either based on good faith negotiations or based on a court’s ruling in 6 months, Edgemont will have and can sell more spaces than we currently require.
The Hartsdale Public Parking District manages four sites that have commuter parking spots:
Site A : The multilevel structure behind NYSC, Enrico’s, and Rite Aid
Site D : The gated parking area between the tracks and the Bronx River Parkway just south of Fenimore
Site E : The parking strip along the pipeline
Site F : The gated multilevel structure just north of the station/Starbucks.
Of those, Sites D and E reside within the borders of Edgemont and they constitute roughly 50% of the supply of commuter spots within the District. If the District were to deny parking spots to the residents of Edgemont (who constitute roughly 40% of the demand), Edgemont has a simple, statutory remedy: Under NY Village Law Section 2-258, entitled “Apportionment of property and obligations of a special district of a town upon the incorporation of a part in a village,” the village has the right to buy all of the land owned by the parking authority within the village boundaries (specifically the town must transfer the parking property for municipal purposes).
If the independent District discriminates against Village of Edgemont residents, Edgemont has the right to negotiate to buy the property owned by the District within Edgemont’s borders and thus acquire not only the spaces that cover our demand, but some 20% more. The price of the property is dictated by a formula based on the assessed valuation. If the Parking District is unwilling to negotiate with us for all of the spots within our borders after 6 months, the courts decide the price and the transfer must happen.
Do we know if the Hartsdale Public Parking District is a special district?
New York Village law section 2-258 governs the apportionment of property and obligations of a special district of a town upon the incorporation of part of the town into a village. The law specifically references “special district[s] established by the town for sewer, water, light, fire, park, health, police or any other special district for municipal purposes...” (emphases ours). Some in our community have questioned whether the Hartsdale Public Parking District may be considered a “special district for municipal purposes” within the meaning of New York Village Law section 2-258.
To address this question, we examined the original 1950 and 1952 enabling statutes for the Hartsdale Public Parking District (linked here) and the Town resolution itself (linked here). Chapter 402, section 6, of the enabling statute states that “any public parking district created pursuant to this act shall be deemed a parking district organized and created under the provisions of article twelve of the town law.”
New York Town Law, Article 12, section 190, in turn, states that “the town board of any town may establish or extend in said town a ... public parking ... improvement district...”
According to our research, the term used in Village law section 2-258 ("special district created by a town ... for municipal purposes") necessarily means the same thing as a "town improvement district" under Article 12 of the Town Law. See 1987 N.Y. Op. Atty. Gen. (Inf.) 121 (“a special district, also known as an improvement district, is a legal entity, separate and apart from the town or towns to whose citizens it renders the improvement. The district may encompass entire towns and villages, or only parts thereof. The purposes for which a special district may be established are set forth in section 190 of the Town Law, and include “sewer, drainage, water, water quality treatment, park, public parking, lighting, snow removal, water supply, sidewalk, a fallout shelter district or refuse and garbage district, aquatic plan control district ...”)
A 2007 research publication from the New York State Comptroller’s office entitled “Town Special Districts in New York,” provides further evidence that the terms “special district” and “improvement district” are synonymous. Click here for the document (using, interchangeably, the terms “special district,” “special improvement district,” and “improvement district”).