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Waterbury-Lasalle Residents Lobby For Parking

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Residents of Waterbury-LaSalle are beginning to get fed-up with the lack of parking.

The Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association tackled the issue head-on at its most recent meeting on Thursday, April 14.

The association invited Juton Horstman, Community Board 10 liaison for the Department of City Planning, and presented him with a petition signed by over 1,000 residents expressing their dissatisfaction with parking and zoning in the area.

A proposal was made, stating that “whenever a corner end of a block or an irregular lot is put on the market for sale…the city should have the first right of refusal to acquire it as a parking lot for the community or as a green space.”

The association’s proposal also included zoning amendments, such as minimum spaces between buildings, limiting the size of new buildings and requiring a one-to-one housing unit to street parking spot ratio.

The northeast Bronx already has more space between buildings and parking spaces than most areas of New York City, but considering it has much less options in terms of public transportation, cars are a necessity.

“This area of the city has more required parking than any other area of the city,” Horstman said. “There is no easy answer to this. We can’t require five parking spaces for a home because then there would be no room for a home.”

Anita Valenti of the Pelham Bay Homeowners Association presented Hortsman with the petition. She encouraged everyone at the meeting to keep the pressure on the city until the parking issue is addressed.

“I think we should all get on the phone and complain,” Valenti said. “This community wants a moratorium on any more building until we get a parking lot.”

City Planning will give the Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association a written response to its petition. As for the desire for a parking lot, it plans to refer the association to the city Department of Transportation.

In 2004, the agency mapped Waterbury-LaSalle as a Lower Density Growth Management Area, which was supposed to require parking and open spaces in any new development.

Residents of the area, however, feel that more needs to be done. Tony Canatta, president of the association, said the re-zoning, or “down-zoning,” has been on the table for at least the past six years.

“We don’t want any bigger buildings and we want parking space for everyone,” Canatta said.

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