Nightmare (Parking) on Elm Street (and Locust Street)

Elm Street and Locust Street are two streets that connect the commercial Lexington Avenue with the residential West Street. Elm Street and Locust Street both have commercial and residential zones. They are narrow streets with hills that create blind spots for drivers. For safety purposes, parking is banned on both streets. Both streets, however, have zoning issues and safety problems caused by the land owners.

On Elm Street, there are numerous trucks parked in front of garages. It is unknown if this truck storage is part of the property’s site plan. The problem is worse on Locust Street where landowners have created parking lots on what may be the Village’s right-of-way.

There are three properties on the north side of Locust Avenue. These properties are 325 Lexington, 15 Locust Street and 112 West Street. All three properties have oversized parking areas that, in some form, existed before the Village of Mount Kisco passed zoning laws on December 18, 1989 restricting the size and location of driveways. Hereafter, this article will refer to these as the “1989 Zoning Laws.”

112 West Street has a driveway over 35 feet wide (nearly twice the size allowed). This non-conforming driveway was documented by the Village of Mount Kisco before the 1989 Zoning Laws.

15 Locust Street has a 33 foot parking area that is larger than the 1989 Zoning Laws allow and 6 feet wider than documented in Village records for the property before the 1989 Zoning Laws. 15 Locust Street also has a driveway that is not allowed under the 1989 Zoning Laws and not documented by the Village before the 1989 Zoning Laws. The current residents, as documented by the picture below are trying to expand the driveway by driving on and parking on previously unpaved surfaces.

325 Lexington has a recently repaved 44 foot wide parking area that is wider than currently allowed and approximately 6 feet bigger than Village records before the 1989 Zoning Laws and appears bigger than a recent picture on Google Maps. 325 Lexington is reported to have at least six dwelling units.

These oversized driveways / parking lots, which may be squarely on the Village’s right of way, allows landlords to rent their apartments to more residents than the property can handle. It is reported that 325 Lexington Avenue and 15 Locust Street are owned by entities that are managed and affiliated with Planning Board Chairman Joseph Cosentino.

At a recent Village Board meeting, Deputy Mayor Pete DiChiara suggested that the Village should make the landlords eliminate these parking areas if the cars are parking on the Village’s right of way on Locust Avenue and, at a minimum, require the landlords to eliminate the extra parking and driveways not documented by the Village’s current records. This will be an effective way to manage an overcrowded street that can not support the current number of residents. Unfortunately, the suggestion was not enthusiastically supported by the other Village Board members and it is unlikely that Mount Kisco’s Building Inspector will take the initiative on this matter.

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