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Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke’s Remarks on the Mayor’s Veto Of Hampden North Residential Permit Parking (RPP) Legislation

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I regret that the Mayor has pushed the “V”-button to veto neighborhood plans which protect against the congestion of additional traffic and parking as The Rotunda development draws ever closer to completion.

Mayoral advisors who caution “wait and see” have not experienced the months of construction disruption on these local streets, do not understand the implications of apartment rents which fail to include parking fees, and have not experienced how Rotunda structures already loom large over the two-story rowhouses of nearby perimeter streets, projecting the onslaught evolving.

Neighbors who met for months with the developers understand the growing impact of the 385 apartments being built, the multi-screen cinema in the works, and the multiple restaurants and retail outlets coming online.

In this third-in-a-row  of recent vetoes, customary rationales miss the mark. In its written reports to City Council, not a single City agency reported unfavorably on the Hampden North RPP legislation.  As for the familiar “rushed through” rationale, that hardly applies to legislation introduced in June 2014 and approved by City Council in February 2015, after a well attended committee hearing and two rounds of Council votes of approval.

From the community perspective, this legislation has been presented and discussed at general meetings of both the Hampden Community Council and the Hampden Village Merchants Association. All blocks included have been petitioned door-to-door by neighbors. Blocks without at least 60% approval have been amended out of the plan.

Although the apparent season for vetoes, this one is unique: it directly jeopardizes the quality of life for scores of City residents where they live.  These residents deserve a commitment now, from the Mayor and her Parking Authority director, to a quick turnaround of permit parking expansion once the traffic and parking congestion becomes evident to even the most dubious of advisors.    

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