The planned arrival of new businesses in Rockville Centre has raised concerns amongst residents about the village's current parking situation.
Mayor Francis Murray announced earlier in February that the RKO twin theater on Sunrise Highway was finally coming down after more than seven years of vacancy and a restaurant called "Bonefish" was allegedly going in its place.
While some residents embraced the idea of a new restaurant occupying the empty space, others were skeptical of parking in the area, claiming that there is already a shortage of spots without the restaurant.
Murray said that the owner of the HSBC Bank property next to the RKO twin theater also owns the RKO property.
"He's tearing the building down and then the Bonefish corporation will build a building smaller than the one that's there," Murray said.
The mayor said that since the owner owns both properties, the lot behind the RKO -- which is normally bank parking only -- would now be used for both the bank and the restaurant. When the bank is closed, the restaurant would be able to use the entire lot.
"Prior to that, if anyone went in that lot at night, [they] got towed," Murray said. "I believe there's about 40 spots. Bonefish wouldn't come here if they didn't have parking, so they're going to have their own lot."
Murray also announced earlier in the month that Denny's and a northern Italian restaurant were both planned for the space formally occupied by Harmon Discount on Merrick Road.
"Zoning wise, it's a retail establishment, so they don't need parking," Murray said. "That being said, next door where TD Bank is, used to be a toy store and before that it was a supermarket. So those things were there and they had to share the parking.
"Parking is an issue in our village," he continued. "... This is retail area and I can't stop them by law."
Help, however, might be on the way. While Murray acknowledged that parking was a problem in the village, he also said that he and his staff were looking into ways to build a parking structure.
"We're trying to partner with the Long Island Rail Road," he said. "We're looking at two spots in Rockville Centre. If that's possible, they're going to pay for it."
The two spots the mayor referred to were behind the Rockville Centre Police Station and between N Village and N Centre Avenues on Washington Street and Front Street.