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Mayor Murray Addresses Parking Concerns with New Businesses

Rockville Centre Mayor discusses RKO parking, potential new structure.

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.

A.F. February 19, 2013 at 04:36 PM
The parking is already out of control downtown. That said, it does no one any good to have empty storefronts there...a "parking structure" means parking garage in normal speaking, why the euphemism? Is it because there is sure is to be opposition to such a structure?
Eric February 19, 2013 at 05:07 PM
In the past the village and the LIRR have tried to work together to build a parking structure, If I remember right, if the LIRR builds a structure on one of the village lots it will be open to all who use the LIRR, not just RVC residents thus not necessarily solving the village problem but possibly compounding it.
Merrick7 February 19, 2013 at 07:07 PM
The Babylon Line desperately needs a parking garage like the one built in Mineola. If we are honest the only train station on the Babylon Line, with a downtown as a destination is RVC, for Nassau County. What RVC village has nto mentioned is if the MTA builds the parking garage, RVC cannot make the lot village resident only and they cannot issue parking stickers for the structures. It will be like Mineola's, where a private company runs the garage and the MTA and the village get a portion of the fees, but anyone can park there. Merrick and Bellmore can stop worrying about too many people parking in their parking lots.
joe thrapp February 22, 2013 at 01:51 AM
I guess it doesn't matter that the 90 % of the time Mayor is almost right. ," 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." In this instance the current owner of 330 and 340 Sunrise Avenue are required to have 61 parking spots according to the RVC Zoning code. If Bonehead comes to 340 Sunrise highway according to the RVC zoning code, patrons can park in the municipal parking fields with no restrictions. Today 330/340 retail space are required to have 61 spot, when Bonehead comes to 340 we loss 37 required spots. The Mayor’s almost right, "Parking is an issue in our village," he continued. "... This is retail area and I can't stop them by law." The RVC Zoning code states retail stores have required parking. He can’t require Restaurant’s and Fast food places to have required parking where they abut municipal parking. He could enforce parking restrictions on retail establishments. I know let’s build a parking garage, invite everyone on long island to park here and continue giving restaurants unlimited access to park in Municipal parking fields that abut their property, or enforce parking restrictions on retail establishments or change the RVC Zoning code to solve a problem and not create a bigger one. The almost 90% right Mayor needs a lot of help.He cannot be a hero by creating more parking issues in the village under the disguise of a parking garage solution.
joe thrapp March 05, 2013 at 02:11 PM
Once again the almost 90 percent right Mayor strikes again misleading the residents. Tonight At 7:30 PM at the Village Hall there will be a Zoning board hearing. Now don't be surprised the Mayor says,"He's tearing the building down and then the Bonefish corporation will build a building smaller than the one that's there," . Now the real story, the Bonehead restaurant is applying for a variance to build a LARGER building than the present MOVIE THEATER. Read Below. Case No. 09-2013 - 340 Sunrise Highway LLC – to construct a new building for a restaurant of 5,400 sq. ft. with a 2 foot 5 inch setback on Sunrise Highway and -0- foot setback on Morris Avenue on a corner plot where a setback of at least 10 feet from the property line on both street frontages are required within a Business A district. Premises known as 340 Sunrise Highway Do you believe this guy. He misleads the residents on the building size, he misleads the public on the public zoning parking code difference between fast foods,Restaurants and retail space. WE WILL LOSE 37 required RETAIL parking spots at 340 Sunrise. He supports opening Bonehead to add to the parking crisis. Now Bonehead will have no parking requirements and will have unlimited access to public parking. The almost 90% right Mayor will do anything for business at the expense of the residents. Please flood the meeting tonight if you believe this Bonehead project is BAD for RVC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
joe thrapp March 05, 2013 at 02:28 PM
ATTENTION:: MISPRINT THE ZONING BOARD HEARING ON BONEHEAD 340 SUNRISE HIGHWAY IS TOMORROW WEDNESDAY MARCH 6, 7:30 PM AT THE VILLAGE HALL.
Resident March 05, 2013 at 09:12 PM
Denny's in Rockville Centre! I didn't realize we were becoming Hempstead.

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