Just over three months after the Board heard public feedback on a proposed law to limit street parking on sections of Orient Village streets last week.
Members of the approached board members after the February fire, which destroyed a garage and much of the house at 600 Major Pond Road in Orient, suggesting that they change a law to eliminate parking on the west side of Village Lane at a point 50 feet north of the northerly curb of Orchard Street extending to the terminus of Village Lane at the intersection with King Street and on the south side of King Street from Village Lane to Willow Terrace Lane.
Willow Terrace Lane is the narrow entry point to Major Pond Road, where a family escaped unharmed after the February fire — a fire which became difficult to control due to windy conditions and water problems. Members of the Orient Fire Department and residents of Orient debated the proposal at a town board meeting last Tuesday.
“The road is narrow there, and all we need is one car coming the other direction and a truck cannot get through with parking on both sides,” said Andy Ruroede of the Orient Fire Department. “I’m not too concerned which side has no parking as long as we eliminate one side.”
Several residents spoke against the proposal all together, saying that parking should remain on both sides because several homes on that strip have no garages and many of those buildings are rentals, and parking helps business.
“This proposal seems to be a solution in search of a problem,” said resident John Henry.
Orient resident Erica Klein said that she’s never seen a problem associated with parking in those areas in her 20 years of living in the neighborhood. Ellen McNeilly said that she thought the proposal was “overkill” in a village where only about 10 fire department calls per year out of about 80 are fire-related.
“About 80 percent of the calls out of 80 require an ambulance, not a truck,” she said.
The board defeated the proposal after the hearing, but Supervisor Scott Russell said he had no reason to doubt the concerns of the fire department.
“This is a problem that needs to be resolved,” he said. “I’ve heard some good suggestions tonight — we need to sit down with the fire commissioners and residents and address all concerns.”