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Legal Issues Hold Up Borough Valet Parking Proposal

The Newtown Borough Council will utilize its third meeting of the month, which is held on an as-needed basis, to finalize details on the valet parking proposal. That meeting is scheduled for Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.

The Newtown Borough Council will hold another meeting next week to iron out the final details on a proposal to bring valet parking to State Street in time for the holiday season.

The concept, first proposed last week and addressed again Tuesday evening, seeks to alleviate a problematic parking situation on State Street.

General Manager Erica Darragh, who is spearheading the effort, came before council Tuesday seeking to finalize the necessary permissions to get valet parking started as soon as possible.  She said she wants valet parking to begin in the coming weeks so shoppers can take full advantage of the service during the holiday season.

However, some outstanding legal issues, including contracts between a responsible party and the valet company, should be addressed prior to council approval, Borough Solicitor Paul Cohen explained. Cohen added council also needs more information on the attendant’s kiosk that will be required to hold keys as well as the signage needed to notify patrons.

The proposal seeks to utilize 40 spaces at the Centre Avenue lot behind the Wine and Spirits Shoppe for valet parking. Darragh said the service would come at no cost to the borough or its merchants. Patrons who wish to utilize the valet service would be charged $7 to park for the day. The service is being proposed for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Darragh expressed frustration that the proposal couldn’t be approved Tuesday. She said she believed she did the necessary legwork prior to the meeting to have the proposal approved this week.

“We understand your concern to do this quickly but we want to make sure that everything is done correctly under the law,” Council President Julia Woldorf said.

Borough Council will utilize its third meeting of the month, which is always scheduled but typically held on an as-needed basis, to discuss the topic of valet parking.

That meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. at Borough Hall.

Michelle September 15, 2011 at 10:43 AM
What a shame. Parking is tight enough in Newtown Borough and now they're going to "reserve" 40 vital spaces for valet parking? For $7 a day? And the Borough gets nothing from it? The tightened parking will keep shoppers away not entice them to Newtown for holiday shopping.
Erica Darragh September 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM
Currently that parking lot is not being used at all. The idea behind offering valet parking 3 days a week is to improve traffic flow and to free up parking on main streets. This will allow shoppers to shop longer than 2 to 3 hours without worrying about receiving a $25 ticket. I dont see the downfall?
Hmmmm September 18, 2011 at 12:35 PM
How about some extra signs on Sycamore pointing to the "unused" parking lot and we call it a day?
Becky Betz September 18, 2011 at 03:03 PM
Sorry to correct you, Erica, but that lot is being used daily by up to 50 employees of borough shops I like the idea of valet parking, but would like it better if you found somewhere else to park the cars. Please suggest to the valet company that they contact Allen Smith about using the old Stockburger showroom lot, it would be easier to get in and out of than the 10 Centre lot.
Erica Darragh September 18, 2011 at 07:45 PM
I believe the stockburger lot is being opened for permit parking. I have been looking into other areas as well. If you would like to assist me in finding locations, I would appreciate the help. You can reach me at The Temperance House at 215-860-9975. This proposal is for a 4 month trial (through the holidays). If we find it doesnt work or help with traffic and parking, then we cease the project.
Mari September 23, 2011 at 09:30 PM
This is too logical for the Boro! :)

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