Bel Air town officials have been working to simplify the rate structure for parking leases in the municipal garage and downtown surface lots.
As a result, it will soon cost a little less to rent spaces by the month and for the year; however, bulk discounts for individuals and businesses that rented several spaces will be eliminated.
Ordinance 782-17, which had a public hearing Monday evening and was enacted by the Board of Town Commissioners, sets a new rate of $420 per year – or a monthly rate of $35 – for each space leased in the parking garage, the town owned parking lots off Thomas Street near Bond Street and off Lee Street and the parking spaces along Lee Street between Main and Bond streets.
The current rates for those locations have been $600 a year – or $50 per month; however, there also have been discounts: $540 per year per space for people or entities leasing three to 10 spaces and $360 per year for those leasing 11 or more spaces.
The ordinance also sets a new rate of $300 per year – or $25 per month – per space on the parking lot east of Hickory Avenue off Pennsylvania Avenue. Current rates for that lot had been $540 per year – or $45 monthly, with discounts of $360 annually for those leasing three to seven spaces, and $300 annually for those leasing eight or more spaces.
Existing metered rates of 50 cents hourly at the parking garage, along streets and in metered lots will not change. Also unchanged is a $3 voucher available for eight hours of parking in the garage, along Lee Street, on Alice Anne Street and at metered spaces in the Hickory lot.
The ordinance states the Town Board wanted to amend the existing code "to create a flat rate for parking in municipal lots in place of the current graduated rate system."
Even though the ordinance "will impact a lot of people," town Director of Administration Michael Krantz said there has not been any public comment about the changes.
"The flat rate will be easier for everyone to keep track of," said Krantz, who also said the elimination of a "multi-tiered" rate structure "has got to be less complicated."
The new rate structure takes effect Jan. 1, 2018, Krantz said Tuesday morning.