Village to extend lease for parking area near Massena Fire Station | St. Lawrence County

MASSENA — The village board of trustees plans to extend the lease for a parking area near the Massena Fire Station, behind the former Clopman’s furniture store.

The lease is set to expire on May 31.

Beverly J. Welsch, chair of the village Planning Board, sent a memo to village trustees about the current situation with the lot.

“At the Village of Massena Planning Board meeting and the subdivision public hearing for Clark Real Estate Holdings LLC (old Clopman’s Building) held on February 23, 2022, there was discussion regarding the expiration of the current Parking Lot Lease Agreement as well as the impact of subdividing one of the properties involved in that agreement. That property has already been awarded an area variance to be able to create a parcel with no street frontage, with the discussion of the ramifications of actually doing so being handled by the Planning Board,” she wrote.

She said there are potential issues with the subdivision, including the expiration of the current lease agreement.

“The current agreement does not bind future property owners in the event of a sale, nor does it guarantee that there is access for these properties going forward,” Ms. Welsch wrote. “The creation of this new parcel via subdivision could pose future hardships for that new landlocked parcel if there is no continuation of that agreement or other such arrangement ensuring legal access to the property.”

In addition, she said that “other affected business owners have rear entries that they use for loading and unloading of materials that without ensuring access, could disrupt their business as well as travel down Andrews Street and Main Street in the event of a failure of the current agreement. Fire access is also required.”

The Planning Board approved the subdivision with conditions, but requested trustees “consider this situation and the best potential course of resolution.”

“It would be in the public’s best interest to find some solution that permanently ensures uninterrupted business in that area. If the existing agreement is renewed, the village access area should be extended behind all the buildings. We also realize with the Downtown Revitalization Grant in the works that it could affect some of these buildings that may not have been involved in the original parking agreements and addressing the issue now would avoid future questions/conflicts,” Ms. Welsch said.

Mayor Gregory M. Paquin said that despite the subdivision, the village would still have right-of-way access for fire vehicles, as well as public parking availability.

“We would still have right of way access for fire, so nothing would happen in that regard. They were wondering if we were OK with that. I see no problem with that. The other thing is the lease is set to expire, so we need to reengage in that lease where in essence anybody can use that parking lot, and obviously patrons of those businesses and such,” he told trustees.

As part of the lease agreement, the village agrees to maintain the parking lot, including plowing and any repairs.

“I think the reason why we maintain it is because it then becomes public parking. I really think with the DRI, any public parking that we get is a good thing,” Mr. Paquin said.

Trustees will be asked to approve a resolution extending the lease agreement when they meet on Tuesday.

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