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Residents cite lack of parking

Residents of a popular senior housing complex in the Town of Tonawanda brought their campaign for more parking particularly for caregivers -- to the Town Board on Monday.

"The problem at Brighton Square is lack of parking," said Judi Klarowski of Thorncliff Road, whose former husband lives in the 153-unit complex along Fries Road. "We need about 20 more parking places."

One hundred-twenty residents of the complex, which opened about a year ago on the site of the former Brighton Elementary School, signed petitions that were presented to lawmakers.

Designed for people age 60 and older who can live independently, the complex has a row of single-car garages and 132 parking spaces.

On-street parking by tenants was among the concerns raised by nearby homeowners during the planning process.

Many residents who have spent time in the hospital need backup care when they return home, Klarowski said. That includes physical therapists and family.

"Lack of parking discourages people from taking care of their relatives," she said.

While the developer -- Affordable Senior Housing Opportunities of Western New York -- met parking requirements for senior housing, "I think we are all on board; you guys do need more parking," said Councilman John A. Bargnesi Jr.

"What I really don't understand -- why are you here? Nobody has applied for parking," Bargnesi said.

Further, the Town Board doesn't have the authority to make Clover Management, which oversees the site, apply for parking, Bargnesi added.

Lack of parking wasn't the only complaint.

"The lighting on Fries Road is terrible," said Marie Serio, who lives in the complex. "When you come in at night, it is dreadful, it is fearful. I'm actually afraid to park."

Councilman Joseph H. Emminger said: "There is a process for that."

Emminger explained that more than 50 percent of property owners on the street would need to agree on street lighting.