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The Dripby Danielle Sweeney6:28 pmFeb 9, 20150

Council OK’s controversial Hampden parking bill

RPP plan that got thumbs down by Hampden’s merchants and community associations wins final Council approval

As anticipated, the North Hampden residential permit parking bill, sponsored by Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, passed the City Council tonight with 9 members voting yes, 3 no and 3 abstentions.

The controversial RPP zone had been opposed by the Hampden Community Council and  Hampden Village Merchants Association, yet it won initial approval from the City Council last week.

Several observers commented on the habit of Council members to support unpopular bills out of “courtesy” to their colleagues.

This week’s vote essentially mirrored the first. Neither Clarke nor other council members offered additional comment.

Elm Avenue next to the expanded Rotunda mall and apartment complex. (Photo by Mark Reutter)

Elm Avenue next to the expanded Rotunda mall and apartment complex. (Photo by Mark Reutter)

Clarke sponsored the bill because she said some longtime residents feared the renovated and expanded Rotunda development along 40th Street and Elm Avenue would contribute to the community’s already daunting parking problems.

One supporter of the new permit parking bill compared the new Rotunda to a “mini-Harbor East.”

The bill, which originally included over 20 blocks, was substantially amended and now encompasses only 12 blocks, primarily along Elm Avenue and 37th and 38th streets.

Voting “no” tonight were Eric Costello, James Kraft and Nick Mosby, while Helen Holton, Brandon Scott and Carl Stokes abstained.

The new parking zone is set to go into effect 30 days after its enactment.

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