In 2016, the Massachusetts General Court enacted the Municipal Modernization Act. One of the provisions of that law authorized the creation of parking benefit districts (PBDs). Approving this warrant article would create a PBD in Brookline Village and an associated Brookline Village Parking Benefit District Advisory Board (BVPBDAB), which will make recommendations to the Select Board about rates and uses of funds, within the requirements of the law. The BVPBDAB is composed of residents and businesses representing the area in which revenues are raised, but the role of this Advisory Board is purely advisory. Any rate changes and all expenditures must still be approved by the Select Board.
A PBD is a geographical area in which a portion of parking revenues generated in that area are used to finance area improvements through a dedicated fund. Communities such as Arlington (MA), Pasadena (CA), Austin (TX), and Boulder (CO) have all successfully employed versions of PBDs to better manage parking supply and to generate resources to
support improvements to a commercial area.
Not all of the parking meter receipts collected in a PBD have to be returned to the PBD. The warrant article's proponents are proposing only that incremental increases in parking revenues be dedicated in this way. All existing parking revenues would flow to the town's general fund, as they do today.
PDBs do not include revenue from parking violations or parking permits, which would remain unchanged in this warrant article. Revenue from the PBD would be spent in the area in which it is raised (i.e., Brookline Village) on improvements that enhance the accessibility and desirability of the district and that are not currently provided by the Town to the extent desired by residents and businesses in the district. The BVPBDAB shall recommend an annual budget, parking rates, and expenditures in the PBD to the Select Board for approval, will make recommendations related to parking and traffic operations and temporary or permanent physical changes to the Transportation Board and or DPW as appropriate, and make recommendations related to public art to the Arts Commission.
The state law authorizing PBDs permits funds to be spent only on the following uses - 'acquisition, installation, maintenance and operation of parking meters and other parking payment and enforcement technology, the regulation of parking, salaries of parking management personnel, improvements to the public realm, and transportation improvements, including, but not limited to, the operations of mass transit and facilities for biking and walking.' The BVPBDAB could recommend projects and improvements such as enhanced winter lighting, flowers and greenery, public art, and improvements for pedestrians and cyclists.
In summary, this article creates the Brookline Village BPD and the BVPBDAB, appointed by the Select Board. The BVPBDAB may recommend increases or changes to parking meter rates, any of which must be approved by the Select Board. Any incremental funds generated in the PBD shall be placed in a distinct revolving account, which shall carry over year-to-year. The BVPBDAB shall develop an annual budget and recommendations for expenditures within the PBD, which shall be approved by the Select Board.
|Official Text of the Article
To see if the Town will vote pursuant to General Laws Chapter 40, Section 22A to establish a Parking Benefit District in Brookline Village as substantially described and shown below in the plan entitled 'Brookline Village Prking Benefit District,' in which a portion of parking revenue collected therein may be designated for use in that district through a dedicated fund in accordance with the purposes and uses listed in section 22A of said Chapter and further, to establish and designate a Brookline Village Parking Benefit District Advisory Board to make recommendations to the Select Board about said Parking Benefit District, said Advisory Board to be composed of nine members appointed by the Select Board, at least five of whom shall be individuals who own or manage commercial businesses located in the district.