Sigma Alpha Epsilon brothers now officially have parking spaces.
At a New Haven City Planning Commission meeting at City Hall on Wednesday, SAE’s lawyer, James Segaloff, persuaded the commission to grant the fraternity five parking spaces outside their house on High Street. The five parking spaces outside the SAE house were previously illegal because over a decade ago the fraternity did not have all of its paperwork with city officials in order. The commission also approved the introduction of a city pedicabs program and a new city recycling system.
Earlier this month, Segaloff and four SAE brothers defended themselves at a Board of Zoning Appeals meeting for not complying with city zoning regulations for over a decade.
Yale’s SAE chapter, established in 1988, moved to its current house in 1996. At the time, the chapter applied to the zoning board for a “special exception” to convert a one-family residence to a fraternity house that same year. The city granted permission on the condition that the house annually submit proof of a valid off-site parking lease agreement.
Because SAE brothers did not submit this proof, permission to use 35 High St. as a fraternity house lapsed in April 1997. Last April, city officials notified SAE of the lapse and levied a $1,000 fine to the fraternity. SAE President Jamie Coleman ’11 told the News last week that reapplying for parking was the first in a series of steps the fraternity is taking to renew its building permit.
At the Wednesday meeting, the City Planning Commission unanimously approved the parking spaces with little discussion.
“It’s appropriate for the neighborhood,” said Ward 9 Alderman Roland Lemar, who is a commission member.
The Commission also approved the introduction of pedicabs to the city.
The pedicabs ordinance came before the commission a week after the aldermanic city services and environmental policy committee voted to amend the ordinance to include more safety regulations.
At the meeting Wednesday, the commission members concluded that the ordinance warranted approval after they heard about positive pedicab initiatives in Milford and Hartford. Lamar said at the meeting that the pedicab program is “wildly popular” in the two cities and that the residents there find the pedicabs “cute additions to their downtowns.”
Still, commission staff member Joy Ford said the group will review how pedicabs affect the city in one year’s time.
Also at the meeting, the commission heard and approved the outline of a plan to revamp the city’s trash system.
Unlike residents of many other cities, New Haven residents pay no fee to have trash hauled from their houses, City Plan Executive Director Karyn Gilvarg ARC ’75 said at the meeting, so recycling has no financial advantage over regular disposal.
City officials now plan to fit garbage-collecting vehicles and bins with radio-tracking devices to gather information about the recycling habits of each neighborhood and individual. Rather than imposing a fine on non-recyclers, officials would use the information to weigh the amount of recyclable garbage in each household and reward top performers with coupons for stores such as Shaw’s and Walgreens.
Commission members said they hope the new system will improve New Haven’s low recycling rate of 9 percent. New York has a rate of 24 percent, while San Francisco has 56 percent.