In a bid to preserve Wooster Square’s residential character, the City Plan Commission voted last week to increase the number of parking spots required for new multifamily homes in the district.

The commission, whose decision must be approved by the Board of Aldermen, recommended all newly built residences have one parking space for the structure’s first bedroom and one-half a parking space for every additional bedroom. This translates to two parking spaces for two to three bedroom units, and three spaces for four to five bedroom residences.

The commission believes the revised zoning regulations will help stabilize and preserve the existing residential character of the high to middle density dwellings in the Wooster Square district that the commission sees as possessing irreplaceable value to the community.

Under current zoning regulations, a residence is only required to have one parking space, regardless of how many bedrooms the building possesses.

City Zoning Director Philip Bolduc said these changes reflect the current market and are crucial to catch up with current real estate trends.

“In the current market, you can’t rent out these properties without the possibility of a second parking space,” Bolduc said. “Without proper parking, they would be a tough sell.”

The zoning amendments will also allow Wooster Square properties of historical value that have been extensively damaged by fire or other means to be rebuilt or restored.

Bolduc said if more than 50 percent of such a building is damaged, it can be rebuilt under the new guidelines. In the past, such structures would not be restored under these circumstances.

City honors parade supporter

The City Plan Commission approved the placement of a temporary street sign at the corner of Church and Chapel streets in honor of John A. Moran during this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Moran, who died last year, was one of the first supporters of reinstituting the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 1956.

The St. Patrick’s Day committee will now honor Moran with a sign reading “Johnny Moran Boulevard” along the parade route during this year’s festivities, which will be held March 11.

A statement released by the commission acknowledged that St. Patrick’s Day is an appropriate day to honor the deceased New Haven resident. The Board of Aldermen has allowed for temporary street names on such occasions in the past.

Parking garage plans postponed

Plans to modify parking at the Yale-New Haven Medical Center have been postponed since the proposed expansion of Route 34 may interfere with the parking scheme.

The design, which was to reflect structural changes at the Amistad Street Garage, was delayed last Wednesday when the City Plan Commission wanted more detailed information on how to replace parking at the facility that would be lost because of the expansion of Route 34.

Bolduc said the highway expansion plans, which have been in the works for several years, could determine when the medical center’s plans are finalized.

“Right now, the commission can’t identify specific resources for the additional parking,” Bolduc said.

Bolduc said the highway proposal would likely take one and a half to two and a half years to complete, but that the plans could be subject to any number of changes in the coming year.

Official drawings of the highway expansion are expected this year, at which point contractors will bid on construction rights for the project.