POUND RIDGE, N.Y. -- Since opening in January, The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges has been a success. However, as a result there is not enough parking to meet the needs of patrons and staff.
As a solution, significant increases in parking are either being proposed or have been implemented. This includes an expansion of on-site parking to 120 spaces, which requires site plan modification approval from the town's planning board. Additionally, there is a one-year agreement with Pound Ridge Nurseries for 35 off-site spots, along with a temporary deal with the Bedford Central School District for use of parking at Pound Ridge Elementary School.
The total number of off-site parking spaces, according to Lucia Chiocchio, an attorney involved with the project, is at 55, although there was not yet a permanent deal for the school. In total, the restaurant would have 175 spaces.
Robert Aiello, an associate from John Meyer Consulting, gave an overview of the proposal to the Planning Board at its April 22 meeting. He told the board about the restaurant's anticipated maximum demand, which is 165 spaces. Currently, the inn has just 65 spots and construction would have three phases.
Mark Betz, Bedford Central's assistant superintendent for business and administrative services, mentioned a formal licensing agreement, which could be on the school board's May 7 meeting agenda for its approval. Pound Ridge Elementary School parking cannot be used during school hours or after-school activity hours, however.
James Perry, the town's Building, Plumbing & Fire inspector, described the parking history in an interview. Addressing when the restaurant first opened, Perry noted “significant problems” with parking, noting the lack of enough on-site parking. Perry also mentioned that the valet staff were new to the property and felt that parking was not done efficiently there. Additionally, Perry explained that parking off site was being done without permission, including at Conant Hall across the street, which is owned by the town.
Perry also mentioned a meeting held weeks ago between representatives from the restaurant, town and valet parking company. He talked about how that meeting led to the parking changes on site and off site.
Jason Worflar, who is general manager of the inn, confirmed the parking deficit. He believes that parking management has improved and explained that guests are “trained” on how to enter and leave the property. People have also been carpooling, he stated.
The matter will return to the Planning Board. During the meeting, board Chairman Clay Fowler identified materials requested, including data pertaining to demand and a plan for phasing. There will also be an appearance before the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance regarding fence height. It is for screening for Jonathan Powers, a neighbor to the property, Worflar confirmed.
Details about the inn, which is at 258 Westchester Ave., are on its website.