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Photo courtesy of Council Member Holden's office
Cones line Metropolitan Avenue while film production takes place, restricting parking near local businesses.

With an increase of film and television shoots throughout his district, Councilman Robert Holden is looking into legislation that would raise the cost for permits for production companies.

On Dec. 17, the councilman received a call from a local business owner who stated that a film crew was taking up parking on Metropolitan Avenue. A notice sent to the Holden’s office indicated that parking will be restricted on more than three blocks adjacent to Metropolitan Avenue on Dec. 17-18.

Another film crew is slated to use up three blocks’ worth of parking on Grand Avenue in Maspeth on Dec. 19.

“It’s already hard enough for local businesses to deal with increased parking meter costs and unfair fines for signage before a film crew takes up several blocks of parking on top of that,” said Holden. “It’s outrageous that this filming is taking place during the week before Christmas, one of the busiest shopping periods of the year that local companies survive on.”

The current fee for production companies to receive a film permit is $300, plus the city gives the company tax incentives for doing business in the city.  The production company is also required to alert the city four days prior to filming and give two days’ notice to the local community board.

Holden is looking into writing legislation that would raise the permit fee to $5,000 and increase the amount of notice that would be given to communities before filming begins.

“Businesses rely on their holiday revenue, but instead they are losing much more than the cost of these film permits,” said Holden. “My hope is that raising the fee will make production companies more responsible and aware of the effects that their parking restrictions have on nearby businesses.”

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