By jay stevens


Under the not-so-watchful eyes of the Commerce department, local churches have been operating private parking lots. Since the pandemic, churches have suffered like other businesses. Many of these community sanctuaries have found some relief renting out parking spaces.

Churches have had a harder time than most generating revenue. They depend upon the generosity of donations. It is not a surprise that they would leverage one of the few assets they have. However, churches are charging for a service that requires more attention than opening a gate. Parking lots with permits provide a few more amenities that are actually very necessary. Permits are provided to those who meet the requirements for consumer safety – security cameras, lighting, secure gates and insurance.

The lot on Bramhall and Ocean Avenue is an example. They charge $100/car each month. They give you a spot to put your car and not much else. Amenities like security cameras, flood lighting or motion sensitive lights, and secured gates are lacking, but you don’t pay twice as much for the same service when you park your car during the day.

Other churches that have parking lots should be following this example of how to make extra money. If there is no enforcement by the Commerce department, if they do not require some churches to get permits to be lawful parking lots, it is all fair game. When the Jersey City continues to build apartments but doesn’t provide parking, it’s only natural to find a solution wherever you can. More churches should provide solutions and get what money they can before “officials” start looking for permits.    

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