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Amityville car dealership will change procedures to meet neighbors' concerns

An undated Google view of Security Dodge on

An undated Google view of Security Dodge on Merrick Road in Amityville. Credit: Google

Amityville car dealer Security Dodge this week agreed to a lengthy list of stipulations in return for renewal of village licenses it needs to operate two lots on Merrick Road used for automobile storage and display.

Village trustees approved the licenses Monday night after a monthslong delay to research neighbors' complaints about chronic parking and traffic problems around the 345 Merrick Rd. dealership, which is one of the largest taxpayers and employers in the village.

The stipulations ban vehicle loading and unloading on Merrick Road and test drives on Wood Avenue and Bryan Avenue north of Merrick Road. They also call for a several improvements related to safety and appearance of the Security lots.

"The goal here isn't perfection: The goal is incremental change that will allow a successful business to stay in Amityville and respect neighbors' quality of life," said trustee Nick LaLota.

Covered under the agreement is a lot at 322 Merrick Rd., a property abandoned by its owner in 2008 after a state-ordered cleanup of a spill that occurred while a gas station was operating there. Security still uses the lot under a lease agreement it had with the owner but no longer pays rent to the owner, whom authorities have been unable to locate.

Security attorney Steven A. Costantino attributed some neighbors' complaints to a spike in the dealership's business after superstorm Sandy and heavy summer rains left many Long Islanders looking for replacement vehicles. The dealership recently added 80 off-premises parking spaces, he said, a step that should lighten its impact on the neighborhoods abutting the Merrick Road business corridor.

Bay Village Civic Association president Joan Donnison, who in March called for the village to impose a list of stringent restrictions, said Wednesday that she felt "reassured they seem to have worked long and hard with this. I just hope they comply with it."

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