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Judge bars owner of parking lot from terminating senior center's use

The Glen Street parking lot, seen on Friday,

The Glen Street parking lot, seen on Friday, where the city of Glen Cove leases 18 spaces for its senior center.   Credit: Danielle Silverman

A state judge barred a car repair shop from evicting the city of Glen Cove from an 18-space parking lot that the city says is critically needed for patrons of the senior center across the street.

Supreme Court Judge Julianne T. Capetola on Dec. 26 issued the order to Car Care Co. Inc., after the company in November sent the city a notice terminating as of Dec. 31 what the company called a “monthly tenancy” for the lot it owns next to its repair facility. A hearing on the stay of the termination notice is scheduled for Tuesday in Mineola.

In a lawsuit against Car Care filed Dec. 21, City Attorney Charles McQuair said the company “wrongfully and improperly issued the ‘notice to terminate’ for a lease that has approximately six years remaining.”

Attached to the city’s suit is a lease for the lot signed by Car Care owner Peter Gelzinis in 2009. It expires on Sept. 30, 2019, and gives the city an option to renew through April 2024. The rent was $1,500 a month, with periodic cost-of-living increases.

Gelzinis Friday declined to comment.

“We’re in litigation,” he said. “I’m not allowed to say a word, my lawyer says.”

Neither Mary Jablonski nor Stuart Jablonski, both of whom are listed in court documents as attorneys for Gelzinis, returned phone calls.

There are about 25 parking spaces in a lot next to and behind the senior center, but they are shared with local businesses and the city youth bureau, city spokeswoman Lisa Travatello said.

Ann Ranieri, 79, of Glen Cove, who visits the senior center regularly, said it’s “very rare” to find a parking space there.

“It fills up so fast,” she said. “I think I’ve parked there twice.”

She relies on the lot across the street – which is connected to the senior center with a crosswalk – and was dismayed to hear Car Care is trying to evict the city.

There is limited street parking on Glen Street near the center and a city-owned parking garage a few blocks away. But Ranieri said many center patrons cannot walk that far.

“They walk with walkers, they walk with canes,” she said, recalling how she had to use a cane after undergoing knee surgery three years ago. “These poor people, they can barely move, and it’s a big thing for them to come out of their homes and go down to the center. If there’s no place to park, maybe they’ll stay home.”

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