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Nassau gives dealership with cars at Cantiague Park 30-day reprieve on move

Westbury Jeep car dealership's Jeeps and cars stored

Westbury Jeep car dealership's Jeeps and cars stored in a Hicksville parking lot. (Oct. 23, 2013) Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau County has given a 30-day reprieve to a Westbury car dealership told to move its automobiles from Cantiague Park in Hicksville.

After a parks advocate complained in October to the state attorney general that County Executive Edward Mangano's administration had illegally transferred parkland, Nassau notified Westbury Jeep Chrysler Dodge that its permit to store 275 cars in Cantiague's back parking lot was revoked, effective Wednesday.

Bruce Piel, chairman of the advocacy group PARCnassau, said he visited Cantiague Wednesday and found three times as many cars stored in Parking Lot 2 compared with when he filed his complaint Oct. 18.

Parks Department spokeswoman Mary Studdert said the county agreed to a 30-day extension "for use of the picnic parking lot due to a hardship expressed by the company."

Randy Sporn, co-owner of Westbury Jeep, said he received notice to vacate three weeks after he signed a six-month agreement with the county to store cars at Cantiague.

Sporn said he needs more time to find a new storage lot. "I couldn't possibly get the cars out so quickly on the 30-day notice they gave me," he said, adding that he would pay the additional one month's rent of $4,500 during the extension.

The permit, which Studdert said did not need county legislative approval, runs from Oct. 1 through March 31 and stipulates that Westbury Jeep pay $4,000 a month to the county and $500 a month to Friends of Nassau Recreation, a nonprofit parks advocacy group. Legis. Judy Jacobs (D-Westbury), who said she has received complaints from neighbors about the vehicle storage, said the "overriding problem here is that all of this is being done in a 'locked box' procedure.. . . This entire matter should have come before the legislature, especially since they are now extending the use."

Piel said he would pursue the issue with Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman's office, which could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Sporn has said his donations had nothing to do with the permit.

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