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Amityville trustees wrangle with local car dealership over parking and other issues

Security Dodge pre-owned cars are pictured in a

Security Dodge pre-owned cars are pictured in a lot at the intersection of Merrick Road and Bayview Avenue in Amityville on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. Credit: Barry Sloan

Amityville's village board has delayed action on automotive licenses for Security Dodge to collect more information on what neighbors say are chronic parking and traffic problems around the 345 Merrick Rd. dealership, trustees said last week.

Approvals for the licenses, which the dealership needs for vehicle storage, could come with an "extensive" list of stipulations, trustee Nick LaLota said at a village board meeting March 9.

Security is one of the largest taxpayers and employers in the village, but neighbors say its employees drive recklessly when delivering vehicles, and that employee parking and vehicle storage create safety and quality of life problems in the area.

Security owner Gabriel Vigorito said many complaints come from a small group of residents, and that the dealership has already taken a number of steps to minimize its footprint in the area.

"I've been there for 35 years and I keep that place as clean as I keep my house," he said.

While LaLota said the board might require Security to rent parking spots for some of its employees from nearby businesses, trustees have not yet described the commitments that might be part of a final agreement. Mayor James Wandell suggested at the meeting last week that a solution would take the dealership's needs into account as well.

"We have to respect quality of life and business," he said. "Sometimes we have to compromise in order to come up with a workable solution."

In a brief interview earlier this month, Vigorito described Security Dodge as a community stakeholder, many of whose 150 employees live in or near the village and regularly patronize its businesses.

But the litany of neighbor complaints over the dealership continued to grow at last week's meeting.

Bayview Place resident Chris Geiger said his wife nearly got into a head-on collision on South Bayview Avenue just hours earlier because of a dealership delivery.

Other residents spoke of parking on side streets filled by the cars of dealership employees from early morning until 9 at night.

Bay Village Civic Association president Joan Donnison said that "there has to be some way to make them understand that we've really had it. They cannot abuse the neighborhood."


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