Amityville officials will hold a public hearing next month on the applications of an auto dealership that has clashed with its neighbors and is seeking to expand its business.
Security Dodge has filed for special-use permits for 335 and 339 Merrick Rd. The company seeks to create a customer and employee parking lot at the 335 address and a service building for oil changes at 339, village officials said.
Trustee Jessica Bernius said she is “not enthused” about Security’s plans.
“I don’t think they’ve been good neighbors,” she said. “I think they’re dragging this whole thing out.”
The dealership has been in Amityville for more than 50 years and is one of the largest businesses in the village, with more than 100 employees. But for years residents have expressed frustration with the company, complaining about issues ranging from parking on residential streets to alleged reckless driving by employees. Dealership officials have said their plans for the two sites will help alleviate parking and other problems in the area.
Security sued the village after its request for a site plan review for 335 Merrick Rd. was rejected in 2016, based on a 2006 village law that bans further automotive uses in the area. Last summer, a state Supreme Court judge struck down the lawsuit, stating that the parking lot is a nonconforming use under village code. Security is appealing that decision.
Last year, while awaiting an appellate court ruling, Security filed for a special-use permit for 335 Merrick Rd. A public hearing was held in October at which dozens of residents spoke out against the dealership.
The village board did not vote on the application, and in January, trustee Tom Whalen formed a committee to work with the company, saying the group would meet weekly and come up with a plan by the end of the month. Whalen did not respond to requests for comment.
Bernius, who served on the committee, said the group met four times over six months and opted not to make a recommendation to the board of trustees.
“We thought that if we came up with any proposals or suggestions, it could cause the board to lean one way or another,” she said.
What they did suggest, Bernius said, was that Security make a new application for 335 and one for 339 at the same time so a public hearing could be held for both. She said Security will present its plans at the hearing, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at Village Hall.