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Amityville mayor seeks hearing on parking

Spurred by a petition presented by a Merrick Road gym owner, Amityville Mayor Peter Imbert Monday night called for a public hearing on parking availability on that thoroughfare.

Trustees voted at the village board meeting to schedule a hearing for June 13 to consider possible solutions, which Imbert said could involve condemning property to build a municipal parking lot.

“No doubt there's a need for parking down there,” he said. “It's just a matter of how we're going to pay for it ... It has to be revenue-neutral.”

That could mean charging for parking until a new lot has paid for itself, he said.

Paul Riedel, owner of Big Al’s Family Fitness, 104 Merrick Rd., said in an interview that his business is experiencing a steady stream of membership cancellations due to a parking shortage that could push him out of business.

“It’s financially impossible,” he said. “Once people do leave, it’s very hard to get them back.”

Around 1,000 people visit his gym every day, he said, keeping the approximately 65-spot parking lot on his property filled.

With limited parking on Merrick Road and nearby side streets, customers have been using lots and spaces meant for other businesses.

Several other business owners on Merrick Road between Route 110 and Ketcham Avenue said customers have complained about difficulty finding open spaces.

“People who are picking up food don’t have space to park,” said Richard Cao, owner of nearby Liki Sushi.

Amityville has about 1,140 parking spots, according to village administrator Diane Sheridan. A new lot nearing completion next to Village Hall will add 10 spots.

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