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Inflated muscleman plan turned down in Amityville

A view of downtown Amityville. (June 5, 2011)

A view of downtown Amityville. (June 5, 2011) Credit: Alexi Knock

Amityville trustees have rejected a gym owner’s plan for a 25-foot rooftop inflatable muscleman, citing public safety and good taste.

The muscleman would have stood atop Big Al’s Family Fitness at 104 Merrick Rd., alerting gym-goers and passersby to the existence of a recently opened Muscle Maker Grill health food restaurant by gym owner Paul Riedel next door to Big Al’s, said Renée Rapetti, marketing director for both businesses. “It’s guerrilla marketing,” she explained.

The village has detailed written guidelines for signs, as supermarket chain Stop & Shop learned two years ago when it tried to introduce unapproved colors to the facade of its 351 Merrick Rd. location, and most of those cases go before the planning board.

Because Amityville’s code does not apparently cover inflatable objects, trustee Nick LaLota said in an interview, the board of trustees heard this application. After seeing a photograph of the muscleman before Monday night’s board meeting, trustees took a dim view of the matter and voted 5-0 to deny.

Before the vote, LaLota warned that the muscleman — who appeared to have pectorals the size of Volkswagens, along with sunglasses and enormous inflatable dumbbells — could present a traffic hazard for drivers on Merrick Road.

“My concern is that one might look at said muscleman instead of the car in front of him,” he said.

Trustee Kevin Smith agreed that “that’s a big thing to put on a roof.”

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