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Amityville dealership Security Dodge accused of parking violations, reckless driving

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. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

Amityville car dealer Security Dodge will face increased scrutiny from village officials after resident complaints last week.

Village trustees tabled two applications related to operation of the dealership until Monday after hearing complaints about alleged parking violations and reckless driving by dealership employees near the 345 Merrick Rd. location and a lot located on Merrick Road between Wood and Bryan avenues that the dealership uses but does not own.

Security Dodge general manager Rich Governanti declined to comment. No one from the dealership spoke at the meeting.

"If they're going to do business in the village, they need to meet a minimum level of support for the village," said resident Ed Moore at a Feb. 23 village board meeting.

Resident Frank Cruthers said the dealership's practice of storing vehicles in the area impedes traffic. He complained that dealership employees drive recklessly when moving vehicles.

In an interview this week, Bay Village Civic Association president Joan Donnison said her group is also concerned about past practices and possible expansion at the dealership.

The dealership is one of the biggest businesses in Amityville and occupies a prominent location on Merrick Road.

But that location and the nearby lot abut residential neighborhoods, and trustee Dennis Siry said the village board has fielded complaints from residents about the business for at least 15 years.

The lot between Wood and Bryan avenues was abandoned by the owner of record, though Siry said Security has purchased tax liens on the property in recent years. Siry said he will push for Security to either purchase the property and pay off any fees attached to it, or vacate it.

"They're a great business and they're good for Amityville," Siry said of the dealership. "I would like to see them cooperate with us and do the right thing."

Automobile dealerships and repair shops once dominated the Merrick Road corridor, but in recent years village official have favored a more diverse business makeup there.

A village ordinance passed several years ago bans new automotive use for properties along much of the Merrick Road corridor, and in 2011 trustees said they would likely oppose a plan -- never formally proposed -- for supermarket giant Stop & Shop to open a gas station near its Merrick Road location.

"Automotive use is not really good for downtowns," said then-Mayor Peter Imbert. "We're trying to generate more restaurant and other types of business applications, and I don't see us changing that."

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