"It's like a jug overflowing with water. You keep putting cars in and they are spilling out into the street," civic activist Mandingo Tshaka told a dealership manager who was surrounded by frustrated residents and representatives from the borough president's office, the city Buildings Department and the 111th Precinct."I don't believe anything has been done maliciously," the manager, Jed Appleby, said. But he pointed out that problems inevitably arose in an urban setting when a company is trying to run a large-scale business that sells an average of 200 to 300 cars each month. According to the Department of Buildings Web site, the property, which opened at 206-26 Northern Boulevard in 1999, has received two violations, including a $2,500 fine in 2000 for having as many as 80 cars on the lot, which far exceeds the 30-car limit prescribed in the permit.Officer Heather Carro, of the 111th Precinct's Community Affairs division, said the precinct has also issued the dealership several summons, some within the last two weeks.Deputy Borough President Karen Koslowitz said at the gathering that if the situation did not improve, she would press for new legislation to limit the number of fines permitted before a business is closed down.On the day of the protest, the lot held about 60 cars, an excessive number that Buildings Department official Robert Hudak said warranted a citation.And Tshaka claimed the management was on good behavior that day since they had been warned about the rally.He presented as proof pictures he had taken on various days that showed SUVs and sedans lined up on the sidewalk outside the gated lot, the entrance of which faces the Clearview Expressway service road.Appleby said any vehicle parked that way was there only temporarily to allow a blocked-in car room to leave the lot. At one point, he asked Hudak if it was possible to apply for additional parking space, to which an apprehensive Hudak suggested the dealership should find legal curb-side parking instead."I'd think putting more cars on the streets wouldn't be helpful," replied Appleby.Residential street parking has indeed ignited complaints from nearby homeowners."Anywhere they find a spot they'll park, they don't care," said Patricia Penn, who has lived behind the dealership on 45th Road for 10 years.Reach reporter Zach Patberg by e-mail at news@times
©2005 Community News Group
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