LAKEWOOD - Officials in Lakewood will have to reconsider conditions for a special-use permit for a used-car lot located along Fairmount Avenue across from Wal-Mart.
On Friday, 8th Judicial District Supreme Court Justice James Dillon overturned the Lakewood Village Board's decision to deny a special-use permit to Lawrence Spacciapolli. Spacciapolli operates Larry Spacc auto dealers. The third-generation family business, which has been in operation since 1956, has auto sales lots in Dunkirk and Westfield.
Spacciapolli had proposed to establish a used-car lot at the corner of Fairmount and Fairdale avenues. For a couple months, the Village Board discussed the proposal during three meetings before deciding to reject the special-use permit application last month.
located on the corner of Fairmount and Fairdale avenues, across from Wal-Mart where a
used-car lot is being
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips
Throughout the process, each board member said they had heard from several residents voicing their displeasure about the proposal for a car lot at the location, which is the former spot of Carnahans Clothing Company. One concern dealt with safety because it is a busy intersection. Another question was whether it is the best spot for a car dealership, or if maybe the land would be better suited for a different business.
Board members had suggested to Spacciapolli a better location for the used-car lot maybe further west on Fairmount Avenue where other car dealerships are located.
John Gullo II, Spacciapolli's attorney, said Judge Dillon overturned the denial and instructed village officials to put conditions on the special-use permit. Restrictions for the special-use permit had been discussed between the board and Spacciapolli prior to the no vote on the special-use permit. Gullo had told the board any reasonable restriction would be considered. These restrictions discussed included total number of vehicles for sale not to exceed 50; the car dealer could not use display banners, streamers, temporary signs, pennants, strobe lights or an elevated vehicle display; and one of two Fairmount Avenue entrances would be closed and a back side of the property entrance would be open instead.
Gullo said Judge Dillon indicated the village should have the special-use permit, with reasonable restrictions, completed by the middle of January.
''The judge has indicated the denial is inappropriate and sent it back to them to add reasonable conditions on the special-use permit,'' he said.
Gullo said Lakewood officials could appeal Judge Dillon's decision within 30 days. However, he said it probably wouldn't do them any good to appeal the decision.
''In order to deny someone a special-use permit, you have to have substantial evidence to not allow for a commercial business in the middle of a commercial strip,'' he said. ''The zoning allows for a used-car lot and the board can't go against their own zoning.''
On Monday, during the Lakewood Village Board meeting, Edward P. Wright, Lakewood attorney, said the court has remanded the special-use permit back to the board for further consideration. He told the board they still have the right to make regulations for the special-use permit. The board went into executive session to further discuss the special-use permit.