LAKEWOOD - Restrictions will be discussed for a proposed used-car lot at the next Lakewood Village Board meeting.
On Dec. 26, the Lakewood Village Board will continue discussing the proposed used-car lot to be located along Fairmount Avenue, across the road from Wal-Mart. Last month, the Village Board denied a special-use permit application for a used-car lot from 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. The Village Board discussed the proposal during three meetings before deciding to reject the special-use permit application. 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 the land would be better suited for a different business. Board members had suggested to Spacciapolli a better location for the used-car lot may be further west on Fairmount Avenue where other car dealerships are located.
This lot, located on the corner of Fairmount and Fairdale avenues, across from Wal-Mart is where a used-car lot is being proposed.
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips
On Dec. 7, 8th Judicial District Supreme Court Justice James Dillon overturned the Lakewood Village Board's decision to deny the special-use permit. According to the court transcript, Dillon states the board couldn't deny the permit based on concerned residents.
"If a use is listed as being permitted subject to a special-use permit, there has to be something other than generalized community concern concerning the issues that are presented," Dillon said. "I am setting aside the denial of the special-use permit and am referring the matter back to the ... (Village) Board."
The transcript states that because the board didn't pass any regulations on the special-use permit, Dillon can't order Lakewood officials to just issue a special-use permit. Dillon said the board will have until mid-January to produce a special-use permit for the used-car lot.
"(The board is) still entitled to limit based on the statutory scheme that is begin proposed," Dillon said. "I can't make a fact finding about whether anything is reasonable or unreasonable based on what they do. In that neither side particularly got what they wanted in this particular argument, I'll note both sides exception to the court's ruling for appellate purposes and ask you gentleman (John Gullo II, Spacciapolli's attorney, and Edward P. Wright, Lakewood attorney) get together on an order."
David Wordelmann, Lakewood mayor, said the board will discuss restrictions for the used-car lot at its next meeting. Then they will vote on the special-use permit during their Jan. 14 meeting. Restrictions discussed during meetings 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 an entrance on the back side of the property would be open instead.
Wordelmann said he doesn't believe the board will appeal Dillon's decision.
"More or less, we are on the wrong side of this as far as the legal side of it," Wordelmann said. "The board reacted from what the village residents were saying. There were so many people against it."