PROSPECT — An attorney representing the owner of a used car dealership in town vowed that his client is working to rectify issues that led to several complaints about the dealership.
“We want to be a good neighbor, which is why we’re here again this evening,” said attorney Alec Rimer as he addressed the Planning and Zoning Commission at its June 6 meeting. “We want to address these issues head on.”
Rimer spoke on behalf of Michael Luisi, the owner of Route 69 Auto Sales at 69 Waterbury Road.
The used car dealership has been the subject of complaints from neighbors, residents and town officials. The complaints focused on traffic safety concerns due to parking issues caused by the number of cars at the dealership.
The complaints included people parking on Waterbury Road, or Route 69, in front of the dealership, cars for sale parked on the state’s right of way too close to the road, which hinders sightlines for people pulling out of the business and neighboring businesses, and cars being unloaded from trailers on abutting businesses properties and on Waterbury Road in front of the business.
In a May 8 letter to Luisi and James Juliaini, a member of JJMD LLC, which owns the 0.68 acre lot, Land Use Inspector Mary Barton states the dealership is also in violation of its site plan approval because there isn’t a 15-foot wide access way around the building for emergency vehicles, and there are more than 35 vehicles onsite for sale.
At the June 6 meeting, officials said there were about 140 cars on the lot.
In the letter, Barton states she validated the complaints during site inspections in February, March and April.
“We acknowledge that some of these issues are, in fact, a problem,” Rimer said. “They are being addressed. We take these matters very seriously.”
Rimer said the dealership isn’t allowing people to park on Waterbury Road anymore and cars are being unloaded at one of the dealership’s two ancillary lots.
Rimer said the business, which has been in town for more than seven years, is growing.
“We also have a thriving business, and I think that’s good for the town,” he said. “We want to be a good neighbor.”
Barton and Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman E. Gil Graveline both said they hope the business does well but just want the dealership to be in compliance.
“We’re all trying to help you, believe it or not,” Graveline told Rimer.
Rimer said a new survey will be done to verify exactly where the state’s right of way is and the dealership is in talks with the state Department of Transportation about leasing the land.
Rimer said a third ancillary lot to store cars or reducing inventory are possible methods the dealership may take to alleviate the number of cars at the dealership. He said they plan to come back to the commission to present a revised site plan for the dealership and asked for 60 days to put together the plan.
Rimer said the dealership isn’t trying to run away from the issues.
“We’re on top of it. We’re addressing it head on and comprehensively,” he said.