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Long Island Residents Outraged After County Park’s Parking Lot Rented To Used Car Dealership

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A neighborhood civic group on Long Island is demanding answers after it discovered that the Nassau County parks commissioner allowed a used car dealership to rent out parking spaces at Cantiague County Park.

According to parkland regulations, it is illegal to use a park for anything other than a park, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Wednesday.

Residents who use the park said they were outraged when they first discovered back in August that the rear parking lot they normally use was, and still now remains, filled with about 500 used cars.

“‘It doesn’t enhance the park with all these used cars over there. We are not sure what it is. We are trying to get to the bottom of it,” said Errol Jolly, of the Jericho Gardens Civic Association.

“You’re paying real estate, paying to live in a decent community, and over there they have all these parked cars — looks like an industrial park,” Jericho Gardens homeowner Audrey Porter said.

“We’re staring at a car parking lot. Somebody’s making money from this — has to be,” said Melanie Rauchwerger.

Despite parkland regulations, Nassau’s parks commissioner signed an agreement allowing the dealership to rent space for $4,000 a month, McLogan reported.

Nassau County Leg. Judith Jacobs said leasing parkland never came before the Legislature for a vote. “I believe this entire matter raises a red flag,” Jacobs said.

Following complaints, the county revoked the leasing permit and ordered the cars removed.

The dealership would not comment about the matter but have not yet complied with the order to vacate, McLogan said.

The county has given the dealership a week to move the cars or face towing.  It remains unclear who would tow 500 cars or where they would be taken.

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