LAKEWOOD – Lakewood could be getting two new car dealerships in the near future.
At a public hearing on changes to the zoning code on Monday, members from the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency and Chautauqua County Legislature appeared at Lakewood’s meeting to support the proposals given by William McFadden, owner of the LUV Toyota dealership at 215 E. Fairmount Ave. McFadden proposed two new car dealerships near his current business on Fairmount Avenue.
The first dealership would be located in the Grossman’s Bargain Outlet building and called “All Makes Pre-Owned Auto.” The business would turn the 48,000-square-foot building into a used car showroom. According to McFadden, the pre-owned car business would generate 12 additional jobs in the village.
The second proposal would be the construction of a 23,000-square-foot building between Tractor Supply Company and McFadden’s Toyota dealership. It would be constructed for the sale and service of new and used automobiles and would create 30-35 new jobs.
“This is important as a countywide precedent in what we want it to be, how we want to move forward, and the message we want to send to businesses looking to Chautauqua County,” said George Borrello, committee chairman of Chautauqua County Legislature’s Planning and Economic Development Committee. “We often times are critical of New York state for being business unfriendly. … I’m asking Lakewood to not further make it more difficult for people to do business in New York state.”
“Pertaining to zoning changes – free market competition will dictate what will be successful or not,” said Lisa Vanstrom, District 15 legislator. “… If it is zoned commercial, everybody should have a fair opportunity to participate in whatever market they want to.”
While the board did not vote on the measure, David Wordelmann, mayor, indicated he is in favor of changing the zoning code to adapt to the addition of new car dealerships in the commercial district. He also indicated he is now leaning toward an earlier idea of David DiSalvo’s to split the zoning code up into different sections instead of approving it in one lump.