Bay Shore meter lawsuit

IB/Finnegan

Bay Shore meter lawsuit

Story By: LIZ FINNEGAN
11/15/2018


BAY SHORE – Attorney Jason Fenley filed a lawsuit on Tuesday, Nov. 13 in the State Supreme Court in Riverhead on behalf of the Bay Shore Chamber of Commerce against the Town of Islip. This Friday, Nov. 16, he’ll head to court to ask for the Town’s parking meter program in Bay Shore to be nullified because it is unlawful according to Town code.

Bay Shore remains the only hamlet in the Town of Islip with meters; something many of the residents and business owners have called categorically unfair. However, the suit requests a temporary restraining order to halt meter operations because the Town Board failed to follow the law by creating an improvement district where proceeds could be funneled back into the hamlet rather than into the Town’s general fund.

According to an article that appeared in this newspaper earlier this year (“First chamber meeting of the year” Feb. 1 2018), Donna Periconi, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Bay Shore, addressed the unpopular meter issue during a chamber meeting. Information released by the Town at that time noted that $351,727.31 was collected through the meter program in 2016. The revenue generated from Jan. 1, 2017 through Nov. 1, 2017 was $562, 507.23. The meters had been suspended during the holiday season. 

Fines generated from parking meter violations were $63,810.00 in 2016. Fines received by the Town for meter violations from Jan 1, 2017 through Nov. 1, 2017 were $68, 140.00. Islip Town has not yet released the revenue for 2018. A spokesperson also noted that the Town would not comment on pending litigation. 

In a statement sent to chamber members, Periconi said, “The injustice of our situation remains ever hurtful,” she wrote. “Islip has forced a meter program on Bay Shore that is hurting our small businesses financially, that is inconveniencing our residents, that is altering our quality of life.” She added that the meters have discouraged people from shopping and dining downtown.

Fenley said that aside from being unfair, there’s a lot more wrong with the program. He explained that amendments that were made to Town codes in 1968 include explicit procedures before taking this type of action. The Town Board amended the code once again in March 2014, however he contends that the original statute remains. 

“The statutes are pretty exact,” Fenley remarked. “The Town is allowed to install meters, they just didn't do it right.”