Local businesses often forget that there is a New York City law regulating the placement of merchandise on the sidewalk outside their stores.
With bulky pieces of furniture and other merchandise stored on the sidewalk outside a local store, residents have become fed up with the narrower walking area, especially after a harsh winter left frozen snow on a good portion of the sidewalk.
The city’s three-foot rule has been ignored by Beverly Hills Furniture on 668 Morris Park Avenue for over a year, despite local complaints say residents and community leaders.
The store’s manager, who refused to comment or identify the owner, has been rude to anyone expressing their displeasure and continues to be a nuisance to the neighborhood’s pedestrians, say residents.
Bobby Ruggiero, president of the Morris Park Business Alliance, has received complaints about the store for over a year now and although he wants to help improve business eson Morris Park Avenue, he would like them to at least comply with city law and local residents.
“I really try to keep the peace between the stores and the rest of the community.” Ruggiero said. “It’s been about a year since I got the first complaint on Beverely Hills Furniture and we always hear about how much furniture they keep outside the store. The city law says you cannot keep merchandise more than three feet from the front of the store, but they keep doing it.”
The store, which has a second location on 1049 Morris Park Avenue, received a visit from Captain Kevin Nicholson and Officer Victor DiPierro of the 49th Precinct on Wednesday, February 16 after Bernadette Ferrara, vice president of the Van Nest Neighborhood Alliance, made a strong complaint to the precinct’s Community Affairs Department.
According to DiPierro, the store’s owner said that sometimes he has to temporarily place furniture outside while receiving deliveries because there is not enough room inside the store when everything arrives. The store was issued only a warning a the time.
“We’re not trying to affect the store’s business but we need them to comply with the law,” DiPierro said. “He was very understanding and said that he will work towards fixing the problem in order to keep peace in the community.”
Several days later, on Sunday, February 20, the store continued to ignore the city law and the warning by the 49th Precinct, and it was issued a summons by the Department of Sanitation for blocking the sidewalk, according to Captain Nicholson.
Officer Craig Ravage of 49th Precinct will continue to monitor the store’s operations until the matter is resolved.