Portland, auto shop owner in ticket dispute
PORTLAND — Al Seavy Automotive has been getting tickets on and off for almost a decade now, for charges ranging from having a vehicle on his sidewalk when there is no sidewalk in front of his business, to accusations of having tires and weeds on his property, which he disagrees with.
“This all started back in 2000 with the Portland code enforcement,” said Al Seavy, owner of Al Seavy Automotive in Portland in a recent interview with the OBSERVER. “They were claiming I was parking on their ‘imaginary sidewalk.'”
Seavy claims there is no sidewalk in front of his garage, which appears to be entirely one driveway leading up to the garage doors from the street. “I’ve been here since 1996 and this place has always been a garage even before that,” Seavy said, adding. “There has never been a sidewalk here. There used to be gas pumps out front where they said the sidewalk is and that was it.”
Seavy went on to say, “Those violations for parking I had to go to court for. It happens every three years at the fire inspection, so three times in nine years. … This time, the town says my driveway is a sidewalk, but when I spoke with a sheriff, he said there’s no sidewalk and I should just park my cars in front of the driveway at the close of business, since I can’t block myself in during the day.”
In an OBSERVER article dated January 13, 2000, the close of the article noted that the town of Portland was seeking out “No Parking” signs in response to the issue, but none such have appeared in the area in the 20 years that followed.
“Zoning insisted the last time I spoke with them in September that you can’t park along the road,” Seavy continued.
“Look at everyone else on this road. If they don’t have a driveway, they’re parking on the side of the road. All parking in town is like that. They’re trying to shorten my garage up and down the road (at the car lot). They’re saying it’s up to the property owner to maintain the sidewalks — and they’re not even my sidewalks.”
Regarding the current situation, which has been ongoing for nearly a year, Seavy faces a hefty fine sum should things not end in his favor. “I went to court again and was found guilty of three violations: a sanitation violation, removal of weeds violation and a general property maintenance violation,” Seavy stated. “Three hundred fifty dollars each and I fought them.”
With the trial moving forward, Seavy has asked for a dismissal, and an end to the multi-year struggle with code enforcement. “I asked for a dismissal because I never even got a written deposition,” Seavy stated in close.
The OBSERVER was unable to reach town of Portland code enforcement for comment.