PATERSON, NJ – The city has decided to allow the auto shops at the old Gasoline Alley location in the 5th Ward to continue operation while they apply for certificates of occupancy, according to the man who owns the property.
The Community Development department had issued an order in late December that would have shut down five auto businesses at the site because they lacked certificates of occupancy. The order was supposed to take effect January 10.
But Jair Ramirez, the owner of the land, said his lawyer intervened and got a postponement on the shutdown order. Ramirez already had a proper certificate of occupancy for his business, J&J Auto Sales One. He said he thought that document covered the other businesses operating on the property. Those businesses now are in the process of getting the requisite city approvals, Ramirez said.
“We don’t want to do anything wrong,’’ said Ramirez. “We’re trying to do this the right way.’’
Officials in the Community Development department did not return phone messages seeking comment on the Gasoline Alley situation. David Gilmore, the city activist whose “Let’s Save Paterson” Facebook page has highlighted alleged flaws in the city’s code enforcement, had filed the initial complaints about Gasoline Alley.
Gilmore said he was glad to hear the businesses were in the process of getting their certificates. “We don’t want to see anyone shut down,’’ said Gilmore. “We just want compliance.’’
Decades ago, Gasoline Alley had been the place where stock cars that raced at Hinchliffe Stadium were stored and had repairs done. Over the years, it evolved into a collection of garages used for various auto service businesses.