Ithaca, N.Y. — The Maguire Family Dealership in Ithaca has put forth a proposal to the city’s Planning and Development Board to add customer parking and a side vehicle display space on the Northeast end of its property, behind the neighboring Hess gas station.

The proposal also includes the repaving of the dealership’s existing employee parking lot.

“This will add much needed parking space for customers, display cars and new vehicle inventory,” owner Phil Maguire said in an interview. “It will also help with the congestion we have in the existing site.”

The proposal will require the removal of approximately 1.5 acres of vegetation.

In addition to the increased space, the proposal also includes plans to create a “bio-retention space” — which is designed to prevent runoff of pollutants — and to add several trees in both the new and existing parking lots.

The bio-retention space would be located directly behind the new side display space (behind Hess). It would feature eight new Red Maple trees, as well as several plants and grasses, such as cardinal flowers and bluejoint grass. The design was created by Schickel Architecture.

In addition to these measures, the dealership has reached tentative agreements to plant five Red Maple trees nearby the neighboring Comfort Inn; three Swamp White Oak trees at the Comfort Inn Site; and 11 more trees on the Hess Site.

The dealership would also plant trees on an existing berm on the west side of their property, as well as along the back and Southwest side of the dealership.

“If we’re going to add parking, we’re going to try to add green space throughout our 12 acres,” Maguire said. Maguire went on to say that “for every 1.7 parking spaces we add, we are planting a tree.”

“I am confident that with all the planting we’re doing, it will enhance the beauty, landscape and architecture around our existing site,” Maguire said when asked about the effects of the project on the surrounding community.

The city planning board will consider this proposal on July 22nd.

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.