City Island group wants tow trucks labeled commercial

The City Island Civic Association is at odds with tow truck companies it accuses of causing headaches on the island.

The group is looking to close a state loophole that it says would eliminated some of the problem.

The trucks double park, block fire hydrants and unload in the fire lane, according to Bill Stanton and John Doyle of the association -- issues they say are taking over the quaint streets of City Island.

They're asking state lawmakers to change a law allowing tow truck companies to park vehicles on residential streets.

They say that under some circumstances, tow trucks aren't classified as commercial vehicles. For example, two companies at odds with the association are sole proprietorships and have not altered the cabins of their vehicles.

Doyle says the state should classify such tow trucks as commercial. Commercially licensed vehicles wouldn't be able to park on residential streets.

Pete Dinome owns Lil Pete's Automotive and lives at the end of Pilot Street. 

"I don't do nothing illegal," he says. "I get up every morning and go to work, and I try to provide for my family."

He parks his truck on a residential street three nights a week. He says he's been issued dozens of overnight commercial parking tickets that have subsequently been dismissed.

"This truck is not commercial," Dinome says. "The plates clearly say tow truck."

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