Outlaw ATM Runs Afoul Of City
Chris Kachulis navigated through sandwich board signs and open glass doors that obstructed the walkway on Broadway, making his way to an alleged menace: the ATM in front of A-1 Pizza.
It didn’t look like a menace to Kachulis (pictured). The Yale sophomore was simply withdrawing some cash to buy food. He doesn’t see a problem.
New Haven government does.
The city’s Building Department has issued a cease and desist order to Ali Yaglidere, the proprietor of A-1 Pizza, commanding him to remove the ATM. The machine is blocking the right of way, the city argues, and is therefore in violation of City Ordinance 78-44.
Yaglidere, along with his lawyer, David Avigdor, is fighting the order by requesting an easement from the Board of Aldermen to allow the machine to stay. Yaglidere said that the ATM is no more of an obstruction than many other sidewalk features that belong to local businesses, like signs and umbrellas.
Last month, the City Plan Commission voted to recommend against Yaglidere’s request. The matter will eventually come before the Board of Aldermen.
The problem with the A-1 ATM, is that “it’s in the public right of way,” said Andy Rizzo, head of the New Haven Building Department. “You can’t do that without permission… The sidewalk belongs to the city.”
Yaglidere didn’t ask for permission, Rizzo said. “He just put it up.”
Sidewalk signs need permission too, Rizzo said.
He said that the cease and desist order was the result of a complaint. The building department wasn’t going out looking for right of way obstructions, Rizzo said, “but when I get a complaint I investigate.”
A City Plan Department advisory report on the matter states that “Signs are practical for businesses because they direct passersby to the store… In this case, the [City Plan] Commission notes that the ATM is a vending machine. It does not direct patrons to the store, is solely for the benefit of the owner/operator, and comes at the city’s expense (again, loss of sidewalk space).”
“It’s unsightly and I think it’s possibly insecure,” said Karyn Gilvarg, director of the City Plan Department. “There’s no reason it can’t be inside.”
At noon on Thursday, Yaglidere was working in his restaurant, which he has operated for nine years. He’s had the ATM for about two years, he said. It brings in “a couple hundred dollars a month” for his business.
Yaglidere (pictured) argued there are bigger sidewalk obstructions to worry about that his one machine. Stepping outside the pizzeria, he pointed at other businesses’ open glass doors sticking out into the sidewalk, signs in the middle of the walkway, and the umbrella — then furled — next door at Gourmet Heaven.
“If this is a problem,” Yaglidere said, pointing at the ATM, “then everything is a problem.”
Open glass doors are more dangerous than his ATM, because they’re transparent, he argued. “You’re walking down the street, you don’t see it, boom! You walk into it.”
An ATM is also safer than an umbrella, argued Kate Barnett, a waiter at A-1: “An ATM machine can’t blow over on somebody.”
“It’s no problem,” Yaglidere said.
Chris Kachulis agreed. He said the ATM is not obstructing pedestrians.
“I mean, it’s an enormous sidewalk,” the physics major said, gesturing towards the wide brick walkway that borders Broadway.
Next door at the Enclave skate shop, owner Ben Milewski said that he had never received any complaints about his open door obstructing the sidewalk.
“There’s a lot worse things going on in New Haven for the Board of Aldermen to worry about than an ATM on the sidewalk,” Milewski said.
Alderman Greg Morehead, whose ward includes the offending ATM, said he doesn’t see the machine as a problem, either. “I think that just where it is, it’s OK,” Morehead said. “I don’t believe it’s in the public way.”
“But… it’s on city property,” Morehead added. The alderman said that he can see both sides of the issue. He said he’s working to find a solution that will make all parties happy.
“I understand what A-1 is trying to do. The recession has hit hard for everybody,” he said. A-1’s machine is the only ATM placed outside in front of a business in the city, Morehead said.
Morehead said he hopes that all interested parties will come to speak at the city services committee meeting on June 18.
UGGGG ok andy you will break this guys balls but I can not for several years get anyone to help me with 16 Rock st and her (now bank owed property from blocking the ENTIRE SIDE WALK with over growth!!!
Posted by: kmf | June 12, 2009 10:46 AM
"A-1's machine is the only ATM placed outside in front of a business in the city, Morehead said."
What about the one in front of Mamoun's?
Posted by: Jonathan Hopkins | June 12, 2009 10:58 AM
Just put it inside. It's safer there and if a line forms behind it, it won't be out on the sidewalk. Its an eye sore. The only ATM's that should be able to be accessed from the street should be built into the facade of the building. You can see a few cases on this, even right there on Broadway.
Posted by: Pedro | June 12, 2009 12:26 PM
While I know the letter of the law, the picture with the glass doors swung open put it into pretty clear perspective. This thing is not prodtruding nearly as much as the glass doors down the entire street.
Yes, it's ugly, but it's not THAT bad. heck, even turning it so that the screen faced the street would ameliorate that.
Posted by: Alphonse Credenza | June 12, 2009 1:18 PM
Again, government interference in business with little justification. It doesn't "block" a public walkway. The city could look askance at this and should.
Posted by: Ned | June 12, 2009 2:54 PM
How about the sidewalk, on Willow St., the one that's on a school route - in fact the school East Rock Global Magnet School, is directly across the street and the sidewalk is nearly impassible from the overgrowth and accumulation of debris.
The doors that open into the sidewalk are in violation of the state building code and Andy should move on those also.
Posted by: Nan Bartow | June 12, 2009 9:53 PM
I agree with Jonathan Hopkins. Put the ATM inside the Pizza Parlor. Otherwise take it away. It doesn't belong out in the street.
Posted by: Walt | June 13, 2009 6:58 AM
Have no access to the State Building Code, but thought requirement was that doors where public is permitted must open outward.
As I recall that, requirement was added to Codes in many places after many were killed in the infamous "Coconut Grove" fire because they conld not exit and they were crushed against the inward opening exit doors.
Posted by: The Truth | June 13, 2009 11:41 AM
This is Yale and Big Business crushing the small businessman with puppet Johnny Boys help. The other ATM at Barnes and Noble will get less business and less commissions with competition from this guy. Ever try to run a business in New Haven.
Posted by: TrueBlueCT | June 15, 2009 8:53 AM
If the neighbors have a complaint, they should just plop a Coke machine down next to it. And a Pepsi machine too!
More seriously, I like Diet Pepsi, but I'm not so keen about vending machines on our public sidewalks.
Posted by: JMS | June 15, 2009 9:00 AM
I didn't think of that. (Competition for fees from the ATM down the block at Barnes & Noble) Excellent conspiracy theory.
I can't imagine it will be long before somebody steals the entire maching right off the sidewalk so any debate is probably just a waste of time.
Posted by: emg | June 15, 2009 10:33 AM
Kachulis should think before he blocks the right of way.
Posted by: emg | June 15, 2009 1:12 PM
Kachulis should think before he blocks the right of way.
Posted by: Heyo | June 15, 2009 3:48 PM
The pictured rising-junior is Chris Kachulis. Also, that ATM machine screws bank of america customers twice. $1.75 fee + $2.00 penalty from BofA.
Can they also prevent the red-haired dude that works at A-1 from showing up at campus parties? That might be a sketchier issue than the ATM.
Posted by: Walt | June 16, 2009 10:06 AM
The dumpy, rusty NHRegister and similar eyesore - newspaper - boxes around the area are much worse nuisances than the ATM shown.
Freedom of the press claims are, to me, really a stretch of the Constitutional protection clause when applied to these offensive sales outlets.
I'm tempted to take a bolt-cutter to the one chained to a post on the lawn in front of our Church on Ridge Road in Hamden.
Rise up! Ban 'em all!!
anyone see a problem with Urban Outfitters and the other outlet stores blasting their air conditioning out onto the sidewalk with their doors open? I think it's outrageous that I must breathe the pollution they're causing just to "draw" more people into the store for overpriced plastic crap from China.
as for outdoor ATM's, there is one in front of Mamoun's as mentioned, as well as the diner next to Est Est Est on Chapel at Park, and there is another ATM outside the Yale Bookstore further down the block from A-1.
If you've ever been inside A-1, you'd know there isn't a whole lot of room inside, and an ATM is useful to many; the sidewalk display at Gourmet Heaven is obnoxious compared to a tiny machine dispensing money!
We should be focusing on real problems like the slate sidewalk between College and High Streets, on Chapel. Loose stone, tripping hazards galore, and no real solution! The ATM complaint probably came from Gourmet Heaven, whose ATM is inside their store.
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