There’s now more room to park at Bumpy’s Polar Freeze on State Street, but the shop may have made way for the new spaces illegally.
The walk-up ice cream stand’s owner was issued notices from the city and state after he allegedly demolished the Hoffman Car Wash next door without the proper permits, and failed to heed a stop-work order, officials said. The structure was cleared to make way for additional parking at the State Street shop.
Bumpy’s, a long-standing operation serving frozen treats and hot food, only had a few parking spots of its own, so customers would frequently park just across the street at the shuttered IHOP.
Schenectady County last October announced plans to purchase the old pancake house at 2025 State St., and convert it into the new location for the county Department of Motor Vehicles. As the project progresses toward an end-of-summer completion date, fencing has been installed, preventing Bumpy’s customers from using the lot.
To alleviate the parking issues, Bumpy’s owner, David Elmendorf, made plans last year to purchase the car wash next door on Shirley Drive. The car wash purchase came through this year, and the structure was taken down on July 15.
In its place is a freshly paved lot with 15 to 20 new parking spaces, a couple of additional picnic tables for seating and a small attendant’s hut that remains from the car wash.
However, the car wash was knocked down illegally, said Carl Falotico, Schenectady's corporation counsel.
City code officers arrived on the site and found demolition had been completed without the proper permits, Falotico said. The city issued a stop-work order, which workers did not comply with, he said.
The code violations for failing to obtain proper permits are dated July 17. The lot has been paved for a couple of weeks.
Officials from the state Department of Labor were on site regarding the demolition as well. A spokesman from the department confirmed that they received a complaint and issued a stop-work order at the property, but did not comment further, citing an ongoing investigation.
Elmendorf, Bumpy’s owner, declined to comment on the code violations.
The city will be proceeding with a court action for the unpermitted demolition, Falotico said, which could result in a fine or even jail time.
Two dumpsters tucked into the corner of the lot farthest from the ice cream stand contain wood and concrete building materials, possibly from the recent demolition work. The city is having the dumpsters' contents tested for asbestos, though the dumpsters themselves would likely not constitute a city code violation, Falotico said.