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Calanni Auto Service Denied Request to Add Parking Spaces

In his application to the city, he said that a restriction would “effectively put (him) out of business.”

A Lakewood businessman was denied a request to add a few more parking spaces to his Madison Avenue auto repair shop.

That ruling by the , came after a court battle earlier this year between the city and Charles Calanni over the number of cars he’s allowed to have parked in front of the business.

Calanni, who owns , at 13728 Madison Ave., applied for a redesign of his parking lot with the city’s architectural board of review.

His request was denied.

City inspectors have reported that there are often more than a dozen vehicles parked in front of the business — despite only allowing eight.

Calanni was found guilty of failure to comply in in April 2011 for having too many cars parked in front of the business. His .

Calanni, who has owned the business since 1979, told Lakewood Patch on Thursday that he doesn’t agree with the city’s assertion that agreed in 1984 to limit the number of cars in his lot to eight.

“I think it’s strange that they produce this document from 1984,” he said. “They didn’t have a problem for all these years and now they’ve got a problem.”

In his application to the city, Calanni argued that he doesn’t need to comply with city ordinance because he believes the business is “grandfathered in.”

He also claimed that if reduced to eight parking spaces, the restriction would “effectively put (him) out of business.”

In December 2010, after “continued non-compliance,” the city issued Calanni a citation for “failure to comply with building violations” in violation of Lakewood Codified Ordinances 1306.99, according to court records.

Brandon Scullion June 18, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Thanks for the link, Rick. Very informative.
Jane Doe June 18, 2012 at 09:45 PM
I also would like to know how they have stayed in business after hearing all of the shady things that go on here..an old neighbor of mine worked under the table for him & was told numerous times to 'rig' vehicles in order for the customers to have to come back to spend additional money on repairs. He also had two dangerous dogs chained up in the garage at night with no access to food or water, Lakewood Animal Control doesn't seem too concerned about this?? We don't live in the ghetto, no need to have dogs chained up to guard your shop...
anymous June 19, 2012 at 01:44 AM
I hate you, Charlie, Do you live close by? The LPD are NOT frequent visitors, if they are there it is because of someone doing something in the apartment complex next door that Charlie manages. Also the dogs are not there. The city is hard up fior cash right now, pure and simple, otherwise they wouldn't be bothering Callani's and other businesses. They also pick and choose. I have been living close by there for some time now and have complained to the city about the church/daycare that clogs up streets, allows their people to park wherever they feel fit and the city has done nothing. Also, the church/daycare isn't zoned nor has permits for late night activity and there is always people there doing things, having parties etc. They are almost as bad as Callani's.
anymous June 19, 2012 at 01:44 AM
As for the "F" rating with the better business bureau. All the BBB takes in account is peoples words for it, they do NOT do any investigation on their own to prove any validity of claims. A good majority of ALL BBB ratings are flawed with faker reports, both good and bad. I don't know all of the facts yet for sure but what I do know, and plan on telling the mayor and the planning committee if the spineless, gutless, wastes of political breath would ever return (or have a representative) a call is that they are about to be investigated by both the county and state agencies for their practices and their strong arming of some businesses and the fact they look away at others. I am on one of those committees
anymous June 19, 2012 at 01:46 AM
For the record, I have no affiliation with Callani's. I believe he is a shady character myself. However, I do live really close to the place and know that the city of Lakewood does also engage in shady business practices.
Judy Towner June 19, 2012 at 11:41 AM
I had work done there years ago. He gave me a discount for paying in cash. Think he hides anything?
Judy Towner June 19, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Oh, yes and the dog. Thought I was going to be attacked while walking my dogs many times. I changed my route so I didn't have to go past. Scared the heck out of my dogs.
Paul Grimm June 19, 2012 at 12:53 PM
AnyMouse - 'facts' on Calanni aren't hard too find with a simple Google search. Aside from the 17 complaints filed against his business with the BBB was 'Government action(s) against business' http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=In%20OHCO%2020110714602.xml
Jane Doe June 19, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Oh really? The dogs aren't there? Interesting because every single night I walk my own dogs past, they are chained up on extremely short tethers in the back of the hot garage. Maybe I'm hearing & seeing things then?
anymous June 19, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Jane Doe, I live withing viewing distance of Callani's and unless you are walking on madison EVERY night like you claim, then you are a liar as I am outside or by my window EVERY NIGHT. If the dogs were a problem, then animal control would act on it, which they have not. I am not saying they aren't there at all, I just know for a fact that they are not there every night as they actually go to a house a couple houses away from me on many nights.
anymous June 19, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Maybe Liar is a harsh word, for that I apologize. However, even with the problems at Callani's it does not give the city the right to pick and choose him over others. What about the run down buildings on Madison? There is one that is condemned but the city won't d anything abut it because as Dru Siley said to a councilman last year "Madison ave and the people nearby there" are not as important to us as Detroit avenue.
anymous June 19, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Paul Grimm, Have you EVER WORKED in a law office or for the BBB? I have worked for the BBB in other areas in the past and currently work in the law field. Fact: Violations do exist at Callanis. Fact: The city is full of a bunch of gutless political hacks that cannot even return phone calls from offices that help disperse funds. The city already lost alot of funding for housing because of the way their inspectors handle things... I worked on that one personally. Part of my job is to hold ALL businesses in Lakewood, even the city itself, responsible for malfeasance, negligence and fraud among other things. Callani's does have violations like I said, however, the city is overstepping it's boundaries especially since they ignore other issues as well, like crumbling roads in some areas or by allowing construction or utility workers to work without 1)asking residents permission to enter their properties (required by law) or 2) more importantly, not making sure the area they are working in is safe and properly blocked off.
Jane Doe June 19, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Apology accepted. I am not trying to argue, I'm just very concerned about the dogs' well being. From my conversations with animal control, they are definitely aware of the situation, the problem is proving anything...apparently Callani's has always denied everything & perhaps the only reason these poor dogs aren't there every evening is so animal control can't get the proof they need. The animals are tethered on very short leashes (say 2-3 ft leads)..one wrong move & there goes their water until morning.
anymous June 19, 2012 at 03:12 PM
FYI, Many business give discounts for paying in cash anymore as it is getting expensive for businesses to accept bank and credit cards. The Firestone next door gave me a cash discount recently and they are generally regarded as a "good business."
anymous June 19, 2012 at 03:26 PM
I talked to a friend of mine in animal control as well and 2-3 feet is the distance they are allowed to be on only. I actually confirmed this when I had an issue with a now fired animal control worker several years ago. I have called my friend recently about Callani's dogs and they also confirmed to me that they were aware of it but couldn't do anything about it because they went and looked and found the dogs to be withing compliance. Its sad but true.
Paul Grimm June 19, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Ok, Any-Mouse, you've had a couple jobs working with the BBB and you are also an attorney, or something. Good for you. You are correct, violations exist at Calanni's. Please try to stay on topic.
CLYDE THOMAS June 19, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Callani's is just plain BAD business..it needs to go away.
anymous June 19, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Unfortunately, no matter what the people think, the city cannot legally do anything more than fine Callani's. And they can only assess so many fines per year. The city doesn't give permits to operate, the county does. The only way they could try to remove Callani's as a business is if they were a biological nuisance to the residents of the city, which they are not. It's the same reason why the city refused to do anything about McDonalds buying the Detroit theater. They cannot legally get involved in private business (I was front row when both the mayor and Mr. Siley stated that). I'd love to see A WHOLE lot more reputable businesses go up in Lakewood and the bad ones leave. Problem is the picking and choosing that the city does.
anonymous June 19, 2012 at 11:44 PM
ps his old mechanic works for Kelly's auto service
Silvia Weber June 20, 2012 at 02:17 AM
In 1998, at a City meeting, Calanni stated he parks up to 100 cars on city streets at any one time. The church/daycare does not clog the streets, Calanni does. Parties? Those are AA meetings held at the church. Lakewood Police are frequent visitors to Calanni. Need proof? Call City Hall (521-7580) ask to see the police file for 13728 Madison Avenue - this is public information. You will find most calls to police are dis-satisfied customers. Read police reports to see what people are subjected to. Carl Monday received so many complaints/calls about Calanni he could no longer ignore the situation and did an exposé which aired on TV . Calanni was tried in Cuyahoga County Court and found guilty of being a nuisance. It is up to the City to enforce this verdict. In 2005, reporter Michael Gill wrote an article for the CLEVELAND FREE TIMES about Calanni's business - it's worth reading. Calanni is currently on probation for Building Code Violations - due to appear in Lakewood court. To find court dates go to: onelakewood.com>Departments>Municipal Court>Court Dockets/Schedules>Search by Party/case/ticket>type in Charles Calanni. Tying a dog in a hot garage on a two foot chain/rope all night, my veternarian weigh-in on this. It's going to be 93 degrees tomorrow - those poor animals. Let Calanni take his "thriving" business to Westlake, where he lives. I agree with Tfacey above - "I am simply BLOWN away that Calanni is still in business!" How? Why?
Patch reader June 21, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Calanni has made a mockery of the Lakewood Justice system. Laws exist to be enforced, but for some reason he has been able to bend the rules to suit his personal business. A friend of mine brought her Mazda Miata to be repaired. He quoted her one price but jacked up the price of the repair when she came to pick the car up because she wasn't wise enough to ask for a copy of the original estimate in writing. She had to take him to court to recover her property. I'd be afraid to take my car here just because of the number of people he has jerked. I agree with the other reader about Calanni moving his auto repair business to Westlake. Please go. Thank you Lakewood for denying this request.
Silvia Weber June 22, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Dear Patch Reader, Your thoights regarding Calanni mocking the justice system would be well served in a letter to the mayor: mayor@lakewoodoh.net
Concerned Citizen June 24, 2012 at 07:11 PM
I live down the street from Calanni Auto and walk my dog by there on a regular basis. I have been inside and played with his two dogs and they are the sweetest dogs ever. I've seen them get fed multiple times a day and when they get put on leashes, they are not two feet, more like four feet. I know for a fact they take the dogs home with them on some nights, and never leave them there on hot nights, and i also know that it is NEVER 93 degrees at night. I don't understand why this business cannot use their own parking lot.That's like buying a house and not being aloud to use 3 out of the 5 rooms.
Silvia Weber June 26, 2012 at 05:25 AM
To Concerned Citizen, It seems odd that you choose to walk your dog to/by Calanni's. A walk to the park might be more enjoyable for your dog. Abused animals are often "sweet" , hoping to be rescued from their dire situation. Let's tie you to a four foot chain at the back of that hot, filthy garage - you will be happy to have the additional two feet of chain, no doubt. 93 degrees during the DAYTIME, night time temperature was not mentioned. You certainly know a great deal about the daily , no make that hourly, routine of this business. A better analogy of Calanni's use of that parking lot is having a 5 bedroom home, converting those 5 bedrooms to 15 bedrooms, sleeping in the living room and renting out the dining room to borders. "concerned citizen" -really?
WeberisAnnoying July 23, 2012 at 04:24 PM
I think you should be tied to a four foot chain. Take your brown nosing ass elsewhere please and stop sticking it in matters that have nothing to do with you.
Silvia Weber August 22, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Dear WeberisAnnoying, Ouch! Ouch! That really hurts!! On second thought, no it doesn't, coming from someone who won't use their real name. Usually someone who hides their real identity is also hiding something else. Grow some balls and tell us who you are before you make statements like this.
LakewoodGirl August 28, 2012 at 03:44 PM
My husband and I have put lots of money into our vehicles lately at Callani's. We have found that he is reliable in fixing the vehicles and can beat many of the local prices. We have formed a good relationship with him and know he does the best he can with a small family business. If costs go up when you go back and you are upset about his, you probably need a reality check in the auto service business.. Because this happens everywhere. Mechanics would risk their reputation even more if they let you drive away an unsafe car. If you don't want any surprises, say so in the beginning. Otherwise, it is just normal practice, even at national chains. And for his dogs? They are very friendly and energetic. They are well trained and I see employees petting them and rewarding them on their down time. They aren't abused. This local thriving business is abused. People are so quick to attack people they don't know or understand. It is a shame.
The original Bill August 28, 2012 at 07:01 PM
LakewoodGirl that is blatantly untrue. I have been using Ralph's Sunoco for over 25 years and not once, I repeat not once has he ever charged me more than the estimate. So it does not happen everywhere.
Silvia Weber August 30, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Need a good, honest, professional, small, family-run auto mechanic? Try Capiccioni's Marathon at 14001 Lakewood Heights Blvd. They do excellent work for a fair price. Capiccioni's has serviced our vehicles and several of our friends vehicles for years. Their shop is clean and neat. No junk parts laying in his parking lot, no used lawn mowers littering the entrance to his service bays. No chained dogs that need to be rescued. Capiccioni's performs all work inside his service bays. It is illegal to perform work outside of service bays. His property is not parked up with the same cars for weeks, months, or years. And you don't have to tell Capiccioni that you don't want to be surprised when you get your bill.
James G. Walsh October 18, 2012 at 12:52 PM
This guy is a classic "smile in your face while he picks your pocket" BUM. As slick an operator as you'll ever meet. Talks a real sincere/ regular guy kind of game to keep you on his hook. He'll make every attempt to take your last dime while whining to you about how times are so hard for him. He's a master at overpricing his work, doing temporary fixes that put you on a trail for repeat work, "holding" onto your car while he "figures some things out". He essentially holds your car hostage until you pay his over-inflated and unexpected bill. A REAL CON MAN.

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