Roslyn Village to decide fate of grocery

Max Zahn
The property in Roslyn at 10 Roosevelt Avenue where Full House Organic will be located.

A monthslong dispute between Roslyn Village and a proposed organic grocery store that has included  a contentious public meeting, threats of a lawsuit against the village and a petition in favor of the store signed by 264 people is exected to come to a vote on Monday.

The Zoning Board of Appeals will likely make a final decision about the store, Full House Organic, at its public meeting at Village Hall at 8 p.m., the store’s legal representative, Ian Poulos, said.

The dispute concerns whether the special use permit  for  the store, approved by the Board of Trustees on Feb. 16, allows the store to sell prepared foods like rotisserie chickens, grilled vegetables and smoothies, as long as those are made off-site.

“We have high hopes,” Poulos said. “We’re not asking for something we didn’t ask for before.”

The store owners, Judy Racz and her husband, Gavin Racz, on Monday opened an off-site location in Mineola at which they plan to cook foods that will be delivered to and sold from the grocery store in Roslyn.

Judy Racz said she will not attend the meeting on Monday. Her legal representatives will handle the proceedings.

“I’m just trying to open up a small market to sell food and they’re making it really difficult,” she said. “I don’t see how selling some prepared foods in a market matters.”

She and her husband sought the special use permit from the village because they wanted to open their store at 10 Roosevelt Ave. in an area zoned for light retail, said Richard Belziti, the Roslyn Village superintendent of buildings.

Poulos and co-counsel David Schwartz on Tuesday submitted a clarification of the store’s request. The clarification lists types of foods, like prepackaged sandwiches and salads, that the store would like to sell under the special use permit.

Belziti sent a letter to Gavin Racz on Sept. 15 saying the store could not sell prepared foods, even if they were made off-site.

He stands by the decision.

“My take on it is exactly how I prepared my disapproval,” he said, referring to the letter. “My take on it may not be their take on it.”

The storeowners are appealing the decision.

The Board of Zoning Appeals convened a hearing about Full House Organic’s special use permit on Dec. 30 but the proceeding was cut short due to an expletive uttered by Gavin Racz. He said he will attend the meeting on Monday.

If the decision does not go in Full House Organic’s favor,  Racz said he may sue the village.

“I’m investing hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said. “I mean, what else can I do at that point?”

“We were granted a permit for grocery store and they’re not allowing us to operate as grocery store,” he added. “A grocery store anywhere in the world can sell a sandwich.”

Attempts to reach Roslyn Mayor John Durkin were unavailing.

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