Friday, May 20, 2011

Kosher pizza restaurant wants University Heights City Council to drop delivery-only requirement for summer 

A kosher take-out pizza restaurant seeks to have City Council drop a restriction it imposed last summer that would require the business to do home delivery only from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Talia Gahanian and Zahava Seltzer, co-owners of Top It Off Pizza, are appealing a May 11 decision by the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals to deny any modification to that ruling by council.

Council was set to hear the appeal May 16, but Fred Bolotin, legal counsel for Gahanian and Seltzer, asked that the appeal be tabled until council’s next meeting so more data could be provided about traffic flow patterns around the business.

Since Nov. 1, Top It Off Pizza has been offering curbside pickup out of the lot adjacent to the Heights Jewish Center Synagogue, 14270 Cedar Road.

Council granted the request to table, so the appeal will be heard at 6:30 p.m. June 6.

Council normally starts its meetings at 7:30 p.m., but Gahanian and Seltzer, both Orthodox Jews from University Heights, requested an earlier time since they believed the Jewish holiday of Shavuot begins at sundown June 6.

Although the two-day holiday actually starts at sundown June 7, the meeting time will remain 6:30 p.m., Mayor Susan Infeld said.

Meanwhile, council voted May 16 to allow Top It Off Pizza to continue to offer curbside pickup for four days after Memorial Day: May 31 through June 3.

Bolotin noted the city’s swimming pool is closed those four days. The main reason council granted the business a special use permit for one year, effective Oct. 1, with the condition of delivery only — no pickup — from Memorial Day through Labor Day is that is basically the city’s summer pool season.

The Heights Jewish Center is adjacent to Purvis Park, at Cedar and Wrenford roads, and the synagogue’s parking lot is used for access to the swimming pool and the park.

Concerns about traffic and safety caused council to not allow any pickup of pizzas while the pool is open.

But the pool, which is open Memorial Day weekend May 28-30, closes again May 31 and does not reopen until June 4.

So council members saw no harm in allowing the restaurant to offer pickup those four days while the pool is closed.

Gahanian said business has been “sporadic” at Top It Off Pizza. She said it averages about 15 vehicles a day with a high of 37 in one day.

May 11, Gahanian told the BZA the restaurant has not generated as much traffic as she had anticipated. Robert Altshuler, vice president of Heights Jewish Center, said the synagogue doesn’t even notice the traffic from it.

“It doesn’t impact us in any way,” he said. “It’s basically minimal. We’re in favor of (the delivery-only requirement being dropped).”

Gahanian added it would be “cost prohibitive” for the business to do delivery only during the summer.

“It’s quite likely we would have to close,” she said.

But BZA membhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifer Rick Adante said he was inclined to send the matter back to council.

BZA member Thomas Cozzens agreed. He added if the board denies the application, Gahanian and Seltzer could appeal to council, as they did last year, when council overturned the BZA’s decision to deny a special permit.


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Chaptzem! Blog