The Riverhead Town Board voted to authorize legal action against the owners of the Glass Greenhouse Farm Market at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting, after holding off on such action at its prior meeting.
The town claims the new building, approximately 5,000-square feet large, is being operated in violation of the town code definition of a farm market, in that more than 40 percent of the items sold there are not grown locally.
Owner Walter Gabrielsen, reached afterward, declined to comment on the Town Board action.
The board vote was 3-1 with Councilman George Gabrielsen, Walter’s brother, absent. George Gabrielsen had previously said he planned to abstain on all votes involving his brother’s business anyway.
Councilman Jim Wooten cast the lone vote against authorizing state supreme court action. He has said he thinks the town can settle the matter out of court.
Supervisor Sean Walter and board members John Dunleavy and Jodi Giglio supported the action.
The supervisor has said the town took another business, A Taste of Country, to court on the same issue and prevailed, adding that it would be hypocritical for the town to enforce its code against one business and not another.
“If Mr. Gabrielsen wants to have 60 percent locally grown produce, I would support it 100 percent, but clearly when you walk into that building, that’s not what’s there,” Mr. Walter said two weeks ago.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the Town Board voted 4-0 in favor of awarding a contract to Borrego Solar to lease space on the town landfill for a solar project, and 4-0 in favor of a resolution requesting proposals to build solar energy projects on other town parking lots.
Click below to read a recap from the board meeting.