Two unauthorized massage businesses recently planned to open and then closed in New Hyde Park at 800-B Jericho Turnpike across from Lakeville Road according to village officials.
During the Aug. 20 meeting of the New Hyde Park Village Board, mayor Robert Lofaro revealed that initially a massage therapy business had requested to open at the location, but was told it was not an as-of-right use, meaning a special use hearing would be required to obtain a business permit in order to open. The village code dies not permit any sort of massage business.
“The type of business it was, we weren’t sure of all the details,” Lofaro said. “I wanted to mention it in the fact that the village is looking after the businesses.”
After the first business owner retracted their request, a few weeks later the same type of business was opened at the location by another owner who did not ask the village for a permit or permission. That second business had since closed their doors.
The village was alerted to the second business by the owner of the first, who sent building superintendent Tom Gannon a two-page email.
“‘How could you do this? You just told me I couldn’t open this business’,” Gannon said about the contents of the e-mail, “and I was like ‘what are you talking about? I didn’t know a business opened’.”
Lofaro said that the second massage business “never really opened, they were planning on opening,” and noted that a sign was placed on the outside of the building with the business name “True Health Spa.”
The first business was told “that location wouldn’t be feasible for what they wanted,” Lofaro said. “The same type of business then took a lease or whatever and put signage up and was planning on opening and they were told it was not a permitted use, they’d have to come before zoning and so forth and they were like ‘well, we don’t want to do that either’ but they already bought a sign.”
When asked if the building owner/ landlord was aware of the village code requiring a special permit for such a business since the village also requires a specialized wooden sign for new businesses, which was adhered to, Lofaro said that “you would think so; if you’re going to enter into a lease with somebody. Maybe the building owner said ‘I want a sign to match all my other signs’ so maybe that’s why the sign was identical to the other two.”
Phone calls to the number listed on the business location were not answered.