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CB4 BLP Meeting May 14th

posted Apr 30, 2018, 1:13 PM by West Block   [ updated Apr 30, 2018, 1:21 PM ]
Dear neighbors,

As many of you know all too well - we've heard the complaints about safety, noise, vomit, public urination, traffic and crowds - our community is quickly being turned into a bar destination.

Your BA is working with other BAs and elected representatives to address this, but we are in for a very tough fight. Our first step is to address the Business License and Permits (BLP) Committee of Community Board 4 (CB4). We have set up a meeting for May 14th at 5:30PM. I'll post the final location here as soon as we know it. Please email me at west45ba@gmail.com if you'd like to attend.

Some history:
For years now, the BLP Committee of CB4 and the State Liquor Authority (SLA) have rubber stamped new bar and liquor serving applications - overruling community objections - creating a crisis in our community. Driving these rubber stamps is of course lobbying and money. The city and state get a lot of operating revenue from these bars in the form of fees and taxes. And property owners are an immensely strong lobby for more bars since they can demand huge monthly rents from bars that other businesses can't afford to pay.

The 500 foot rule:
According to the 500 foot rule - a state guideline used by CB4 to determine whether a community is over-saturated with bars and liquor serving establishments - generally, no more than three on-premise liquor licenses are permitted within 500 feet of each other. However, there is an exception to this Rule known as the Public Interest Exception.

If the location is subject to the 500 foot rule, and no “grandfathering” or other exception applies, the license cannot be issued unless the State Liquor Authority makes an affirmative finding that it is in the public interest to issue the license. This clearly creates a presumption that the license should not be issued. The 500 foot rule requires that the Authority consult with the municipality or community board and conduct a hearing to gather facts to determine whether the public interest would be served by issuing the license. This is commonly referred to as the “500 Foot Hearing”.

When considering whether it would be in the public interest to approve the application, the Authority may consider the following:

      • the number, classes and character of other licensed premises not only in the area where the proposed establishment will be located but also in the particular municipality (or subdivision of the municipality)
      • whether the applicant has obtained all other necessary governmental licenses and permits
      • the effect on vehicular traffic and parking in proximity to the location
      • the impact on the existing noise level
      • the history of ABC violations and reported criminal activity at the location
      • any other factor specified by law or regulation that would be relevant to deciding whether public convenience and advantage, as well as the public interest, would be served by approving the application
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