Community Board 3 Meets with Residents to Discuss Nightlife

Posted on: August 20th, 2010 at 9:00 am by

Noise, people getting wasted, animals and a zoo. Those were just some of the descriptions East Village/Lower East Side residents used to describe some of the individuals that frequent the plethora of bars, lounges and nightclubs in their community. In a packed room at the University Settlement on Houston Street and the Bowery last night, Community Board 3 and local residents gathered to figure out ways to make their community safer and quieter, especially at night when people from outside the community flock to the neighborhood’s local establishments.

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Residents were given time to stand up and voice their concerns to the Community Board. Some suggestions were for the State Liquor Authority to strictly enforce the “500 Foot Rule.” This rule limits the ability of the SLA to issue liquor licenses when there are existing establishments within 500 feet of the applicant’s location. However, if there is a public benefit for the establishment, the rule won’t apply. The problem is the SLA doesn’t have a clear definition of a public benefit for the community.

Some residents suggested a public benefit can be something the neighborhood doesn’t have, like a “kosher place,” said one resident. Paul Seres, President of the New York Nightlife Association, said the police should go to their Borough Command and ask for help in controlling the nighttime crowds. “It worked in Chelsea,” said President Seres, who is also a member of Community Board 4, which covers parts of Chelsea.

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At the meeting a middle-aged couple held up a sign listing the zip codes of the Lower East Side and East Village, detailing how many places in each zip code have alcohol licenses. The sign at the meeting definitely caught the attention of the Community Board, as they referred to it several times. Zip code 10003 has the second highest number of places to drink in the country. Zip code 10009 is in seventh place and zip code 10002 comes in at ninth place. In case you are wondering what the zip code with the most places to drink is, well you have to go all the way to Austin, Texas.

Residents were assured the SLA really cares about their concerns. Translation: More bars and more complaints from area residents.

Written by Andrew Cohen

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