As Manhattan’s central business district, Community Board Five has a high concentration of licensed establishments, ranging from restaurants, to bars, hotels and clubs. Each month, the board receives dozens of liquor license applications to review. The Public Safety & Quality of Life (PSQL) committee plays a vital role in reviewing these applications and making recommendations to the State Liquor Authority (SLA). It ensures that new and existing establishments fit into the fabric of the neighborhood and maintain positive relationships with the community.
A growing residential population in the district has made it more necessary to negotiate agreements that prevent ill will between residents and operators. In recent years, the committee has worked to establish a Restricted Licensing Area from 19th Street to 21st Street in Flatiron to curb problematic activity, to form a comprehensive policy related to rooftops and other outdoor space and to help shutter bad actors. The committee has also secured countless agreements with operators that have been incorporated into the licenses issued by the SLA. The committee regularly fields complaints related to licensed establishments and works to resolve the issues.
In addition to liquor license applications, the PSQL committee also reviews applications for Physical Culture Establishment (PCE) licenses, which are necessary to run gym, spa, massage or related facilities.