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Consents & Variances

Removal of an Abandoned Newsstand I/F/O 315 Seventh Avenue corner of West 28 Street.

WHEREAS, In 2004, a newsstand was placed directly in front of 315 7th Avenue, a residential building between 27th and 28th Streets (the southeast corner of 28th Street); and

WHEREAS, This large newsstand, has been vacant and non operative since 2004 and is now almost completely covered with graffiti (see attached photo); and

WHEREAS, Numerous complaints regarding the unsightliness of the newsstand, the already crowded aspect of this block, i.e., vendors, telephone booths, entrances to the subway, have been filed by residents of 315 7th Avenue and requests have been made to have the newsstand removed; and

WHEREAS, Presently, there exists a newsstand on the very next corner of 28th Street (northeast corner) and another newsstand at the other end of the same block on 27th Street (northeast corner); and

WHEREAS, CB5 learned that in April 2004, Mr. Pankaj Patel, an employee for many years at the newsstand located on the northeast corner of 27th Street when it was owned by his brother Piyush Patel, applied for a license for this newsstand when his brother retired; and

WHEREAS, The request to operate the 27th Street newsstand was denied and Mr. Patel was advised by the Department of Consumer Affairs ("DCA") that he must submit a new application, which he did; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Patel was granted permission to operate near the southeast corner of Seventh Avenue and West 28th Street, and

WHEREAS, Shortly after the "new" newsstand was approved by DCA, the 2 adjacent existing phone booths were replaced with 2 new phone booths that are larger than the previous ones, and

WHEREAS, As a result, the newsstand was no longer in compliance with DCA and DOT regulations vis-à-vis the minimum distance between a newsstand and a phone booth, and

WHEREAS, Verizon and the Department of Information Technology have refused to move the said phone booths (having been there for many years); and

WHEREAS, Shortly thereafter, the "new" newsstand appeared and was placed in front of the residential building of 315 7th Avenue where it has sat vacant for approximately three years; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five was never notified of this application, nor was the owner/manager of "Kheel Towers" at 315 7th Avenue, both are required to be notified as part of DCA's Licensing Newsstand Approval Process; and

WHEREAS, CB5 has learned that the reason Mr. Patel was not given approval to operate the already existing/operating newsstand on the northeast corner of 27th Street (his preference), was because the "footprint" did not fit the new newsstand which is larger; and

WHEREAS, CB5 has also learned that there are required minimum clearances from certain obstructions, among them subway entrances/exits (which exist at both ends of this block) for which special size limitations apply; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five regrets that the required notification process was not followed and believes Mr. Patel should be licensed to operate the existing newsstand on the northeast corner of 27th Street because of:

RESOLVED, That the vacant/non operating newsstand in front of 315 7th Avenue

The above resolution passed by a vote of 29 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.

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