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Public Safety & Quality of Life

REPORT OF CB5 - THE MORATORIUM TASK FORCE

 WHEREAS, In 1997 the Committee on Public Safety and Quality of Life of Manhattan Community Board Five passed a resolution (as amended, the "Moratorium Resolution") requesting that the New York State Liquor Authority institute a moratorium on new liquor licenses on 20th, 21st, and 22nd Streets between Fifth and Sixth Avenues (the "Moratorium Area"), in order to address serious problems of extreme noise, vehicular and pedestrian congestion, litter, traffic problems, and belligerent crowds, as well as vandalism and incidents of violence; and

WHEREAS, In 1999, the Board reaffirmed the Moratorium Resolution, adding some clarifying parameters: establishments with public space of less than 3,000 feet that included a full, constructed kitchen were to be exempted, in order to attract dining establishments in this area rather than nightlife operations; and

WHEREAS, In 2010, the PSQL Committee established the Moratorium Task Force (the "MTF") to evaluate the results of Moratorium Resolution, and to determine their relevance at the present time; and

WHEREAS, The MTF's mandate was to gather information with particular emphasis on residents' input, to then identify and use those findings to form the basis for a report with recommendations to the PSQL Committee and CB5; and

WHEREAS, Over a period of six months, the MTF gathered information by meeting with the State Liquor Authority, block associations, neighborhood groups, police detectives, and building owners, as well as performing direct community outreach and surveying residents on the streets; and

WHEREAS, An email address list of over fifty residents in the neighborhood was created, establishing direct communication with these contacts, and monthly email alerts went out in advance of committee meetings, providing the entire list with the expected agenda for the upcoming committee meeting; and

WHEREAS, During the six months of research by the MTF, all applications for liquor licenses in and around the Moratorium Area (whether original or renewals) were assigned to members of the MTF and used as "case studies" to determine: (a) appropriate criteria for approving or denying applications, (b) current and relevant input from the public, and (c) the success of the Moratorium Resolution over the course of the last several years; and

WHEREAS, The report of the MTF (attached hereto, the "MTF Report") was circulated to the PSQL Committee and adopted unanimously by the Committee after discussion took place at the PSQL Committee meeting on March 2, 2011, with comments and input taken from the public; and

WHEREAS, The MTF Report made various recommendations, including revising the Moratorium Resolution to:

1.      Expand the Moratorium Area to include (a) 19th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, and (b) 20th and 21st Streets between Broadway and Park Avenue South;

2.      Increase the maximum size of a permitted operation in the Moratorium Area from 3,000 square feet to 4,000 square feet;

3.      Restrict the hours of operation and method of operation for new establishments to be appropriate and consistent with the special circumstances present in the Moratorium Area; and

4.      Discontinue use of the term "moratorium" in favor of a term more appropriate and supportable by the SLA; and

WHEREAS, The PSQL Committee unanimously adopted the findings of the MTF Report and accepted the recommendations set forth in the MTF Report; and therefore be it

RESOLVED, That, in furtherance of the foregoing, Community Board Five hereby adopts the Policy on the Restricted Licensing Area attached hereto, which policy shall heretofore supersede and replace the Moratorium Resolution; and be it further

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five urges the New York State Liquor Authority to review the MTF Report and its findings and to support the restrictions contained in the Policy on the Restricted Licensing Area as applied to applications relevant thereto.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 32 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.

 

CB5 Restricted Licensing Area Policy

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