The Empire Hotel's roof bar (operated by Jeffrey Chodorow) has been forced to close its outdoor area after a neighboring co-op won a preliminary injunction against the hotel operator. According to the recently released decision, the co-op residents had serious issues with the Empire roof bar shortly after its opening in June, 2008, but despite their numerous calls to 311 and various inspections, the bar managed to stay in business. In 2009, the residents hired an acoustical engineer to help prove that the noise coming from the roof "created a nuisance that degraded the residents' quality of life and diminished their property values", but the courts denied their request for an injunction. However, the co-op appealed that ruling and won, with the Appellate Court decreeing that they had met all of the standards to receive the injunction, and that El Chod's defense "contained inadmissible hearsay". The Empire will no longer be able to operate the outdoor part of the roof bar until the case is settled.
The Appellate Court's ruling also finds that it is "wholly immaterial to maintaining an action for nuisance at common law whether or not DEP, or indeed any municipal authority, has issued noise ordinance violations." In plain English, a bar does not have to wait until the City or State of New York issues a violation before a neighbor with a beef can allege that the bar has degraded their quality of life and degraded their property values. Of course, this co-op had acoustical testing to prove their was noise, and not just that there were people smoking outside or taxis trying to pick up late night fares, but expect to see more lawsuits as the nightlife battles rage on. UPDATE: There's an update from Chodorow here.
· 61 W. 62 Owners Corp. v Cgm Emp LLC [Lawsuits]
· Empire Hotel Coverage [~ENY~]
· Nightlife Coverage [~ENY~]