Something strange is happening within the membership ranks of Community Board 3. After years of treating applicants for liquor licenses like locusts, it seems the members of the Board, its SLA subcommittee, and various neighborhood associations are turning on each other. The reason? A general anger over what many perceive to be an inconsistent voting record on applications in the Board's so called "Resolution Areas". In a Villager expose, Kurt Cavanaugh of the East Village Community Coalition claims that the Board is inconsistent in regard to licenses in resolution areas,” and no longer represents the neighborhood's concerns. But Board and SLA committee David Conn fires back that blanket denials for every application don't make any sense, adding that "if we do that, why do we even need to have hearings?" Exactly.
It seems that board infighting and the SLA's recent string of license approvals despite local opposition have turned the whole process on its head. Where does that leave us?
Realizing that the moratorium on new licenses hasn't stopped the problem, some members of the Board have taken to reaching out to property owners directly to request that they search for tenants who aren't restaurants and bars in a hope that they will see the potential long term impact on property values if the whole neighborhood only becomes a place to get drunk. But many new property owners will most likely not see the long term view and look for the quick buck and high rents that restaurants pay.
Is there anything else that can work? It always seemed logical to make it more expensive to open a bar by raising the price of acquiring a liquor license, therefore making it less likely that every single space would be converted into a bar. But what do we know? Anyway, if you've been waiting for the right moment to try and get your application approved, it seems that you should try and take advantage of the opportunity.
· Committee Flouts Board’s Policy On Bars [Villager]
· The Drying of NYC [~ENY~]
· Nightlife Coverage [~ENY~]