Update: We noticed this invitation today for a NYE party that goes until 5AM. If things get rowdy in the wee hours, call 311.
Since our last post, the Executive Committee of Community Board 2 voted unanimously to oppose the cabaret license application of One Front, fully supporting the recommendations of the Health, Environment and Social Services committee. This information was submitted to the Department of Consumer Affairs. Since then, we have learned to our disappointment and surprise that the DCA has no public hearing process. Decisions by the Commissioner are made based on City Code. For those interested, the portion of the code that we have been told is relevant can be seen at the bottom of this post.
Thus, we believe that DCA may be obligated to grant a license based on the Administrative Code as it relates to zoning. This is where is becomes difficult for neighborhoods such as ours, as we are designated commercial/residential. In spite of the fact that this designation harkens back to 1960, and despite the fact that we are heavily residential at this stage, the official zoning remains the same.
Recognizing this, and responding to our community’s objections to the cabaret, our local politicians have written to the Commissioner of the DCA, Jonathan Mintz. We thank Assemblywoman Joan Millman, outgoing City Councilman David Yassky, and State Senator Daniel Squadron for their support, as well as the District Manager of CB2, Rob Perris, who has been most helpful through this process. In addition, with help from Borough President Marty Markowitz’s office, we are investigating how other commercial/residential neighborhoods, such as Tribeca and Soho, have kept cabarets from their neighborhoods. We believe that those neighborhoods have changed some of the wording within their zoning designation (a process which takes considerable time), but we will continue to research this. We may have to consider a zoning modification here as well.
In the interim, the Chairperson of Community Board 2 has written a second letter to Commissioner Mintz to emphasize that Fulton Ferry is substantially residential despite the zoning and that the DCA consider this. We have also recently learned that One Front St restaurant failed one of the standards listed in the code, so we have a temporary reprieve. You might consider writing directly to Commissioner Jonathan Mintz, http://www.nyc.gov/html/dca/html/contact/contact.shtml and cc Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The relevant Administrative Code:
The Administrative Code under which DCA must issue a license except for the reasons set forth in Administrative Code of the City of New York follows. The following (highlights and underlines added) is from Title 20, Chapter 2, Subchapter 20, Section 20-361:
20-361 Issuance and renewal of license. a. The commissioner may refuse to issue or renew a license to an applicant only upon the occurrence of any one or more of the following conditions: 1. the applicant, licensee, its officers, principals, directors and stockholders owning more than ten percent of the outstanding stock of the corporation have not submitted complete and accurate information required by the department in connection with: (a) an application for a license or renewal thereof; (b) an application for the approval of a change of ownership; (c) the furnishing of a record of convictions for offenses as provided in paragraph five of this subdivision; (d) the furnishing of financial information and records by the applicant, licensee, its officers, principals, directors and stockholders owning more than ten percent of the outstanding stock of the corporation concerning the source of funds used or intended to be used in the operation of the licensed business and the amount of total funds each such individual has invested in the business; 2. the premises on or in which the licensed business is to be conducted have not been certified as in compliance with the health, fire, buildings, zoning and water, gas and electricity safety requirements and standards established by the laws of the city and state of New York or any other governmental authority having jurisdiction thereof; 3. with respect to a new license application for the premises on or in which the licensed business is to be conducted, there is no current certificate of occupancy to operate a public dance hall, cabaret or catering establishment; 4. the applicant, licensee, its officers, principals, directors and stockholders have not complied with the regulations of the department applicable thereto; 5. the applicant, licensee, its officers, principals, directors and stockholders owning more than ten percent of the outstanding stock of the corporation have been convicted of: (a) any of the following offenses and there is a relationship between the offense and the conduct of a public dance hall, cabaret or catering establishment: (i) an offense within article two hundred of the penal law relating to bribery involving public servants; (ii) a felony within article two hundred ten of the penal law relating to perjury; (iii) an offense within article two hundred thirty of the penal law relating to prostitution offenses; (iv) an offense within article two hundred forty-five of the penal law relating to offenses against public sensibilities; (v) an offense within section 260.20 of the penal law relating to unlawfully dealing with a child; (b) any other offense which is a felony under the laws of this state or a crime committed in violation of the laws of any other jurisdiction which if committed in this state would be a felony; (c) any offense which is a misdemeanor involving the premises on or in which the licensed business is to be conducted. 6. the applicant, licensee, its officers, principals, directors and stockholders owning more than ten percent of the outstanding stock of the corporation have suffered or permitted the premises on or in which the licensed business is to be conducted, through improper or inadequate maintenance and supervision, to be used for the commission of any of the offenses set forth in paragraph five of this subdivision; 7. the applicant, its officers, principals, directors, stockholders owning more than ten percent of the outstanding stock of the corporation and employees thereof at the premises on which the licensed business is to be conducted have at least three times been proven to be in violation of the provisions of subchapter one of chapter five of this title [The Consumer Protection Law] of this code or of any regulations promulgated thereunder. (b) The commissioner shall not issue or renew a license if the applicant, licensee, its officers, principals, directors and stockholders owning more than ten percent of the outstanding stock of the corporation have not paid, within the time permitted by law, any fine, penalty or judgment duly imposed in connection with or arising from the use, occupation or operation of the premises on which the licensed business is to be conducted. (e) Each applicant and licensee shall notify the department in writing by registered mail, return receipt requested, within three business days of receipt of notice of service of a summons for a violation relating to the operation of the business licensed or to be licensed or to the premises on or in which the business licensed or to be licensed is to be conducted and of a conviction for any offense set forth in paragraph five of subdivision a of this section occurring after the filing date of the application for a license or a renewal thereof or occurring during the term of the license. (f) In the manner prescribed in rule three hundred eighteen of the civil practice law and rules, each applicant or licensee shall designate an agent, a substitute agent and a successor agent for receiving service of process and communications from this department located within the city of New York. Proof of such designation shall be filed with the license application at the department.