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WHAT WE BELIEVE

9 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LOCAL LIVABILITY, EQUAL QUALITY OF LIFE STANDARDS, AND CIVIC PARTICIPATION

  1. The New York State Liquor (SLA) must uphold its mission: "the protection, health, welfare and safety of the people of the State of New York."
     

  2. Strict enforcement of the 500-foot law: “If the location is subject to the 500-foot law, and no other exception applies, the license cannot be issued unless the State Liquor Authority makes an affirmative finding that it is in the public interest to issue the license.”
     

  3. “Public interest” must benefit the local residents of the community and judiciously consider, as per the law, relevant factors including traffic, noise, number of existing licenses, violation and criminal history of location and that proper permits and licenses are obtained. These factors are needed to compare the value of public convenience and “economic advantage” of late night establishments with the public interest of the community.
     

  4. The Governor must increase the operating budget and number of SLA field inspectors in proportion to the increase in licenses, which are overwhelmingly located in the five boroughs, with enforcement focus in areas with highest concentration of liquor licenses ("hotspots").
     

  5. Reporting of an establishment’s violations should not fall primarily to residents: the SLA must proactively inspect, enforce stipulations, work with community boards and the NYPD, incorporate 311 data into its licensing and enforcement processes and implement the “6 in 60 Law” (Quality of Life tool passed in 2010) to remove bad operators.
     

  6. The SLA, Community Boards, and other relevant partners should work together to increase and facilitate citizen participation in the liquor licensing process, making the process fairer and more equitable.  Process reform should take into consideration that most community residents impacted by liquor licenses are working New Yorkers, many with families, and thus do not have the time or resources to engage with the licensing process for an extended period.  This contrasts with the many licensees— and especially the larger club and hospitality owners— who are represented at hearings by lawyers/lobbyists with deep familiarity with the licensing process and longstanding relationships with decision-makers.
     

  7. The Mayor and the New York City Council should work with the NYPD, FDNY, SLA, DOHMH, HHC, NYC311, DOB, CAU, and NYC & NYS Comptrollers to develop an index of neighborhood quality-of-life indicators related to the community impacts of liquor licenses. Indicators would include alcohol-related calls for service and arrests, alcohol-related emergency medical transports, alcohol-related emergency room visits, alcohol-related sexual assaults and noise complaints.
     

  8. The local community boards must adopt a uniform process of informing the public of new liquor license applications. This process should include:
     

    • Standardized and detailed intake forms for applicants that are made publicly available 30 days before the scheduled public hearing. These forms should be included with community board vote recommendations to the New York State Liquor Authority to memorialize what was presented to the public.

    • Large format (11x17) public notification signage that are posted on and within a two block radius of the premises 30 days prior to the community board hearing. Consider this format as presented to The Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment in July 2018.

    • Community board should apply the 500-foot Law in a uniform manner to compare the value of public convenience and “economic advantage” of late night establishments with the public interest of the community and quality of life conditions and retail and service options in the specific area.

    • Petitions of support generated by applicants must be available to the public to discourage fraud and clearly state method of operation consistent with community board intake forms,  include residential addresses within 500 Ft of the proposed premises, and exclude commercial addresses.
       

  9. The profits of alcohol-based businesses must not take precedence over economic diversity and quality of life for New York City residents.

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Neighborhoods United is a community based organization advocating for common sense and fair development for NYC's network of unique and diverse neighborhoods.

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