Due to what they called a proliferation of liquor license applications on Vernon Boulevard, Community Board 2 has scheduled a public hearing next month to address the issue.
At a liquor license review meeting last week, Community Board 2 City Services Committee Chairman Patrick O’Brien tabled all applications for establishments along the boulevard, which runs through the rapidly transforming Hunters Point section of the neighborhood. They will be addressed at a public meeting at a large venue, tentatively scheduled for the week of July 13.
“We need to formulate a policy,” O’Brien said, noting two more applications on Vernon had come in since the June meeting agenda had been written. “There’s a lot of differences. We need something that will give us a guideline.”
O’Brien also said the new owners of the Vernon Boulevard restaurant and bar Lounge 47 have hired a sound engineer to try to address the noise issue in the bar’s backyard area. More than a dozen neighbors appeared at a CB 2 meeting earlier this month to speak out against renewing the establishment’s liquor license because of the noise.
Sgt. David Porter of the 108th Precinct, said he gets numerous calls about Lounge 47, but because the complaints are low on the priorities list, police at the precinct cannot respond until as much as 90 minutes later. He said the last time he visited the bar, he noticed signs posted throughout the establishment asking patrons to respect the neighbors.
“What we need to do here is be sure we’re not looking to put people out of business, but at the same time curtail the behavior of certain people,” he said.
Neighbors of Lounge 47 were largely happy with the public hearing plan, though they had a few reservations.
“I thoroughly applaud the decision to be objective,” said artist Kenny Greenberg, who lives on the same block as Lounge 47. But he also warned about the potential for public spectacle. “It’s also going to become a political circus where everyone loyal to one particular place could pack the crowd.”
O’Brien agreed there would be some grandstanding, but said “it really would be up to the board to separate the wheat from the chaff.”
Neighbor William Garrett, who has lived in an apartment next to the bar for 18 years, was satisfied with the decision.
“We’re happy to see the community board is recognizing the issue of too many bars on Vernon,” he said. “We’re looking forward to seeing the format of the public hearing.”
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jewalsh@cn
©2009 Community News Group
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