Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Saturation and Zoning: When Will it End?

The issue of bar and club saturation has been focused on the Far West Side of Manhattan but the issue isn't limited to that one area by any means. As the NY Daily News reports today the question of saturation is roiling the CB#2 area (Hunters Point) in Queens as well.

Here once again we are faced with the impact of gentrification on the nightlife business. Here are the words of the district manager of the board: "This is about oversaturation of bars and restaurants in an emerging neighborhood, and of protecting the quality of life for people who live above and close to" the bars.

Perhaps the key issue in all this, as the DM points out, is noise. With the smoking ban it becomes impossible for the owner to control street noise, leading to community complaints and targeted enforcement that always leads to the bar being summoned. It's a vicious cycle that needs to be addressed by the Summit.