New York City residents are a group that has sued the city to End the “proliferation of outdoor dining” that’s taken place under the city’s Program Open RestaurantsThe expansion was announced by Al frescoThere were no dining options available during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democratic politician, launched the Open Restaurants Program in June 2020. De Blasio announced the program in June 2020. NotedHe hoped that it would enable city bars and restaurants to “maximize their customer base” as well as “rebound” through the use of “certain outdoor spaces, such curbside and sidewalk.”[,]There is street space available right in front these restaurants. [and]Bars
It has proven so successful, that some lawmakers are considering making it permanent.
“The Open Restaurants program allows more than 10.300 city restaurants to open outdoor dining on the sidewalks, streets, and other public areas. The New York Times reportedIn December. Today Nearly 12,000Participating bars and restaurants are also invited to join the program.
Open Restaurants is a great resource for New York restaurants. Last month, New York City restaurateur Annie Shi WriteThat is “the only reason” [Shi’s restaurant]The Open Restaurants Program is available to King. Shi’s right. You are not alone, as I explain in my Column last week, one California restaurateur, echoing thousands of others across the state, said “pandemic rules that let him expand his restaurant’s eating area outside…helped keep his business afloat during the pandemic.” California also expanded its outdoor dining regulations.
However, this lawsuit seeks the end of New York City’s similar successful program. It claims the city failed to follow rules for approving such programs—including a mandated environmental review—and ignored zoning rules and other regulations. The city claims it is “unleashing” numerous maladies and that they are “highly destructive to local neighborhoods and residents”.
However, a close inspection of the complaint shows that there isn’t much there. However, this complaint is littered with hackneyed and exaggerated complaints.
A petitioner claims, for instance that it helped to remove all limitations on bars and outdoor restaurants. This was not the case. These bars and restaurants remain under the control of the heavy-handed city health department as well as other agencies.
Other people cited in this complaint appear to only long for the past. The petitioners raise many issues which seem to have nothing to do with Open Restaurants Program. One petitioner claims that people are selling drugs right in front his apartment, and they also drink alcohol in the hallways. A second complains about the “small, mom and pop” stores that used to be on her street. However, she says it was once home to many individuals and has since been “modernized.”[n]Many of the buildings are owned by large companies.
Some petitioners assert that the program led to the growth of the city’s culinary scene. It seems unlikely given the circumstances. More than 4,500 New York City-based restaurants have been forced to close since the start of the pandemic
Mary Ann Pizza Dennis is another complainant. She claims that it caused “everyone to eat outside”, which in turn has led her family’s spiraling out of control. Pizza Dennis claims that her husband is a loud TV-watcher to drown out others. In turn, petitioner looks in her bedroom at TV and attempts to drown him out.
Other complaints include noise, trash and inadequate parking. Many of the complaints New York City residents make about their city life are familiar. This is because they have complained about similar things for many decades. As it turns out, there are many. GothamistNOTES IN a ReportOn the suit,[m]The Manhattan Supreme Court filed a 108-page document. It contains a list of complaints about crowds, smoking, garbage, homeless people, lack of parking, and rats.
It is clear that these complaints from residents are not without cause. ValidThis is. Outdoor dining wasn’t the main problem. Predates the pandemicIt is. New York City officials could and should do better at addressing the concerns of residents. However, the city can and should also use existing methods to address noise and rats.
Smart lawmakers embraced al frescoDining as an aid to bars and restaurants in surviving the pandemic. Many people have come to realize that increasing outdoor dining opportunities is the best way to beat the pandemic.