Community Needs More Input in Shutting Down Problem Clubs
Dec 22, 2015 | 16469 views | 0 0 comments | 862 862 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Outside Club Allure in Long Island City, there have been 15 arrests and four felony assaults from people being shot. And yet, as evidenced by a press conference held by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer last week, the city and community seems pretty powerless in preventing bad businesses – especially bars and nightclubs – from operating. That needs to change.

While New York City is known for its world-class nightlife, there's a time and place for it and there's never a place for not feeling safe within your own neighborhood or home. And yet, businesses like Club Allure and Rumba Nightclub in Rego Park among countless other across the city continue to draw valuable police resources away from other areas of need.

Take the case of Rumba Nightclub on Woodhaven Boulevard. The owners were recently granted a liquor license renewal by the State Liquor Authority despite protest from the community board and Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz.

A mechanism needs to be put in place where swifter action in shutting down clubs is feasible and the community gets more say in whether or not problem clubs are allowed to stay in operation. The request shouldn't go to some bureaucrat somewhere, it should go to the community board.

The Seneca Avenue strip of Ridgewood is a perfect example of clubs impacting the quality of life. In the past year, at least three nightclubs have been closed by court order more than once. It took multiple closings to finally take away the liquor licenses of some of these bad actors, but for an entire year residents had to live with the disturbances.

Nobody knows a community better than the members of that neighborhood itself, so giving some empty suit in Albany the power to directly decide the fate of a block seems arbitrary and capricious. The power needs to shift into the hands of the residents, community board and other elected leaders, who know their neighborhoods better than anyone else.
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