LES businesses battle community boards

November 02, 2010 12:00PM

A group of high-profile restaurateurs are trying to form a trade association on the Lower East Side, largely motivated by their belief that Community Board 3 is unfair in their rejection of beer and wine licenses for aspiring new businesses, the Wall Street Journal reported. “In a way, we’re making or breaking dreams,” said Ariel Palitz, who owns a nightclub and is also a member of Community Board 3’s State Liquor Authority and Department of Consumer Affairs Licensing Committee. The battles are particularly intense at Community Board 2, which covers Soho, Noho and the West Village, and at Community Board 3, which covers the Lower East Side and parts of Chinatown. However, board members insist that they are working to balance the demands of residents and business owners. Dominic Pisciotta, chairman of Community Board 3, appointed three bar owners to the committee to provide input and address concerns. “We’re really striving to make the process as fair as possible but we definitely need to keep the community residents’ concerns in our minds as well,” Pisciotta said, though he acknowledged that the process still has room for improvement. [WSJ]