A Fifth Avenue café creates cross-district imbroglio

Councilmember Rosie Mendez is enraged that a controversial café application was approved in a neighboring district

TRD New York /
Oct.October 04, 2014 11:00 AM

A cross-district dispute is playing out in the City Council over a sidewalk café Application On Lower Fifth Avenue.

Last week, the City Council approved the application despite opposition from Councilmember Rosie Mendez and residents of her district, who worry about the impact the café will have on those living in the building directly above it, according to the Villager.

The Claudette restaurant, at 24 Fifth Avenue, had received the green light to open a 10-table, 20-seat, unenclosed sidewalk café. It is located in Councilmember Corey Johnson’s district.

But before that approval was given, Mendez highlighted procedural and legal concerns with the application — concerns echoed by residents in her district, whose western border sits just across the street from the café.

“There were many issues, including the fact that the city did not comply with its own guidelines and deadlines, and this application should have failed on that alone,” Mendez said in an interview last week.

An enclosed sidewalk café had existed at the site since the early 1970s but was removed earlier this year. And current zoning does not permit sidewalk cafés on this part of Fifth Avenue, according to the Villager.

Claudette had asked to use the same grandfathering clause that the previous café had enjoyed.

But the café’s opponents argue that the café was inoperative for more than two years, which would repeal its legal nonconforming use.

“I don’t think clear and convincing evidence was provided, at least to me, to make me think that a sidewalk café should be given,” Mendez said. “I also feel that somehow in this city we have zoning laws with so many exceptions to the exceptions.” [The Villager] Christopher Cameron


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
The Democratic Socialists of America are scheming to expand their constituency, decommodify housing and undermine the real estate industry. (iStock)

Stakes rise for real estate as socialists seek City Council foothold

Stakes rise for real estate as socialists seek City Council foothold
Corey Johnson, Andrew Rigie and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty)

Commercial tenant protections get extension from de Blasio

Commercial tenant protections get extension from de Blasio
Councilwoman Carlina Rivera (Getty, iStock)

City Council extends restaurant, retailer lease protections

City Council extends restaurant, retailer lease protections
Council members Antonio Reynoso and Keith Powers (Twitter, NY City Council, Getty)

City Council proposes bill to expand outdoor dining permanently

City Council proposes bill to expand outdoor dining permanently
Officials will consider a measure that would temporarily allow restaurants to increase individual customer’s bills by up to 10 percent. (iStock)

Council votes on restaurant surcharge, renter debt bills

Council votes on restaurant surcharge, renter debt bills
The City Council on Tuesday will consider a series of bills aimed at curbing renter discrimination (iStock)

Council looks to expand tenant discrimination laws

Council looks to expand tenant discrimination laws
(iStock)

City Council may extend deadline for construction safety training

City Council may extend deadline for construction safety training
The legislation from a City Council member introduced a bill to temporarily repeal the commercial rent tax for businesses during the Covid-19 state of emergency. (Getty, iStock)

Commercial rent tax cut introduced in City Council

Commercial rent tax cut introduced in City Council
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...