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Public Safety & Quality of Life

Glass Ceiling Events, LLC, d.b.a “The Glass Ceiling”, 1204 Broadway (Between 29th and 30th Streets), New York, NY, application for a new liquor license

WHEREAS, GLASS CEILING EVENTS LLC ("Applicant"), has notified Community Board Five of its intention to apply for a new liquor license for a rooftop bar/lounge/event space to be located at 1204 Broadway (between 29th and 30th Streets) New York, New York (the "Premises"); and

WHEREAS, The entirety of the space is outdoors, on a rooftop (the “Rooftop”) above the fourth floor of the building; and

WHEREAS, In December 2019, CB5 issued a resolution denying the application, attached hereto as Exhibit A (the “Denial Resolution”); and

WHEREAS, Applicant has now requested that CB5 reconsider its decision and submitted a brief (the “Applicant Brief”) which lists four points the Applicant wishes CB5 to address; and

WHEREAS, The first claim Applicant makes in the Applicant Brief is that various windows in the adjacent residential building are non-compliant, and/or are lot-line windows,  and/or should be bricked up, and/or that a sound/privacy wall could be constructed to block certain windows; and

WHEREAS, The windows in question are indicated in these images provided by the Applicant; and

WHEREAS, The potential sound/privacy wall proposed by the Applicant is depicted in these images provided by the Applicant; and

WHEREAS, The neighboring building disputes that the windows are non-compliant, that they can/must be bricked up, and that the sound/privacy wall can be legally constructed; and

WHEREAS, These questions about whether various windows are non-compliant, lot line, etc., or whether some windows have to be bricked up, or whether a sound/privacy wall can be constructed, are all questions of local zoning law and building code, which questions are not before CB5 and about which questions CB5 does not need to make a determination in order to opine on the liquor license application; and

WHEREAS, CB5’s denial is based on the fact that residential windows, including the windows in question, do currently exist and are currently being used as residential windows; and

WHEREAS, CB5 finds that, even if some windows are non-compliant, and/or must be bricked up, and/or if a sound/privacy wall can be constructed to block certain windows, other residential windows will nonetheless remain in close proximity to the Rooftop operation; and

WHEREAS, The second claim Applicant makes in the Applicant Brief is that some residents who have opposed the Rooftop operation do not have direct exposure to the proposed rooftop use; and

WHEREAS, CB5 finds that the fact that objection has been made by residents not directly facing the Rooftop does not mitigate CB5’s concern that many other residents, who do directly face the Rooftop, will be affected; and

WHEREAS, The third claim Applicant makes in the Applicant Brief is that CB5 was misled by the Acoustilog sound engineering report submitted by the neighboring residents (the “Acoustilog Report”); and

WHEREAS, The Acoustilog Report mainly addresses noise from HVAC equipment located on the Rooftop and, 

WHEREAS, CB5 finds that, although the Acoustilog Report is mentioned in the Denial Resolution, the Acoustilog Report was not given much weight in CB5’s recommendation for denial; and

WHEREAS, Although both sides are spending a lot of time and resources addressing the HVAC noise, CB5 recommends that, because the HVAC units will remain on the Rooftop whether the liquor license is granted or not, the HVAC noise issue should be addressed separately and not complicate the liquor license application; and

WHEREAS, The fourth claim Applicant makes in the Applicant Brief is also about HVAC noise: that the neighboring residents should be estopped from currently complaining about HVAC noise because of statements made in various marketing materials by real estate agents describing the residential apartments as “pin-drop quiet” and the like; and

WHEREAS, Again, because the HVAC units will remain on the Rooftop whether the liquor license is granted or not, CB5 recommends that HVAC noise should be addressed separately and not complicate the liquor license application; and 

WHEREAS, Even if HVAC noise was a necessary consideration in the liquor license application, CB5 finds that statements made in marketing materials by real estate agents should not be given the effect of estopple against the residents; and

WHEREAS, CB5 repeats that, because of the location of the Rooftop mere feet away from residential windows, there is no way the Rooftop can be operated as a bar/lounge/event space without significantly and unreasonably imposing on the residents adjacent to the space; and

WHEREAS, Although CB5 strives to balance the interests of residents and businesses in the district, in this case, the huge potential for negative impact on the adjacent residents cannot be balanced against a rooftop bar in such close proximity to the residences; and 

WHEREAS, Although CB5 opposes the location of a rooftop bar at the Premises, CB5 would be willing to work with the Applicant on options other than licensing the Rooftop, for example licensing portions of the interior four (4) floors of the building; and

WHEREAS, Because of the location of the Rooftop Premises immediately adjacent to residential windows, CB5 reaffirms that granting a liquor license for the Premises is NOT in the public interest; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five reaffirms its denial of the application by GLASS CEILING EVENTS, LLC for a new liquor license for the rooftop bar/lounge/event space to be located at 1204 Broadway (between 29th and 30th Streets) New York, New York.

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