From The New York Shitty Inbox: Community Board 1 Brooklyn SLA Committee Meeting

Agenda SLA Committee CB1 BK 8 2015 nys

In all my years of authoring this site, I do not recall there ever being a meeting of any kind conducted by our local Community Board in the summer. I guess there’s a first time for everything. As you can see, gentle readers, the SLA Committee has quite a hefty agenda on their plate!

From The New York Shitty Inbox: And Now A Word From Councilman Van Bramer

October 10, 2013 ·
Filed under: Gentrification, Maspeth, Maspeth Queens, Queens 

Knockdown-CenterBRAMER

So there have you.

Quicklink: How To Beat The High Cost Of Living In North Brooklyn?

I— as I imagine you, gentle readers— have often asked this very question. Thankfully we have Brooklyn Based to tell us how to make our apartments work while we play: rent it out to total strangers as a vacation rental! Preferably via Airbnb (which gets not one, not two, but three plugs in Brooklyn Based’s tome).

Yours trulys favorite passages are as follows:

“Once it’s up and running, it’s easy money,” says Julian, who first joined the Airbnb community in February 2010 (and asked that his last name not be used). The income from managing several listings around Brooklyn, all of which are already booked for the summer, covers the rent on a two-bedroom Williamsburg apartment, and has helped fund his dream: restaurant-ownership. This summer he’s opening Dear Bushwick on Wilson Avenue. (So much for anonymity; the State Liquor Authority’s web site took care of that.— Ed. Note)

It’s important to know that in May 2011, a New York state law went into effect to ban short-term residential rentals for less than 30 days, to help crack down on “illegal hotels.” While the law was designed to target apartment owners who were using residential buildings as hotels, it has created somewhat of grey area when it comes to Airbnb… 

“You have to be smart,” says Julian. He now rents and maintains four separate apartments throughout Brooklyn, three of which he uses exclusively to host Airbnb travelers. “I tell guests to keep their heads down and not make too much noise. You want to avoid 311 complaints—if you get a handful you might have a problem. But at this point the city can’t do much about it—they would have to set up a whole new department for dealing with this kind of stuff.” (So basically “Julian” concedes that what he is doing is illegal, but persists because there is a lack of enforcement. Interesting. — Ed. Note.)

It’s true that law enforcement currently only responds to complaints; assuming landlords or neighbors aren’t annoyed or bothered by what you do with your apartment. In this City Room post, Senator Liz Krueger, one of the sponsors of the bill* that makes short-term sublets illegal, says that “The city is not going to knock on doors.”

So, get permission or tread lightly. Julian relayed the story of a friend who wasn’t allowed to renew her lease after her management company found out she was subleasing her apartment through Airbnb without their approval. “You probably don’t want to rent your apartment in an area where people have been living for years,” he says. “It’s better when people are coming and going—so neighborhoods like Bushwick or the NYU area make it easier to keep a low profile.”

And last— but hardly least— my personal favorite:

“Go the extra step,” Julian says. “Leave a six-pack of beer in the fridge for guests. It doesn’t cost much, but it makes people happy.”

I can personally attest to the joy-giving properties of beer— but are the consumers Julian’s suds of legal age? He doesn’t indicate. I hope State Liquor Authority is paying attention to this.

In closing: Isn’t it refreshing to know “Julian” is able to afford to afford a two bedroom apartment in Williamsburg and open a bar in Bushwick because he is pressing residential space which could— at least theoretically— house families (or other “eyes on the street”) into service as a transient hotel? Or that Brooklyn Based saw fit to be an enabler for a phenomenon which, while in a “gray area” from a legal standpoint, indisputably undermines the quality of life and safety of those who have the misfortune of calling these “entrepreneurs” neighbors? And all in the name of “easy money”? The word “disgusting” does not even begin to cover how I feel about this.

Those of you who care to do so can read Brooklyn Based’s tome in its entirety by clicking here. Otherwise any of you who have had experiences with a neighbor (or tenant) leasing his/her apartment as a vacation rental please share your thoughts via comments or email at: missheather (at) thatgreenpointblog (dot) com.

Your identity will remain anonymous if you so desire. Thanks!

*Here’s another sponsor of said bill: Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, 75th Assembly District. How do I know this? Very simple: someone from his office contacted me— two years ago.

P.S.: While I am vaguely on the subject of tourists and tourism, my comrade in the East Village, Jeremiah Moss, has authored an excellent piece. Here’s a passage I found particularly interesting:

As Fran Lebowitz said in an interview, “Present-day New York has been made to attract people who didn’t like New York. That’s how we get a zillion tourists here, especially American tourists, who never liked New York. Now they like New York. What does that mean? Does that mean they’ve suddenly become much more sophisticated? No. It means that New York has become more like the places they come from.”

Please take a moment to give it a read.

Spotted At Coco 68: Signs of Activity

September 24, 2011 ·
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic 

Although nary a liquor license hearing notice was to be found on the premises— if what I saw while walking by this afternoon is any indication, Coco 68 is indeed making preparations to re-open.

Public Safety Committee Meeting (which oversees liquor license applications, albeit only in an advisory capacity)
Tuesday, September 27, 2011 starting at 6:30 p.m. (NOTE: you must sign in by 6:15 p.m. in order to speak)
Community Board 1 Main Office
435 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11211

Coming To 120 Franklin Street: Van Gogh’s Radio 2.0?

No liquor license hearing notice has been posted, but per the agenda for our local Community Board’s Public Safety Committee agenda this may very well be the case!

You will also notice, dear readers, that Coco 66 (albeit via 68 Greenpoint Avenue) is also on the docket. Hmm…

But back to 120 Franklin Street— and CKTP LLC. After some research I deduced the Greenpoint grapevine may very well be correct. The chap behind CKTP LLC endeavor, Christopher Klusak, has close ties to Van Gogh’s Radio.

Will Van Gogh’s Radio be making a comeback? It certainly appears to be the case. However, there’s still that liquor license hearing meeting on September 27th. Only then will we know for certain…

Community Board 1 Public Safety Committee Meeting
September 27, 2011 starting at 6:30 p.m.
CB1 Main Office
435 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11211

 

 

Notes From The 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting

Yours truly didn’t feel like going— but she went anyway. I’m glad I did! For starters (and by Greenpoint standards, anyway) the meeting was pretty mellow. This is a good thing since I was not really in the mood for some of the angrier and uglier rhetoric that can (and does) come to pass at these meetings. This is not to suggest there wasn’t anger: there most assuredly was. The difference was the people (ladies all) who aired their ire were (as a friend noted) so darned nice about it! Bicyclists, illegal sidewalk vendors, impertinent youths and liquor licenses all get the treatment at the hands (or would that be mouths) of these ladies. One such lass made an observation so piquant that she has henceforth earned my undying admiration. But I am getting ahead of myself. Without further ado here is footage from last night’s meeting— along with synopses and a bit of analysis from yours truly. Enjoy!

Part I: D. I. Fulton gives opening statements/props and a general rundown of crime trends.

The Rundown:

  • Grand larceny auto and burglaries are up, everything else is down.
  • Vehicle accidents are down 4.1%
  • D. I. Fulton explains that since the crime stats for the 94th are so low that one or two burglaries can skew the crime statistics upward.
  • A spate of robberies via a man riding a bicycle centering (roughly) around “Woodpoint Road and Conselyea Street”. This individual has since been apprehended and identified in a line-up by two victims. NOTE: this chap’s activities came to pass between (once again: roughly) 1:00 and 2:00 a.m. in the morning and his victims were women in their 20’s.
  • D. I. Fulton talks about burglaries.

Part II: D. I. Fulton speaks about car break-ins and the public speaks!

  • Arrests are up 24.7%
  • A case of Greenpoint roof theft
  • D. I. Fulton advises runners patronizing McCarren Park to mind their personal property.
  • One citizen applauds the 94th for apprehending a man who exposed himself to her and her daughter— and physically threatened them at North 7 Street and Bedford Avenue.
  • Same said citizen complains about illegal street vendors.

Part III: The Public Speaks, continued

  • Illegal vendors, continued
  • A general discourse on unruly behavior in general on Bedford Avenue and Williamsburg in general.
  • A Greenpoint resident queries D. I. Fulton about vehicle theft: there were 13 over the summer and 109 total.

Parts IV & V: The Public Speaks, continued

The aforementioned Greenpoint resident complains about Five Leaves’s use of the sidewalk (allegedly after permitted hours for a “sidewalk cafe”) and follows is a general discussion:

  • A burglary on Bedford Avenue
  • A lady from the Lions Club gives the 94th props

  • Bicyclists
  • Street closures and parties, e.g.; do they require permits?
  • Other things including— but not limited to— one of the most awesome observations (or dare I hope: promises) I have ever heard at a 94th Precinct Community Council Meeting. Go to 2:31 and hear it for yourself!
  • There are 97 liquor licenses pending (including a renewal for the Production Lounge*). D.I. Fulton explains this as “growing pains”.
  • Parties
  • Complaints about 311 dropping calls

Closing observations/thoughts:

  1. Once again and all things considered: this meeting was pretty tame.
  2. Nonetheless there was plenty of anger to go around. This mostly centered around aspects of the “new” Williamsburg being a tourist attraction and/or a watering hole of choice. Which brings me to…
  3. the subject of liquor licenses. If the ostensible function of our Community Board is to be the voice of the people and/or institute some semblance of “community standards” their determinations should be more binding. What’s the point of having due process if the SLA (State Liquor Authority) simply looks at their recommendation— let’s say, to deny a liquor and/or Cabaret license— and they issue the license (undoubtedly greased along by lobbyists/parties with deep pockets) anyway? Just a thought.
  4. The previous Op Ed(s) having been written (and to close on a note of levity), I am taking a serious shine to the notion of some exchange program between Greenburg/Williamspoint grannies and ‘noobs in the ‘hood.** I have no doubt the previous can show middle America a few things about partying (take this, for example.) Our friends (far) beyond the Hudson could use some good ol’ north Brooklyn flavor! It builds character.

Miss Heather

*Which inasmuch as much as yours truly can ascertain is STILL operating a monthly strip club. CASE IN POINT:

**I mean this with all due respect. I have grown to absolutely adore Greenpoint grandmas over the years. I simply wish others had the pleasure of enjoying their company. It isn’t so much about “Go back to Ohio”, so to speak, as it is “Get thee to Ohio”— and get us some respect!

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