With the proliferation of restaurants and bars expanding into backyards and onto rooftops in many residential neighborhoods, so have the complaints by local residents. A relatively new phenomenon, there have, until now, been few rules governing such use. Some establishments have pushed the envelope by keeping their outside area open late into the night, allowing inebriated patrons to disturb the neighbors.
Assemblywoman Joan Milllman has taken the lead in bringing some clarity into the use of backyards and rooftops. She just introduced a bill that would require bars and restaurants that serve alcohol to apply for a permit prior to using the outside space, very much like they would if they wanted to have sidewalk seating. Millman would also like to limit the hours of operation.
I am sure many (tired) residents will thank Assemblywoman Millman.
Below is the press release from her office:
Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman introduce legislation that would require a permit for a restaurant or bar to serve alcohol in a rear yard or rooftop. Specifically, Assembly Bill 11288 would limit the hours during which an establishment serving alcohol could operate in a rear yard or rooftop until 10:00 PM on Sunday through Thursday evenings and 11:00 PM on Friday and Saturday evenings. Although sidewalk cafes must get approval from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, there is no such oversight of backyard and rooftop use.“This legislation seeks to give community boards and local residents more input in their own neighborhoods,” said Millman. “Restaurants and bars would be allowed to continue using backyard and rooftop spaces after complying with the reasonable guidelines set forth in this bill.In response to numerous complaints from constituents, I crafted this legislation to balance the needs of local residents with the objectives of neighborhood businesses.” Currently, A 11288 has been referred to the Assembly Committee for Economic Development.