Lower East Side Residents Sue the City to Stop Outdoor Dining Sheds

Posted on: October 25th, 2021 at 5:00 am by

A group of New York City residents filed a lawsuit last week attempting to block the Open Restaurants program, initiated during the pandemic, from becoming permanent.

The 22 claimants cite quality-of-life concerns with the clogged streetscapes, and allegations that the Department of Transportation – the agency responsible for the street shanties – mishandled its review of the program. Claiming that the city’s determination of “no adverse impacts” to neighborhoods is in stark contrast to the reality on the ground in many high density areas.

“Notwithstanding its direct knowledge of the ongoing negative impact the temporary Open Restaurants program was having on neighborhoods and their residents, the DOT issued its negative declaration,” the suit states, referring to the June 18 decision stating that Open Restaurants did not cause a negative environmental effect, and could continue operating.

Photo: LES Dwellers

The plaintiffs – many of whom reside on the Lower East Side and West Village – are now demanding the judge to overturn this declaration in the 108-page complaint. Together with renowned civil right attorney Michael Sussman, they held a press conference last Thursday in the heart of Hell Square.

It’s also worth noting that the Department of City Planning and the DOT recently announced plans for a public engagement process to discuss Open Restaurants over the next six months. The city then plans to release new design guidelines for outdoor dining set-ups by the spring of 2022.

Not exclusive to New York City. Boston also implemented a similar program, but decided this month to end it after facing similar circumstances in the North End.

Indeed, the Boston Globe ran a story in late July headlined, “Some North End residents are fed up with outdoor dining.”

Residents at the time expressed anger over dining spaces clogging sidewalks, usurping parking spots, and tightening already narrow streets, and that they wanted a quick end to the pandemic-era rules that have allowed outdoor dining to sprout.

NYC Locals Lawsuit Against City over Open Restaurants Program by BoweryBoogie on Scribd

Recent Stories

The Bizarre ‘Mumming’ History of Thanksgiving Masking

What follows is a reworking of a post originally published on Bowery Boogie in 2014. There was once a time when Thanksgiving customs more resembled Halloween masquerading than traditional turkey and history lessons. That’s right. So get out your masks, people! Thanksgivoween is upon us. Two key words: masking and mumming. To surmise thousands of […]

Children’s Magical Garden Files Lawsuit Against Developer Over Alleged Intimidation Tactics

The Children’s Magical Garden on Stanton Street is again battling its longtime nemesis, owner-developer of the neighboring parcel, The Horizon Group. Garden advocates led by Kate Temple-West filed a civil rights lawsuit Monday in New York State Supreme Court alleging that principal David Marom, who purchased the adjacent lot from Serge Hoyda in 2013, engaged […]

Pregnant Woman Shot by Parolee Boyfriend on LES Dies

A pregnant woman shot by her parolee boyfriend earlier this month died of her injuries last Thursday. The 27-year-old victim, who was about three months pregnant with the gunman’s baby, had been on life support since the November 11 incident, according to published reports. As previously reported, the perp – Bronx resident Dennis Fredricks, a […]

30-Story Tower at Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Site Takes its Spot in LES Skyline

It’s not enough to have Essex Crossing dominate the Lower East Side skyline around Delancey Street. Now, another. The hulking tower rising from the literal ashes of Beth Hamedrash Hagadol is already halfway to the top, currently sitting at a healthy fifteen stories. This much after the better part of a year under construction. As […]

Uncapped: CAINE ONE Forever

Hey Boogie faithful! Guest writer, Freddy Alva, joins us again to go beneath the paint with us at Uncapped. The following is a stylized excerpt from the Queens Graffiti Legend’s Black Book containing interviews with LADY PINK, ROGER, Martha Cooper, FREEDOM, NOTCH 56, JIMMY 131, ZAR, PHANTOM and CAINE, childhood friend Eileen Galindo. Head over here […]