With Outdoor Dining Comes Outdoor Noise. What Can You Do?

Q: The bedroom window of my Upper East Side co-op apartment overlooks the rear yard of another building that has a bar on the ground floor. The bar previously used the rear yard for trash and recycling. But since restaurants reopened for outdoor dining, it has been using the space for seating, adding a lot of late night noise to the area (and my bedroom). Can a bar make any outdoor space into seating for customers?

A: As New York City restaurants move outside, so does the noise. The bar across from your apartment is probably allowed to use that space for seating, even if it wasn’t doing so before the pandemic, because the city is giving bars and restaurants leeway when it comes to outdoor dining.

The city’s guidance for outdoor dining allows bars and restaurants to set up seating on private property without a permit so long as they follow social distancing rules and serve food. Seating must provide a minimum of 15 square feet of space per person. If patrons can only access the rear yard by walking through the bar, the seating is limited to 74 people, unless the bar applied for a permit.

But even if the bar is following all the guidelines, it still has to comply with the noise code and the State Liquor Authority. If the noise is excessive, you can file a noise complaint with the State Liquor Authority and another one with the city, which will send out inspectors to measure the noise levels and possibly issue a violation. You could also request mediation, as the city provides free mediation services to resolve disputes between restaurants and their neighbors.

Source link Real Estate

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