Nightlife and Zoning

Zort Music & Law Offices of Alan D. Sugarman, Esq.

Acrobat File Powerpoint Presentation to Nightlife Advisory Board, March 13, 2019

Dancing and Music in the NYC Zoning Resolution.

155 Page Extract of Dance and Music Related Provisions from November 2018 Zoning Resolution upadated March 12, 2019

Local Law 178 2017 Establishing NIghtlife Commission


Dancing and Music are referenced over 56 times in the 8643 NYC Zoning Resolution. We have prepared a 155 page extract of the November 2018 version.

NYC Zoning Resolution from NYC Web Site

Use Regulations for NYC Web Site

155 Page Extract of Dance and Music Related Provisions from November 2018 Zoning Resolution upadated March 12, 2019

Text of the 1989 City Planning Report.

The NYC Department of City Planning conducted "a comprehensive review of the Zoning Resolution as it concerns entertainment establishments in order to create a more appropriate, up-to-date regulatory framework for controlling such uses. This review was initiated after the City lost the 1986 and 1986 Chiasson cases. The City tried to skirt around the court rulings that the Cabaret Law and Zoning Regulations impacting music and dancing were unconstitutional.

IN THE MATTER OF an application submitted by the Department of City Planning pursuant to Section 200 of the New York City Charter, for amendments of the Zoning Resolution of the City of New York relating to language which refers to "incidental music," easing restrictions on clubs with no dancing with capacities of under 200 people and imposing more restrictive regulations on larger entertainment establishments and those with dancing.

The 1989 revisions added the provisions which are currently considered problematic, including adding language using undefined terms, adding the confusing language of Use Group 6A contrasted with Use Group 6C, adding the requirements of waiting areas, etc. Caveat: not all of the language proposed is in the current ZR. The proposal also recommended the changes which did not properly include M2 and M3 in the Use Group 12.

 

The Red Rooster Special Permit - 130 Lenox Avenue Harlem

In 2018 the Red Rooster became one of a very small number of establishments in New York City able to obtain a Special Permit from the Board of Standards and Appeals to allow dancing, because it was fortunate

Red Rooster Final Statement in Support.
Red Rooster Letter to BSA in 2017 re 2016 Pre-Application Meeting
Red Rooster BSA Decision Granting a three year Special Permit.
1932 Map of Harlem

Red Rooster Statement Re Lenox Avenue Nightlife

 

Court Decisions

Following are leading court decisions concerning music, dancing, the NYC Cabaret Law and the NYC Zoning Resolution.

New York State Courts:

Warren Chiasson v. New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, 132 Misc. 2d 640,  (N.Y. Co. 1986.)
State court holds Cabaret Law and Zoning Resolution provisions restricting number of musicians as unconstitutional.

Warren Chiasson v. New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, 138 Misc.2d 394 (N.Y. Co. 1988.)

John Festa v New York City Department of Consumer Affair, 12 Misc. 3d 466, (N.Y. Co. 2006.) Court held that there is no constitutional right as to patron dancing.

John Festa v New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, 37 A.D.3d 343.( New York Appellate Division, 2007) (on appeal from the NY Supreme Court 2006 case.)

Federal Courts:

Barnes v Glen Theatre, Inc. 501 US 560, United States Supreme Court, 1991.

Dallas v Stanglin, 490 US 19, United States Supreme Court, 1989.

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