Resident: Bars Need Enforced Conditions
Christine Conti-Collins, of 40 Park, among several residents to issue complaints regarding pending liquor license renewals.
For at least one 40 Park resident, the issue with bars near her residence has not been about noise, and anyone who thinks it has been is missing the point, she said.
Christine Conti-Collins, a 19-year resident of Morristown from Brooklyn now living in the luxury condo development, said the main issues with the bars—mainly during the weekend—are safety and quality of life for everyone living in that area of town, not just at 40 Park.
"There is severe traffic congestion, there's an incredible amount of garbage. There are safety issues," she said.
Conti-Collins, along with fellow 40 Park residents Marie Rozan and Roseann Loia, recently issued letters of complaint to the town regarding all of the bars in that area—Sona Thirteen, Tashmoo, The Dark Horse Lounge, The Office, Roots Steakhouse, Urban Table and the recently-opened Iron Bar. The complaints come before the expected Tuesday applications for liquor license renewals by the Town Council during its regular meeting.
Among their issues are excessive garbage "including human bodily excrements," "nauseating" odor from disposal units, "dangerous traffic congestion" and vehicles parked illegally in the public piazza that splits 40 Park with The Metropolitan at 40 Park, 40 Park's rental section.
In her complaint, Loia called the concerns "contrary to an acceptable quality of life for the residents living in the neighboring buildings as well as threatening the financial investment of those who have purchased homes."
A number of residents, including Conti-Collins, also met recently with Billy Walsh–whose family owns Sona Thirteen, Dark Horse and Tashmoo–to discuss a proposed bowling alley with a liquor license at 10 DeHart St.
"I'm not opposed to the bars, to people drinking," Conti-Collins said. "I go to these restaurants, I drink. But, spewing trash and human waste and whatever all over public streets, I don't think it's [right]."
Conti-Collins said conditions need to be placed on renewed liquor licenses, similar to conditions recently placed upon the liquor license for Futbolandia No. 2, a new Early Street bar planned by William Walsh, the patriarch of the Walsh family. Moreso, those conditions have to actually be enforced.
"When people [applying for liquor licenses] say 'we'll look at this, we'll do this,' I'm sure they mean that in all sincerity, but, it doesn't get enforced," she said. "Nothing happens.
"This clearly was a lack of foresight, of planning," Conti-Collins said. "You've been told over and over there is a problem. We couldn't get anyone's attention. Now we have their attention. That's how you solve problems."
Despite some saying those who chose to move to the business district shouldn't complain about what comes from living there, Conti-Collins said she and others knew what they were getting into.
"We knew there would be noise, that's not the problem," she said. "People who think these rich people in 40 Park are complaining because we're old and we moved in here, they have completely missed the point. This is not a frivilous issue."
"Neighbors in private homes down Market Street and DeHart who come out of their homes in the morning with their little children and find broken bottles, trash and other disgusting things in front of their homes ... people shouldn't have to live like that," Conti-Collins added. "It's about time that the town step up to its responsibility and do its job and that the owners of these establishments kick in whatever it takes to keep the environment safe and secure. Those are my only issues."