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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—, , , , , and the recently-opened . The complaints come before the expected Tuesday applications for liquor license renewals by the  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 .

"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, . 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."

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Carole June 26, 2012 at 11:41 AM
How does Hoboken address/handle these issues? Mo'Town is now Hoboken West. All the town (seems to) care about is revenue/taxes and that's it. Out of control in this area...too many bars, without a doubt. I do think it's a good idea for the owners/managers of these establishments to bear responsibilities but how will "they" be monitored to confirm they are actually enforcing any new "rules"? I don't foresee any real changes/improvements in the conditions of the streets of Mo'Town by simply adding clauses/conditions to leases/licenses, etc. It's a start, but the real issue is the "number" of liquor- licensed establishments already in existence with known quality of life issues resulting from intoxicated patrons. To issue "new" licenses blindly is irresponsible and a slap in the face to all of of us who live/work/play in the Mo'Town area. IMHO. cb
Carole June 26, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Hoboken: http://morristown.patch.com/articles/morristown-resident-concert-promoters-son-arrested-after-vomiting-on-cop-cars?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001
Cathy June 26, 2012 at 01:22 PM
In Hoboken they strictly enforce the resident only parking. Morristown issues resident parking stickers per street. I think if they issued Town wide parking stickers and increased the resident parking only zones it would force the people coming into town to the bars to use the parking garages and reduce the bar crowd on the neighborhood streets
David Steketee June 26, 2012 at 01:30 PM
The town needs to start fining establishments for failing to maintain their properties. Outside of Sona there are cigarette butts and gum all over the ground. When you start hitting business owners in their profits, they'll take notice and correct conditions. Granted, this could be applied across all businesses in town, as there are numerous establishments which fail to keep their properties clean.
Liz June 26, 2012 at 02:04 PM
I think the last thing the city will do is get rid of and/or limit the number of bars.
Liz June 26, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Reality check: the town isn't gonna cut back on liquor licenses and prevent more bars from coming in; they drive too much income to the town. Why do you think college students and young professionals want mommy and daddy to buy them a luxury apartment in downtown Morristown? So they can walk to the library? Obviously bar owners need to take more responsibility for security within their bars and to make sure their property is clean. What about the cops? Are there enough on the street? Has anyone considered that as a solution (besides prohibition)?
DMcK June 26, 2012 at 02:33 PM
The area surrounding the Green has been been a zoo on popular drinking nights for many years. It surprises me that people who are so intelligent and worried about peace and quiet would choose to buy a luxury condo thats within 200 yards of about 10 popular bars and as many restaurants? I'm not saying they have no right to complain or that there isn't a problem with rowdy drinkers but it's been this way for a very long time. There needs to be more enforcement by foot police and not just infront of bars but through surrounding neighborhoods. The town should also enforce clean sidewalk rules for the bars, I do hate dodging puke puddles on a Saturday morning walk.
Liz June 26, 2012 at 02:48 PM
I concur.
Ryan June 26, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Trash on the sidewalks is certainly a problem that needs to be addressed. As someone who lives and works in town and runs/walks up and down the streets every day, however, I think this issue is definitely not limited to bars and bargoers. How about all of the plastic green and pink spoons all over the sidewalks from the plethora of fro-yo establishments in town? Paper plates from the pizza places? Coffee cups from all of the coffee shops? Additionally, how precisely are the bars responsible for the "dangerous traffic congestion" cited in the article? Again, as someone who spends practically all day every day in town, I have firsthand experience of the fact that traffic is simply much much worse during the day. At night (peak bar hours, that is), on the other hand, it's pretty easy to get from one side of town to the other. Parking used to be an issue but now there are ample garages around town. If anything, traffic has probably picked up (again, during the daytime and rush hour) because of all of the new people that have moved in to places like 40 park. Finally, how can double-parking be squarely blamed on the bars? Aren't any of these people going to Starbucks, AT&T, Qdoba, Zebu or another of the many establishments in the area? I definitely agree that these are issues in town that need to be addressed, but its certainly more than just the bars. Ridiculous to single them out for a problem with many sources.
Robert June 26, 2012 at 08:05 PM
What about the overcrowding of the bars. There must be some type of regulation that controls that. What are their limits?
Motown Resident June 30, 2012 at 01:05 PM
It's amazing that 40 Park promotes it's location to Morristown's restaurants and cafe's as it's number three reason to live there. And it's fourth reason is that it has Roots as it's ground floor tenant. I find it hard to believe that not one single person that purchased there property at 40 Park ever spent a Friday or Saturday evening in Morristown to see the vibrant night life............... You knew what you buying into, why the whining now? The truth is, the bars and restaurants along with the community theater were the one bright spot that carried Morristown through it's darker days of vacancies. Oh, how quickly we forget.
Dick Hurtts August 07, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Come down and check out the sewer pit called Morris Street.

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