According to the invite, this is the "key first element of ... an amendment to the Zoning Resolution that will begin a public review in June."
A longtime East Village small business owner, who is not in the food-beverage industry and feels as if other retail establishments have been overlooked in the city's plans, shared some thoughts about the potential impact this might have on a neighborhood and its residents ... consider this a mini op-ed (opposing viewpoints are welcome) ...
The biggest stakeholders are actually the residents who live above or beside these sheds and must put up with them so that landlords, restaurants and bars can increase their profit margin at the expense of residents' ability to live peaceably in their homes.
These real stakeholders have been left out of the process at every turn. It creates another tale of two cities whereby those able to move and/or insulate themselves in their high rises or in areas where the COVID sheds don't exist are quite happy with the program while those who do not have that privilege must bear its burden.
And the same goes for small business and retail diversity; why would a landlord rent to a retail shop when they can rent to a cafe or bar or restaurant that will have the ability to annex additional square footage in the street? More space equals higher rents equals a bias toward renting to businesses in the hospitality industry versus retail shops.