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COSTA CONSTANTINIDES CHAIR

COUNCILMEMBER ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
ND
22 DISTRICT, QUEENS
COMMITTEES
DISTRICT OFFICE
FOR-HIRE VEHICLES
31-09 NEWTOWN AVENUE, SUITE 209
ASTORIA, NY 11102 LAND USE
TEL: (718) 274-4500 PARKS AND RECREATION
TRANSPORTATION
CITY HALL OFFICE THE COUNCIL SUB-COMMITTEE ON ZONING AND
250 BROADWAY, SUITE 1778 OF FRANCHISES
NEW YORK, NY 10007 THE CITY OF NEW YORK
COUNCIL.NYC.GOV/COSTA

December 20th, 2018

New York State Liquor Authority
80 S. Swan Street, 9th Floor
Albany, New York 12210

Re: Vernon Wine & Liquor, Inc. Queens L 1312895

Dear Members of the Authority:

I am writing to express my unequivocal opposition to granting Vernon Wine & Liquor, Inc. a
liquor license to operate from 8-23 Astoria Boulevard. I strongly believe a business established
with the main driving purpose of selling alcohol would be a detriment to the surrounding
community, which includes a veterans-focused rehabilitation facility and a public housing
complex. Moreover, given the utter disregard for neighborhood context, I believe the applicant
has made it explicitly clear that they do not seek to work in tandem or with respect towards the
community, but in hostile opposition.

The specific location discussed herein, 8-23 Astoria Blvd, is next door to Reality House – a not-
for-profit medically certified outpatient facility that treats patients with alcohol and substance
addictions. Reality House made Astoria its home in 2013 and the majority of their clients are
from the neighborhood. Moreover, the organization focuses a large part of its efforts in treating
veterans and its facility has 30 beds specifically reserved for them. For the applicant to disregard
its proximity to such a center is a sign of arrogance, selfishness, and toxic hubris.

Finally, a liquor license at this location would also be inappropriate due to its proximity to public
housing. The Astoria Houses is a 22-building New York City Housing Authority development
with 1,104 apartments and well over 3,200 residents. Opening a liquor store only a stone’s throw
away from this public housing development would be completely contradictory to all of the
City’s, non-profit organizations’, and community leaders’ efforts to foster neighborhood stability
and improved quality of life.

I respectfully urge the State Liquor Authority to deny issuance of a liquor license to Vernon Wine
& Liquor, Inc. I look forward to working with the Authority to ensure that liquor license
applications are appropriate to their respective neighborhoods and I am appreciative of the
opportunity to submit this testimony.

Sincerely,

Council Member Costa Constantinides