Joining the community’s opposition to a proposed sidewalk cafe in Whitestone, Councilmember Paul Vallone had the final word at a hearing before the City Council’s Land Use Committee and his presentation convinced the panel to vote against it.
Vallone, who took up Community Board 7’s opposition to the proposal, received support from state Senator Tony Avella, who argued that the proposed outdoor cafe was “simply wrong for the location”.
Vallone (D–Bayside) said afterward, “The impact of this victory should assure all future applicants make every effort to address the concerns of the Community Board and neighboring residents.”
The lawmaker noted, the proposal from Nonna’s Pizzeria & Trattoria in Whitestone “had been met with immediate opposition from the neighborhood and CB7”. They highlighted concerns “about the scope and impact of the proposal, inaccuracies stated during the applicant’s presentation and the existing illegal fixtures outside the restaurant that have yet to be removed”.
Vallone said those concerns “weighed heavily” on his decision to call on his fellow councilmembers to disapprove the restaurant’s application.
Vallone added, “The denial shows the strength of our office when united with the community and the city council. I applaud my fellow councilmembers for listening to our arguments on behalf of our community and disapproving the sidewalk cafe application.”
Avella (D–Northeast Queens), pointed out, “The site is surrounded by mom and pop stores in a quiet residential neighborhood. That is why the cafe application was immediately met with significant opposition and raised many concerns for the residents of this block.”
Avella said he was “glad that the city council heeded the concerns of the community and voted down the application this week.”
Avella also pointed out, “Not only did the applicant fail to properly notify the community of the proposed changes to the premises, but they also failed to even show up at the council hearings to try and address the concerns raised. Obviously, this just proves that the city council did the right thing by voting down the cafe application. I thank Councilmember Paul Vallone for ensuring that the community was heard on this issue.”