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Two new charter vessels are angling their way into Sheepshead Bay, this newspaper has learned.
But instead of the catch ‘o the day, some fear patrons might bring nothing but boatloads of new trouble to the neighborhood.
“Who’s going to be there to make sure all these people get in their cars and go home,” Community Board 15 Chair Theresa Scavo said.
All applicants seeking docking permits must adhere to a variety of requirements including quiet rules which restrict boat launches after midnight on weekends, Friday and Saturday, and 10 p.m. on weekends, Sunday through Thursday.
Scavo, however, complains that noisy charter boat patrons often congregate along Emmons Avenue, “tailgating” in front of the piers long before charter boats are scheduled to launch.
Two years ago, a 28-year-old woman was stabbed in an altercation with a 39-year-old man aboard the Sheryl Princess party boat.
Six years ago, over the Labor Day weekend, local cops fortified withheavily armed Coast Guard personnel descended on Emmons Avenueafter a 23-year-old man was shot to death disembarking the Emerald Queen docked at Pier 8a week prior.
One person was arrested and nearly two dozen criminal summonses were issued.
The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, which oversees the piers, says that permits allowing two new charterboats to dock in Sheepshead Bay could be finalized as early as this spring.
Officials refused to disclose the identity of those applying for the permits or exactly where the vessels would dock in Sheepshead Bay while the permitting process continues.
Richard Ardolino, whose family operates the Atlantis out of Pier 9, says that a few of the other boats on the Bay attract a “rough crowd.”
“I hope it’s not like that,” Ardolino said. “The biggest issue would be parking. In the spring and summer it’s very difficult to park. I spend up to an hour driving around relentlessly trying to park.”
Still others contend that the introduction of two new charter boats to the piers only demonstrates the city’s lack of commitment to Sheepshead Bay’s struggling fishing fleet.
According to the Parks Department, there are 19 vessels currently operating out of the Sheepshead Bay Piers. Thirteen of them are fishing boats, five are event boats, and one specializes in diving excursions.
“This just shows the direction the City of New York has been taking for more than a decade, going against its original promise that the piers would remain solely for party boat fishing,” Bay Improvement Group President Steve Barrison said.
Among the requirements for obtaining a docking permit, applicants are also asked to notify the local community about their plans.
At the time of this writing, however, Scavo said that she had not received “any of the liquor license papers.”
“The Parks Department is doing everything they can,” Scavo said. “They lost the fishing fleet, so they figure they might as well take whatever’s offered.”
—with Thomas Tracy
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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