Controversial party boats that attract raucous crowds at Emmons Avenue piers in Sheepshead Bay will be shipped off to a new berth at season’s end, Mayor DeBlasio declared at a town hall meeting in the once-quaint fishing village last night.
“I know there’s been some real concern about late-night activity, that’s very disruptive and does not belong in a residential neighborhood,” Hizzoner said during the gathering at the Connie Lekas School on Avenue Y between Haring and Batchelder streets. “Everyone has a right to enjoy a party boat, just not in the middle of a residential neighbored in the middle of the night. So we’re going to make a change. This current party boat season is about to end, we will over the winter, find a new location for the late night part boats away.”
Locals have been complaining for years about the so-called “booze cruises” wreaking havoc because of the late night loud noise, fights, trash left behind the next morning, and increased congestion. The quality-of-life problems slightly improved in 2015 after Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz (D–Sheepshead Bay) proposed legislation to ban the liquor-slinging vessels from the pier, but things took a turn for the worse this summer — prompting Deutsch to draft his own bill that would limit the number of boats by requiring they provide enough parking for guests.
Skippers have fought back against the boat-banners, accusing them of being bigoted since most of the party-boat passengers are black.
DeBlasio didn’t specify where the boats would dock next summer — some locals have pitched moving them to the federally run Canarsie Pier — but so long as they are out of the bay, that is good enough, said a board member of the Sheepshead Bay-Plumb Beach Civic Association, who has been fighting the boats for years.
“I’m very happy. I think they might take our suggestion and make them pick up passengers as Canarsie Pier,” said Tom Paolillo of the Sheepshead Bay-Plumb Beach Civic Association. “It’s a viable alternative, which allows the boats to stay docked in the bay but pick up their passengers where there’s ample parking. I think that would be great.”
DeBlasio, who was joined by Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay), also discussed a handful of other quality-of-life issues, including a promise to improve the district’s roadways, parks, and schools, along with the following:
• Hizzoner announced that the Department of Environmental Protection would deploy skimmer vessels twice a year to clean the trash that builds up in the Sheepshead Bay inlet.
• DeBlasio pledged to spend $20 million for improvements to the medians along Kings Highway between E. 23th and E. 27th streets.
• He doubled-down on his efforts to bring Russian-speaking translators into the poll sites on election days.
• He announced a clean-up of graffiti along Sheepshead Bay Road, Coney Island Avenue, and Avenue Z.