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‘It was like a firing squad’: Marine Park Community Board shoots down small business owner’s expansion plans

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A disgraced state Senator threatened a small business owner following a testy civic meeting on April 17, during which she was denied permission to expand her business to Flatbush Avenue, she claims.

“After the meeting, Carl Kruger told us it was never going to happen, and not to waste my time. He was kind of threatening us,” said Khadidra Muhammad.

Kruger, who was recently released from a seven-year prison sentence for federal corruption charges and is not an official member of the board, made the ominous demand following a Community Board 18 meeting, according to Muhammad.

Muhammad, the head of Priceless Event Planning, was seeking permission from the board to sell liquor at an event space located at 2047 Flatbush Ave. that she planned to open in June.

The board unanimously rejected the request, after various civic leaders panned the proposal as “destructive to the community.”

“I felt like I was getting attacked,” said Muhammad. “It was like a firing squad. It was attack, attack, attack.”

Local leaders claimed that the venue would lead to disorderly conduct, rampant alcohol use, and late night loud music. Muhammad said her promises to hire security to keep patrons restrained and insulate the walls to limit noise fell on deaf ears.

“Other businesses also padded their walls, numerous times. They’re no longer in business,” said Marine Park Civic Association President Bob Tracey. “We fought them. We’ve gotten them numerous tickets. We’ve gotten [them] numerous violations.”

Muhammad could appeal the Board’s decision to the State Liquor Authority, but worries about retribution from community leaders.

“I don’t have the finances to play the long game, if they were to try and run me out of the neighborhood. So we’re trying to figure out what to do,” she said. “All the excuses they gave were not valid, but they can make my life a living hell.”

The board could exploit various means to disturb Muhammed’s business if she were to win her appeal with the state and set up shop in the neighborhood, according to one community leader who is counseling Muhammed through the process.

“They could go to the establishment with a decibal reader, and report the venue to the 63rd Precinct if it goes over the allowed level, which isn’t really loud at all. They could raise a big issue about cars parking on the street. There’s a whole host of things they could do to cause problems,” said Floyd Jarvis.

Jarvis, who heads advocacy group the Canarsie Neighborhood Alliance, speculated whether race played a role in the board’s decision to deny the license to Muhammad, who is African American.

“Everyone else gets a liquor licence, but only African Americans have to go through what you saw at that meeting,” he said.

Following the Board’s rejection, Muhammad, who started the event planning business two years ago, doubted wether she had any recourse to change what she called a “predetermi­ned decision.”

“I broke down and started crying,” she said. “I just wanted to explain who I am, and what I do, but there was no voice of reason. Their mind was made up before I showed up.”

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow her at twitter.com/aidangraham95.
Updated 2:16 pm, April 29, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
This story has everything, whether you think CBs are great (for their antics) or terrible (if you love your city and want it to thrive and be fair).
April 26, 2:56 pm
LaQwerty Jones from Da Hood Houses says:
Where was the threat? ‘Kinda of threatening us’ is merely your opinion. Playing the race card is a disgusting move by this Muhammed woman. However, I also don’t see how a convicted felon , Kruger, who was in prison for 7 years could then find his way to a community board! What a mess Brooklyn is with all these problematic troublemaking people!
April 26, 3:31 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
I’m pretty sure you can find large majorities of people in any neighborhood that would prefer to not have people getting shot and stabbed outside their house every weekend. Race is irrelevant here.
April 26, 5:30 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
I guess Carl Kruger is mad his bribe didn't arrive in time.
April 26, 9:42 pm
Marty Markowitz's Loud Neighbor from Windsor Terrace says:
Given he is of little use to them now, kinda surprised that Kruger's Russian Mob benefactors still let him breath.
April 29, 8:56 am
Charles from Bklyn says:
Allegations of discrimination should be taken seriously, and small business owners in the city should be supported and allowed to thrive. I dont see how a new business owner should be denied a liquor license on Flatbush Avenue because of issues with other like businesses in the area. The owner had a good plan to remediate any noise or late night drinking issues. Sounds like the board has more problems than the small business owner they denied.
April 29, 9:44 am
Duke from Flatbush says:
This location is also directly across the street from a church, which will prevent them from getting a liquor license anyway. Either way, maybe clean the blood stains off the sidewalk across the street from the last stabbing before opening another bucket of blood there.
April 29, 12:59 pm
Some old white guy from Marine park says:
What the neighborhood needs is a bookstore.
April 29, 6:41 pm
Proud to be blue from Old Mill Basin says:
We could use a good bookstore in the area
April 30, 5:06 am
Maria from Marine Park , Brooklyn says:
This is a residential neighborhood, with private residential homes and children parks within a 100ft. Putting a party venue with LOUD music playing late into morning hours, and adding alcohol in the mix will definitely disrupt the residents . It's no contest to that fact! Not to mention, parking is rough already because of Kings plaza. It's a fight to get a spot as it is. Promising security will not fix the other issues. Playing the race card is irrelevant and the business owner should be ashamed. My home is directly behind a similar party revenue, and since it opened last yesterday , it's been a nightmare and not welcomed. Partygoers urinating on our cars, alcohol bottles broken in front of homes, people having sex in front of our home in their car , LOUD MUSIC AND MC'S, bad behavior of drunk people is not ok. The neighborhood board will continue to oppose these business.
April 30, 8:56 am

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