JACKSON HEIGHTS — A newly installed newsstand on busy 37th Avenue has spurred backlash from neighbors who say it'll take business away from other shops and cause more congestion.
"Do not buy them!" one disgruntled critic scrawled in black ink on the metal grate of the freestanding kiosk, which the city installed last week on the corner of 76th Street.
Community Board 3 voted against the proposed kiosk twice in 2011 and 2014, but according to the Department of Consumer Affairs, anyone with a DCA newsstand license can apply for a permanent stand or booth, and they can decide where it goes, pending approval from the Department of Transportation and Public Design Commission, officials said.
"If an applicant meets all application requirements, DCA is legally required to issue the license, regardless of what the Community Board’s decision is," an agency spokeswoman said.
The DCA would not immediately say who owns this particular newsstand, or how much it costs to operate.
Neighboring businesses said they didn't appreciate the new addition to the neighborhood.
"They're going to be selling the same things we sell here — soda, newspapers, water, juice," said Leo Rodriguez, who manages a Foodtown steps from the newsstand.
"A lot of people have been complaining, but nobody's doing anything about it."
The Jackson Heights Beautification Group, a volunteer group that maintains sidewalk trees and other green initiatives in the neighborhood, questioned the need for the stand with so many stores nearby.
"With pedestrians, street trees and deliveries all jostling for sidewalk space on our busy main street, what purpose does this serve?" president Len Maniace asked in an online post.
"There isn't a shortage of family-run stores that sell newspapers, magazines, bottled water, gum etc., already along 37th Avenue."