A flower shop in the Flower District obstructed a sidewalk with its plants. Holiday Flower & Plant shop, located on 118 West 28th Street, Manhattan, placed some of its plants outside the storefront with the intent of moving the plants inside after the store closed. The plants obstructed more than eight feet of sidewalk and reached the curb. An NYPD officer issued a summon to the flower shop for violating § 19-136 of the Administrative Code, which prohibits “any person to hang or place any goods, wares or merchandise . . . at a greater distance than three feet in front of his or her . . . store or other building. . . .”
The flower shop argued that the obstruction was only temporary, and that Manhattan Community Board Five allowed the outdoor display of the plants in the Flower District provided sidewalk passage was not obstructed. The hearing officer sustained the violation and imposed a $150 fine. The flower shop appealed.
An OATH Appeals Board affirmed the hearing officer’s decision, ruling that Manhattan Community Board Five allowed flower displays only if there is a clear sidewalk passage. The flower shop did not deny that its merchandise extended more than three feet from the front of its store, or claim that there was a clear passage for pedestrians to get through. The Appeals Board affirmed the violation and the civil penalty of $150.
NYPD v. Holiday Flower & Plants Inc., OATH Appeal No. 1901024 (Aug. 14, 2019). CITYADMIN
By: Katerina Pluhacek Garcia (Katerina is a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)