Huntington business owners who opposed a permit application for another liquor store have won a decision by the State Liquor Authority.
The SLA last week rejected the request by Sarvpreet Singh, who had applied for a permit to open a 6,000-square-foot store Kevin's Discount Wines & Liquors at 295 W. Jericho Tpke., Huntington Station.
Other liquor store owners noted that there were already 16 liquor stores within 3.5 miles of the proposed store, and the new business, in a space created between Harbor Freight and Rite-Aid at the corner of West Hills Road and Jericho, would have been too close to Whitman High School.
Milan Patel, who owns Huntington Wines & Liquors on West Jericho Turnpike, and Ken V. Babi, who owns West Hills Wines & Liquors on New York Avenue, and about 10 other owners had taken their case to the SLA and the Town Board.
At the Sept. 24 meeting of the Town Board, Councilman Mark Cuthbertson sponsored and enacted legislation to limit the number of retail liquor store licenses that can be issued within a geographic area and to set standards defining “saturation” for the purpose of limiting the number of retail liquor store licenses.
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.
The state agency made its decision three days later.
"The NYSLA took note of the outcry from the State, Town and community levels as they listened to both sides of the testimony. At the end of the hearing the NYSLA rendered its decision and denied the application," Cuthberston said Wednesday.
“I have always been an advocate for small businesses and economic development,” Cuthbertson said, "but this liquor store license application tipped the scale when looking at it terms of density and saturation. I applaud Chairman Dennis Rosen and Commissioner Jeanique Greene of the New York State Liquor Authority for their time and consideration on this matter. I am hopeful the Governor, State Legislature and NY State SLA will set geographic limits on new applicants in the future.”
In addition to the many competitors, the owners' group said that a population decline, along with increasing costs and tough economic conditions, are harming their businesses. Both say they are losing their customer base as people move away and that increased costs, such as state taxes, are seriously cutting into their ability to make a living.
The owners could not immediately be reached for comment.
Follow Huntington Patch on Facebook