NYC Mediation Program to Assist with Quality of Life Issues
Monday, September, 14, 2020
New York City has launched a mediation program intended to help residents resolve quality of life disputes they have with restaurants and bars. The program was announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio and will be free of charge.
According to city officials, there are currently more than 300 complaints in progress that have arisen since the COVID-19 pandemic began. These complaints deal with outdoor dining options made available to bars and restaurants during the pandemic. In many cases, these outdoor options are still in use today.
The program entitled Mediating Establishment and Neighborhood Disputes (MEND) was designed to assist in resolving issues between bars and restaurants and residents in the area. The goal is to resolve these issues before they escalate to full-blown legal issues that require attention from the court system.
Said de Blasio of the ongoing situation and the MEND program, “The success of our neighborhood establishments is central to our entire city’s success. When complaints arise, MEND NYC will bring people together to creatively solve problems, helping us save deployment of our enforcement agencies for the most serious violations.”
To qualify for assistance from MEND, residents must be dealing with “chronic or urgent” issues related to their quality of life due to a business operating in the area. Businesses can also pursue assistance from MEND. To participate, both parties involved must be willing to mediate. Participation does not automatically mean there will be no further legal action, but the city is hoping mediation curbs several complaints.