Dec. 16, 2015 By Michael Florio
An application for an outdoor newspaper stand on 31st Street hit a roadblock last night when Community Board 1 decided there was little need for it.
Ashraf Khakan brought his application to place a newspaper stand in front of Key Food Supermarket on 31st Street, between Ditmars Boulevard and 23rd Avenue, before CB 1 at its monthly meeting Tuesday.
The stand would sell newspapers, magazines, candy, gum and drinks, according to Khakan. It would operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., he said.
However, the Board pointed out that a 7-Eleven neighbors the Key Food, which already sells these items. Board members added that many of these items could be purchased in Key Food as well.
Khakan told the Astoria Post that he believes his stand, which would be located by the 31st Street subway station, would nevertheless be a valuable commodity to residents of the community.
“They would not have to go inside and wait on line to purchase a water or the newspaper,” he said. “They can quickly purchase it as they go to or from the subway.”
Another Board member wanted to know if Khakan reached out to Key Food to see if they have any issue with him opening this newspaper stand. He said he has and they had no issues.
“Impossible,” the Board member responded.
The Board’s Consumer Affairs Committee voted narrowly against the newsstand, with six votes against it and five for it, according to committee Chairman John Katsanos.
The full Board then voted to recommend denial of the newsstand, with 20 members against the stand, and 19 in favor of it. The Board’s recommendation gets sent to the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Despite the Board’s decision to recommend disapproval, Khakan will go forward with the application process and hopes to ultimately receive approval from the City.
“Yes, I still think I should be approved,” he said. “I hope I am.”