Liza Minnelli was just one of the dozens of musical artists who performed for free at the Seaside Summer Concert series over the past 19 years at Coney Island's Asser Levy Park. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz puts the series together.
But what's music to some people's ears is horrible to others. A lawsuit filed just last week by some nearby synagogues is based on a 1935 city code that prohibits sound permits to be issued within 500 feet of places of worship.
"It's a shame. It's a shanda [disgrace]. It's sinful, it's ugly, it's political," said plantiff Arlene Brenner.
City Councilman Peter Vallone sponsored a bill to amend the law for 90 days so the sound permit issue can be studied, and the City Council Committee on Public Safety held a hearing on the matter on Friday.
"You brought to our attention that there's an antiquated law that can be misused to deny hundreds of thousand of people throughout the city to listen to music," said Vallone.
What some saw as a quick fix for concert-goers, others saw as skirting the law.
"What the city is doing here is recognizing there's an illegality and they're legitimizing it, and that is manipulation," said Norman Siegel, the lawyer for the plaintiffs.
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