In this season of giving, the neighborhoods of SoHo, East Village, and Lower East Side are giving the development of new bars a run for their money. First, in SoHo, the City Council has agreed to change a zoning law that allows for development of various commercial and residential properties on old parking lots, but not the development of bars. Residents are thrilled, as is the SoHo Alliance tells the Post, "We don't mind boutiques or galleries, but if you have 30 bars on your block, you're living in hell." A critic of the alliance, the council to the New York Nightlife Association, says, "If the SoHo Alliance had their way, they would build a wall around SoHo and you would need a passport issued by them to go into the neighborhood." Interesting! Is that because there are so many tourists, especially Eurotrashy ones, in the neighborhood?

Then, in EV and LES, residents are upset that laws are not enforcing the "oversaturation of bars" (which is a very curious concept to Gothamist). Apparently, the law says there cannot be more than three bars within 500 feet of each other or 200 feet from a school or church, so that must mean about 80% of the bars in Manhattan violate this rule. Many complaints involve noise and quality of life, but some are using the "we miss having the dingy bodega instead of the bar serving $15 cocktails" argument. Which makes how expensive it is to rent space in the area very interesting: According to one bar owner, ten years ago, it cost $14 per square foot; five years ago, $30 per square foot; and today, $80 per square foot. Talk about nails in the coffins are the mom & pop establishments. But maybe residents are just sick of incidents like this: Three men were fighting over a woman at Negril Village on West 3rd Street, and one was shot twice, another was stabbed five times, and the third had his head sliced open by the a bottle.