What the Helen of Troy is Going on in the Omnibus Alcohol Beverage Regulation Amendment Act!?!?!?

Page 2 of the Omnibus Alcohol Beverage Regulation Amendment Act Legislation 2012

So, this is odd. Please note the last sentence from page 2 of the Omnibus Alcohol Legislation 2012 in the image above. Yesterday someone sent me a link to CM Tommy Wells page to look into the Omnibus Alcohol Legislation 2012. It was posted June 26th and explains:

Earlier today, Councilmember Jim Graham introduced the “Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Amendment Act of 2012.” The legislation has a wide variety of amendments to the city’s alcohol laws and policies. It includes items related to noise in the neighborhood, Advisory Neighborhood Commissions’ voluntary agreements, Sunday alcohol sales, and much, much more. We’d love to hear your thoughts and reactions to the legislation.

It also has the full PDF of the legislation. So a reader asked that I look into growler sales and whether or not stores like D’Vines will be able to sell them again. Anyway, right as I got to page two I noticed some very odd language:

“(2) Paragraph (34) is amended by replacing the word “buttocks” with the word “anus”.”

So, uh, what exactly are we legislating here… Staffers having fun?

Oh yeah, back to the original request, if anyone wants to comment on whether stores like D’Vines should be able to sell growlers again, you can do so here. The current language looks like only full-service grocery stores and brew pubs will be able to sell growlers.

You can see the full legislation below:

Omnibus Alcohol Legislation 2012 (PDF)

40 Comment

  • Allison

    I find this part very interesting: to require a group of five or more residents or 39 property owners to be within a 400 foot radius to qualify for standing.

    400 feet really isn’t that much.

    • Yeah, that sure doesn’t seem to allow the immediate neighborhood to have any standing.

      I’m not for protesting everything, but that would not even reach to the end of my block (granted my block is rather long, but stilll)!

      • Allison:
        This language appears to be an attempt to avoid situations like what happened with Hank’s Oyster in Dupont where 5 people in the neighberhood were able to temporarily prevent Hank’s from having outdoor seating causing him to lose lots of money and generally ruining things for everyone else who likes outdoor seating. Maybe they should have changed the number of people to 200 instead of 5 though and accomplish the same goal…..

        • I’m pretty sure Hank’s is owned by a woman.

        • Allison

          Well, just because some people chose to abuse a law– if that’s the situation here, I am unfamiliar with Hanks’ story–doesn’t necessarily mean restricting standing to such a small radius for the rest of the city is a good law. Taking one anecdote and turning it into a blanket policy is rarely good lawmaking.

          • there are many, many, many other examples of small groups of tyrannical individuals imposing their will on business owners to the detriment of the vast majority of other residents thanks to the ridiculous voluntary agreement system. This has been a huge problem for years – development in Mt Pleasant was stymied for almost a decade by a woman who actually had moved to Cleveland Park but kept filing objections to Mt Pleasant businesses under the Voluntary Agreement system out of some misguided and undemocratic attempt at historic preservation / axe grinding.

          • Allison — Just Google Hank’s and voluntary agreement — there are countless stories of the abuse of the voluntary agreement process (http://www.princeofpetworth.com/2012/06/saga-of-hanks-oyster-bars-outdoor-seating-continues/) by only 5 people (only one of which is in the immediate block). While giving citizens a say in businesses in their direct neighborhood makes sense, this process has been abusive to a number of businesses — and the Hank’s situation has been among the worst. This is not an anecdote being turned into policy. If you are not aware of Hank’s — and I do not mean this as an attack — then you have not been paying attention to how the “voluntary” agreement process has been working.

        • anonymouse_dianne

          Yes, Hank’s Oyster bar is owned by Jamie Leeds, a woman. Hank is her father’s name.

    • It should be zero feet. If the community has a problem with a license, it should go through official channels, like the ANC that can vote to protest an application. As it is, voluntary agreements developed by a handful of individuals are essentially forced on business owners who do not have the time and money to spend months/years litigating a protest. The fact that these private agreements between a handful of parties have the force of law and government is ridiculous.

      • Protesting a proposed liquor license by neighbors IS part of the official channels! Furthermore, there is no “litigation” and if the parties can’t arrive at a voluntary agreement then the ABC board decides the issue. Everyone is against NIMBY until “it” is in their own backyard and then the story changes!

        Now where the reform probably needs to be is having the process be quicker.

        • It shouldn’t be part of the official channels. I didn’t vote for these neighbors to make any decisions or negotiate on my behalf where the community’s interest is concerned. That’s what the ANC is for.

  • hmmmmm….miniature alcohol bottles and “anus” not “buttocks”…..what picture springs to mind? and what are they allowing or banning?????

    Open Container? Concealed Carry?

  • (34) “Nude performance” means dancing or other entertainment by a person whose genitals, pubic region, or buttocks are less than completely and opaquely covered and, in the case of a female, whose breasts are less than completely and opaquely covered below a point immediately above the top of the areola.

  • You know, this amends a current law. You could just do the legwork of looking up what the word “buttocks” means in the original law and why it’s being replaced with “anus”.

    Or you could just speculate, I guess. Your call.

    Oh hey, LMGTFY:

    “(34) “Nude performance” means dancing or other entertainment by a person whose genitals, pubic region, or buttocks are less than completely and opaquely covered and, in the case of a female, whose breasts are less than completely and opaquely covered below a point immediately above the top of the areola.”

    Looks like we’re going to allow thong dancing.

  • It’s just revising their definition of “Nude Performances”. Apparently since the original legislation was adopted, it was considered “Nude Performance” if your “buttocks are less than completely and opaquely covered” – meaning just about ever place with a server wearing low cut jeans or with a plumber on staff, could be cited?

  • Allison

    I’m also confused by this: It shall be a secondary tier violation for an on-premises retailer’s class C or D licensee, to knowingly allow a patron to exit the licensed establishment with an alcoholic beverage in an open container.”

    It’s unclear exactly what measures they want the licensee to take in this situation. Is calling the cops enough? Do you have to run after the guy?

    • Calm down. Basically, the licensee can’t be complicit in allowing it to happen. This stuff is pretty common sense.

      • Yeah, if one person sneaks out with an open beer, that’s one thing. If tons of people are outside with open beers then obviously the bar hasn’t told then this is unacceptable and they are complicit.

      • Allison

        First I am unsure as to why my comment elicited a “calm down.” Didn’t seem very “rawr” to me.

        Second, I don’t think resorting to “common sense” would help a licensee in a difficult legal situation. You’re changing the legal standard from “knowingly allowing” to “complicit in,” which is incorrect, as a matter of the written law.

    • Allison, why are you so uptight about alcohol and bars?

      • Allison

        Whoa there, whoa there. I thought this comment was rather pro-licensee. I’m stating that from the point of view of a licensee defending itself against an allegation of knowingly allowing someone to exit w/ an open container, it would be difficult to defend against without knowing what is required in order to overcome.

        No angst or bar-hating here, simmah down peoples!

    • The liqour store near my house sells cups filled with ice and alcohol to people. So at times there tends to be small groups of people panhandling and getting drunk on my block, especially in the Summer months. Maybe the updated law will discourage that kind of thing?

  • I agree with Michael P. This is lazy blogging. Took me about a minute to look up the relevant section of DC code

  • I LOVE the section about requiring mixed-used buildings to have sound-mitigating windows, ceilings, and walls. This will substantially cut down on the residential-commerical issues that are becoming more frequent as more mixed-use buildings are developed.

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