From the Forum – Adams Morgan Liquor License Moratorium Questions

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Adams Morgan Liquor License Moratorium Questions:

“I know this subject has been tackled here a few times before, but I was hoping to bring a slightly different spin to this. I chose to research this issue as a class assignment and as a resident of Adams Morgan. I would like to start a more positive, open discourse regarding the pros and cons of the moratorium, instead of the current situation where both sides seem to be talking past each other. I think a great starting point for that is for the ANC to specifically state which establishments they are painting with broad brushes. Below is a copy of the body of the letter I sent over to the ANC. Feel free to constructively comment or flame me behind your pseudo-anonymous internet personas!


Dear Commissioners,

I have been a resident of the Adams Morgan neighborhood, and more specifically ANC 1C for a couple years. While I was not initially involved in the liquor license moratorium extension discussion, I chose to begin researching the issue for a class project through Georgetown University. I wanted to understand the history of the moratorium and the pros and cons of moratorium continuation.

I familiarized myself with the most recent moratorium available on the ANC 1C website and read as many local publications and internet postings regarding this recent extension and previous extensions as I could find. I also spoke with some local business owners about the effects of the moratorium on their businesses and the businesses of their friends.

During this review period, I became less interested in the back-and-forth between pro- and anti-moratorium supporters, and more interested in the transparency of the petition process. There are several claims made in the moratorium for which I would like to see some clarification.

1. 4(iii) Adverse effects on residential parking needs and vehicular and pedestrian safety.
The ANC claims the moratorium eases the effects on residential parking and vehicular and pedestrian safety. I would like some clarification as to why this reasoning was left in the petition when the petition specifically allows new restaurants with liquor licenses in the area. How does the issuance of some, but not all types of licenses alleviate these problems. I would also like to know the ANC’s stance on new residential developments and their effect on current residential street parking.

2. “Public Outreach in 2013” – “The Commission receive several hundred written and in person comments.”
What were the nature of these comments? How many comments were actually received? Additionally, is advertising via list-serv the most effective manner to reach the constituency of the area?

3. “Peace, Order, and Quiet” Paragraph 2 – Establishments Pursuing a Nightclub Business Model
Could the ANC state specifically which establishments are running “de facto nightclubs within the Moratorium Zone” as stated in the petition? It is important to identify businesses running afoul of standard practice in order to effectively deal with those businesses.

Much of the publicly available feedback for the ANC 1C liquor license moratorium is extremely biased either for or against. My hope is that by providing a more transparent and fact-based petition, the ANC 1C can improve the discourse between sides and reach more reasonable conclusions.”

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