The following was written by PoPville contributor David McAuley, founder of Short Articles about Long Meetings.
proposed moratorium zone via Google maps
At its regularly-scheduled monthly meeting June 6, Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1C/Adams Morgan heard a proposal to move, expand, and modify its liquor license moratorium zone. The moratorium zone will expire on August 18, 2018, unless DC authorities take action to renew it.
After more than an hour’s discussion, the ANC voted unanimously to send the draft proposal back to its liquor-licensing affairs committee.
Commissioner Amir Irani (district 01) said the matter would be re-examined in the light of community comments at the next meeting of the committee, scheduled for 7pm, Wednesday, June 13, at Kalorama Park Recreation Center (1875 Kalorama Road NW). The meeting is open to the public.
The proposal put forward at the June 6 meeting would recommend that DC authorities renew the moratorium zone for another five years. There has been a liquor license moratorium in some form in Adams Morgan since 2000.
The new proposal would enlarge the size of the moratorium zone. The current moratorium zone extends in roughly a 1,400-foot radius from the intersection of Belmont Road and 18th Street. The new proposed zone (see picture above) is a circle of 1,800-foot radius from 2459 18th Street, which is the location of Tryst Coffeehouse/Bar/Lounge. The proposed new zone would cover part of Columbia Road and other streets currently north and east of the existing moratorium zone.
In addition, the draft proposal would also make it impossible for liquor licensees to get entertainment endorsements on their liquor licenses. An entertainment endorsement allows licensees offer live entertainment, provide a dance floor and charge a cover.
Commissioner Ted Guthrie (District 3) said of Adams Morgan liquor licensees: “The ones that have been a problem historically have had entertainment endorsements.”
Guthrie and Denis James, President of the Kalorama Citizens Association, did most of the talking in favor of the proposal. James distributed a five-page analysis of liquor licenses in the Adams Morgan neighborhood that showed there were 44 licensees with entertainment endorsements in the neighborhood, of which 37 were in the current moratorium zone.
“Anyone who wants one has one,” James said.
Speaking against the proposal were members of the local business community and former Commissioners.
One commenter said that Adams Morgan was an “artistic neighborhood”, but “we’ve lost that because we’ve had too much regulation. We’ve said we don’t want you.”
“I’m not going to do another business in the neighborhood,” if the moratorium was changed as proposed, another local liquor licensee said.
“You have to give people a chance to do bars – nice bars!” he said.
After the debate, two of the five ANCs present declared themselves against the proposal, at which time Commissioner Irani moved that the proposal be tabled and returned to committee.
If the ANC eventually passes a proposal, it will have to be reviewed and approved by DC’s liquor licensing authorities before it goes into effect.
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