ANC’s from Dupont, Logan and U Street worked together for months to gather neighborhood input and draft resolutions that reflected the views of the community at large. I can’t say enough about how wonderful it was to work with folks like Jeremy Leffler (ANC1B), Matt Raymond (ANC2F) and Kevin O’Connor (Chair of the ANC2B Alcohol Policy Committee). Even if the decision of the Board were different, the process built lasting relationships and proved how important it is to collaborate across arbitrary neighborhood lines.
Back in May, I testified at the ABC Board on behalf of ANC2B – you can read our resolution here.
With its decision today, the ABC Board confirmed that the influx of new liquor licensed establishments has been positive for the neighborhood, which we heard over-and-over again in our listening sessions. As I’ve shared before, a moratorium is a blunt tool that cannot distinguish between good and bad actors – it assumes any establishment selling alcohol will be detrimental to the community. It also unfairly favors incumbent businesses, turning their licenses into commodities that can be sold and traded.
As I’ve also said, we cannot ignore the concerns of neighbors who live near these businesses. They have legitimate complaints and there are reasonable controls that the ABC Board (with advice from the ANC) can implement to protect neighbors, including the negotiation of Settlement Agreements that require soundproofing, rat abatement, parking considerations, and limits on outdoor operation hours.
THANK YOU to all of the neighbors who called and emailed, met for coffee, and spoke up at meetings. This remains an important and emotional issue and no matter your viewpoint, I hope that you felt your voice was heard in the process.
UPDATE: The ABC Board has published a press release on the decision, including a copy of their 32 page signed order.