The ANC decided to “protest” the termination application not because we thought their requests were unreasonable, but because we think settlement agreements play an important role in solidifying the relationship between an establishment and a neighborhood. Policy agreed and the owners and I began discussing language for a new agreement.
Four groups protested the termination: the ANC, the Dupont Circle Citizens Association, the Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance and a group of five or more neighbors. At our first meeting, there was little if any agreement on terms to a new SA, even among the protestants. Concerns about noise, parking and trash were all discussed and it became clear that an agreement among all of the parties would be difficult but not impossible.
With the help of ANC Commissioners Kevin O’Connor and Will Stephens, the ANC led an effort to bring together all of the protestants and the restaurant and finalize an agreement that we could all get behind. We avoided a lengthy ABC Board protest hearing and set new and clear expectations for how Policy will operate as a member of the neighborhood.
Negotiations of this type have failed before, but this is an example of how the process is supposed to work: neighbors and businesses coming together to agree on how they can best coexist and thrive.
The owners of the restaurant, Raj Multani and Asim Walia, have been excellent to work with and the representatives from the neighborhood associations were equally willing to find a middle ground on issues important to those that live nearby.