City Paper Widget

Monday, August 26, 2013

ANC1B to Hold Town Hall Meeting on Liquor Licensing

Advisory Neighborhood Commission ANC 1B/U Street will soon hold a town-hall style meeting to discuss standards for dealing with liquor licensees. The purpose of the meeting will be to get community input on appropriate and uniform standards. The meeting will be held on September 3, at 7pm, at the Reeves Center (14th and U Streets NW), according to information on ANC1B's web site and Twitter.

Reeves Center (AgnosticPreachersKid, en.wikipedia)
ANC1B liquor licensing affairs committee chair Jeremy Leffler (Commissioner for district 02) discussed scheduling the town hall meeting with liquor licensing affairs committee members at their regular monthly meeting on August 21 at the Thurgood Marshall Center (1816 12th Street). Leffler told the committee the meeting had to be scheduled sufficiently in advance to get the word out to the community, but before the next meeting of the ANC as a whole. This will take place Thursday, September 5,  7pm at the Reeves Center.

Some items in the draft standards are:

-- Establishment owners should always be notified seven days before their cases will be discussed.

-- The use of a template developed by ANC 2B/Dupont for "settlement agreements". Settlement agreements are reached between liquor licensees and ANCs and/or other parties. They often deal with operating hours, trash pickup, outdoor service, vermin control, and other issues.

-- Improving communication with licensees by making more information about the process available on the ANC1B website, including a list of questions that licensees will be expected to answer.

The committee discussed a draft document at length at the August 21 meeting.

One of the questions discussed was: How many neighbors have to be complaining about an establishment before the ANC will consider a protest? Leffler's draft proposed five, which mirrors DC government regulation on this matter. Leffler told the committee the standards should include a concrete number of complaining neighbors. Other members of the committee pushed back and urged a lower number or no number at all. In the end, the committee seemed to agree on "multiple neighbors" for this section, without further definition.

The meeting also discussed proposed standards for outdoor operations, i.e. street level patios, summer gardens, or roof decks. The document says:

"The Committee has been trying to meet the community halfway by working with new licensee applicants to dial back summer garden and street level patio hours to 11 p.m. Sunday - Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday. This should apply to those establishments on side streets, tucked into neighborhoods or turning the corner into residential streets."

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