On February 5, Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan Circle voted to exit a three-sided settlement agreement with the liquor licensee The Park at 14th and abutting neighbor 1400 K Street, LLC.
The vote was 6-1 in favor of exiting the agreement, with Commissioner Chris Linn (district 03) the lone vote against.
The decision reverses the ANC2F decision of November 2013 to protest a termination
of this settlement agreement. It also standardizes ANC2F policy concerning liquor licensees in the downtown office district.
In November 2013, ANC2F passed a resolution stating that all liquor license applications within the ANC's jurisdiction should be reviewed, no matter where in the ANC the liquor licensee was located. This decision was a change in a long-standing informal ANC2F policy of not requiring review for liquor licensees outside of 2F's residential districts, which often meant below M Street.
With last week's decision, the ANC2F policy to review central business district licensees remains. But ANC2F is trying to standardize its practice on settlement agreements, because requiring settlement agreements of some licensees and not their neighbors may put those with settlements agreements at a disadvantage.
"To make the policy standard, we're doing this," Commissioner John Fanning (district 04) said. Fanning is also head of ANC2F's liquor licensing affairs committee.
1400 K Street LLC was represented at the meeting by attorney John Patrick Brown of the law firm of Greenstein DeLorme & Luchs. Attorney Brown unsuccessfully attempted to convince the ANC to remain a party to "a long-standing binding legal agreement."
"He [The Park at 14 owner Mark Barnes] has offered no reason for terminating this agreement," Brown said.
"I guarantee you we will be the most impeccable place in the city," Barnes told the ANC. In response to questioning from the committee, Barnes also said absolutely no aspect of the running of his club would change if the agreement was terminated.
Barnes also repeated a characterization, made at previous meetings, of the settlement agreement as shackles.
"You've got me wearing at ankle bracelet," Barnes said at this last meeting.
At an October 2013 ANC2F meeting, Barnes had compared the settlement agreement to handcuffs and "an electric collar".