City Paper Widget

Monday, March 30, 2015

Is Blagden Alley a Street?

The proprietor of the Lost & Found bar (1240 9th Street NW) came to a committee of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan Circle on March 25 to propose an outdoor patio of four tables and 16 seats. The proposed outdoor patio would be in Blagden Alley out behind the building where the bar is located. As proposed, it would take of seven feet of space in the alley and close at 10pm. It would be located in a corner of the alley, near where the alley dead-ends.

Chairs and tables here an impediment?
The discussion at the meeting is only preliminary -- no official application to use the public space has yet been made, nor has Lost & Found applied for the necessary revision to its liquor license that would enable outdoor service.

Members of ANC2F's Community Development Committee (CDC) were reluctant to encourage the application. The main sticking point objection seemed to be that Blagden Alley was a "street right of way" -- also known as a street. Vehicles would have the right to pass, make deliveries, etc., so you could not put tables in Blagden Alley any more than you could put tables in 14th Street.

"I'd want a clarification that you can use that land," said one committee member, directing Lost & Found's proprietor to get an opinion from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), which has authority over public space use issues.

One woman, a resident of the 1200 block of 10th Street, told the committee she supported the public space application because the area would be safer if more businesses were open and operating in the evening.

"It would be a real opportunity to make a safe space on the street," she said.

Another person, whose property abuts Blagden Alley, was against the use of alley space for safety reason.

"The determining factor should be: Can you get a fire truck down there?" the property owner said.

The committee directed the proprietor to get a written opinion from DDOT on its right-of-way policies and also to consult the Blagden Alley Naylor Court Association before moving forward with the application.

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