Text of Resolution Regarding Proposed Liquor Moratorium

Here is the text of a resolution I have shared with my 2F colleagues and which I will ask them to discuss and vote on at our meeting tonight, which begins at 7 p.m.

(UPDATE: The ANC passed the resolution unanimously, 7-0.)

April 3, 2013
A Resolution by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2F
Regarding the Proposed Liquor License Moratorium in the
Historic 14th and U Street Corridor

WHEREAS, The Shaw-Dupont Citizens Alliance on December 10, 2012, petitioned the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board of the District of Columbia (“ABC Board”) seeking to establish a moratorium on the issuance of new retailer-class liquor licensees; and

WHEREAS, The proposed moratorium would encompass a zone extending within the boundaries of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2F (“ANC 2F”); and

WHEREAS, The written advice of ANC 2F, as an affected ANC, must be accorded Great Weight by the ABC Board, pursuant to section 13(d)(3) of the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions Act of 1975; and

WHEREAS, The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has scheduled a hearing on the petition on May 22, 2013, and has solicited formal comments from affected ANCs; and

WHEREAS, ANC 2F has discussed and received public comments on the moratorium at meetings of its Crime and Public Safety Committee and ABRA Policy Committee, as well as three meetings of the full commission and a joint listening session held March 20, 2013, with ANCs 1B and 2B; and

WHEREAS, Community sentiment is strongly opposed to the moratorium, as evidenced by comments at the above-referenced meetings, as well as contacts from individual constituents, and an online petition with 1,196 signatures as of April 3, 2013; and

WHEREAS, ANC 2F welcomes the presence of liquor-licensed establishments, having endorsed the findings of the ARTS Overlay Review Committee, which stated that “restaurants and bars are an important ingredient in having a vibrant ARTS District: they contribute foot traffic to the arts and retail uses, and play an important role in achieving a vibrant and safe nighttime street environment”; and

WHEREAS, Serious concerns have been raised about the efficacy and advisability of moratorium zones elsewhere in the District of Columbia and whether they contribute the intended net positive effect to community values such as retail diversity and public safety; and

WHEREAS, The petition advances a number of dubious claims about issues such as crime rates and enforcement of existing zoning regulations under the Uptown ARTS Overlay; and

WHEREAS, Current tools exist, and other creative solutions should be pursued, to address the negative impacts raised in the petition; and

WHEREAS, Moratoriums are market-distorting mechanisms that unfairly advantage incumbent businesses; transform liquor licenses into commodities that may cost tens of thousands of dollars, pricing local entrepreneurs out of the market; depress the tax base; and discourage non-liquor amenities by making neighborhoods less desirable places overall for businesses to locate; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That ANC 2F advise the ABC Board to deny the pending petition to create a retail liquor license moratorium zone in the Historic 14th and U Street Corridor in its entirety, and to decline to move forward with any rule-making process to effectuate such a moratorium zone; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, That ANC 2F Chairman Matt Raymond be directed to write a report elaborating upon the basis for this resolution that will serve as formal written advice to the ABC Board, to be voted upon at the May 2013 meeting of ANC 2F; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, That such report include an acknowledgement of potential impacts that might accompany the growth of liquor licenses in our area and a focus on positive steps the community should take, short of a moratorium, to address those impacts; and

FURTHER RESOLVED, That ANC 2F recommit itself to working with District agencies, the City Council, the Metropolitan Police Department, residents, the business community, neighboring ANCs and other stakeholders to improve the enforcement of all applicable laws and regulations governing liquor licensees and potential community impacts, and to seek changes in such laws and regulations, where deemed advisable.

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