Posted by: oconnorfordc | March 4, 2011

Final Report: West Dupont Circle Liquor Moratorium

After several months of deliberation based on numerous public meetings and comments, the ANC2B’s ad hoc Committee on the West Dupont Circle Liquor Moratorium finally has completed its report and recommendations. The process has been long and difficult but, with the input gathered from residents, businesses and civic organizations, I strongly believe we have produced a series of recommendations that will protect the interests of the neighborhood and help guide the future development of the neighborhood.

Our proposals accomplish several objectives. First, it continues to protect the neighborhood from new tavern and nightclub licenses while also allowing more restaurant licenses.  This is significant because it allows for guided growth in the neighborhood. The proposals also call for the ANC to become more active at the beginning of the licensing process; engaging new restaurants to enter into Voluntary Agreements prior to opening. This, in combination with the fact that the Moratorium allows a group of three residents (rather than five) to protest, will play in an important role in establish strong relationships with new business.

Additionally, the proposed resolution will carve out the block known as “One Dupont Circle” from the Moratorium zone.  This was decided based on overwhelming public, business and Police support. As a technical note, the block itself may have been included accidentally included in the Moratorium to begin with so it is only right it be excluded now.

At the request of residents, the Committee will put forward the idea that blocks should be able to opt in and opt out of the Moratorium. This would allow for a more controlled Moratorium that would better reflect the interests of neighborhoods. Ultimately, this decision is one that will be made by ABRA and the ABC Board and not the ANC.

Finally, we have proposed that the length of the Moratorium be shortened from five to three years. This will allow for a quicker review of the impact the changes have had. From analyzing this at the next renewal period, the ANC will be able to better assess whether to strengthen, weaken or maintain the Moratorium with measurable results.

The ANC will consider the resolution on March 9, 2011.

Without further ado,here it is:

West Dupont Moratorium Report and Recommendations

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Posted by: oconnorfordc | February 17, 2011

Final Moratorium Meeting: February 17, 2011

With one final public meeting remaining, it is time to finally present some conclusions for discussion. After weighing the numerous public comments received at our prior meetings and through e-mail submission (Notes from the February 8, 2011 meeting are here). I have come to the following conclusions, which are reflected in this draft report.

ANC2B should take these actions with regards to the West Dupont Circle Moratorium:

• Continue a modified Moratorium for Western Dupont Circle;

• Eliminate the cap on CR/DR licenses for the Moratorium Zone to allow for the development of a new “Restaurant Row;”

• Act with immediate effect to alter the boundaries of the Moratorium to exclude the block of New Hampshire Avenue NW between O and P Streets NW;

•Continue Restrictions on the number of CT/DT and CN/DN licenses;

• Agree to revisit the Moratorium in 3 years;

• Ask the ANC to encourage more standardized Voluntary Agreements and take appropriate actions against offending parties that choose to violate their agreements at time of license renewal;

• Encourage the ANC to ask new businesses that establish themselves within the Moratorium boundaries to enter into Voluntary Agreements as a “good faith” act for their neighbors. These Voluntary Agreements should reflect the Public Space Guidelines of ANC2B and should favor closing hours before 1am on weekdays and 3am on weekends;

• Suggest to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) that future Moratoria be allowed to include and exclude blocks from a Moratorium without following the current protocol of only allowing Moratoria to expand by 600, 1200 or 1800 feet;

• Reassess the effectiveness of these changes every 6 months, by weighing: complaints filed with ABRA about new businesses, the number of new businesses in the neighborhood and complaints registered with Commissioners of the Single-Member District impacted by the Moratorium.

Tomorrow, we will have the opportunity to discuss these options before the Committee makes its final recommendations and reports to the ANC on March 9.

I look forward to hearing your feedback and hope that we can move forward to help our neighborhood blossom and continue to remain the premier neighborhood in Washington, DC.

Draft West Dupont Circle Liquor Moratorium Report for Public Comment.

Still want to comment and can’t make the meeting? You may do so through e-mail.

Posted by: oconnorfordc | February 4, 2011

Next Moratorium Meeting: Feb. 8, 2011

After one successful meeting on January 18th and a cancellation on January 26th, we are ready to try again!

The next public meeting of the Moratorium Committee will be February 8, 2011 at Church of the Pilgrims at 7pm.

I’ve been receiving lots of great comments from the community, but there is still time to have your voice heard in this process. Please attend the meeting or submit comments to me.

The minutes from the January 18th public meeting are available for review.

Ideally, I will have a draft report to circulate to the ANC for their February 9th meeting and we will be holding a public meeting to discuss the draft on February 17th.

That means there are still 2 opportunities to consider the Moratorium and speak out the proper course of action.

I hope to see you there.

Posted by: oconnorfordc | January 17, 2011

West Dupont Circle Moratorium Summary

In advance of Tuesday’s (1/18/2011) meeting on the West Dupont Circle Liquor Moratorium, I think it’s important to discuss the purpose of the Moratorium and describe what is included in Moratorium as it is written now.

The Moratorium originally was passed in August of 2000 and has been renewed several times since. The most recent action taken on the Moratorium expanded the number of DR licenses by 2 in 2008 and, more recently, exempted the Block of Connecticut Avenue between Q Street NW and Dupont Circle itself (this is where SweetGreen and BGR are located).

Past ABRA hearings have showed the real purpose of a Moratorium: maintaining balance between the businesses and the residents who give our neighborhood its unique identity. To understand the history of the Moratorium and the circumstances under which it was adopted, I suggest these two transcripts from the last round of Moratorium hearings as a reference.

–    ABRA Moratorium Testimony 09.17.08
–    ABRA Moratorium Testimony 10.01.08

The current Moratorium is broken down into 10 sections, each describing a particular aspect. A copy of the Moratorium can be found here: West Dupont Moratorium Zone.
Here is a cheat sheet to interpreting the document. I look forward to seeing you at the meeting on Tuesday where we can discuss the best way to serve and support the Dupont community.

Section 307.1 – Lists the total number of licenses available to the area. In total, there are 34 licenses within the Moratorium zone.

Section 307.2 – Outlines the Moratorium area, which can be found in the below map. Note the area from the corner of Q Street and Connecticut Avenue, NW going southeast towards Dupont Circle has since been exempted (as noted on the map).

Section 307.3 – Exempts hotels from the Moratorium.

Section 307.4 – Allows for the transfer of ownership of licenses.

Section 307.5– Allows the transfer of one license in one location to another location within the zone.

Section 307.6 – Transfer of a license previously granted outside the Moratorium zone will not be permitted unless it meets the totals in Section 307.1.

Section 307.7 – Allows for the filing of an application and protest of any license change or transfer.

Section 307.8 – Prevents CR and DR (restaurant class licenses) from changing class to CT/DT (tavern) or CN/DN (nightclub).

Section 307.9 – Section spells out the circumstances covering expansion within the Moratorium zone.  Expansion is permitted but there have to be particular criteria met.

Section 307.10 – The Moratorium expires March 23, 2011.

Posted by: oconnorfordc | January 13, 2011

January 2011 ANC Round-up

I am pleased to say yesterday was my first official meeting with ANC2B.

As Commission, we ruled on several important measures that impact ANC2B02. First, we elected officers. For the next term, Commissioner Will Stephens will continue as Chairperson. Commissioner Mike Feldstein will continue as Vice Chairperson as well. The new Treasurer will be Commissioner Mike Silverstein and the Secretary will be Commissioner Phil Carney.

We also allowed proposed zoning and historic preservation matters for 2025 Massachusetts Avenue, NW to go forward with the Commissions support. These changes were previous approved by the Dupont Circle Conservancy and will help to improve an important building in our neighborhood. The space will be occupied by non-profits.
I moved to change the hours that Soho Coffee and Tea could serve alcohol from 12am to 2am. This will allow the restaurant to operate on the same page as other restaurants in the neighborhood and was supported by the residents of the building in which Soho is located. I will be submitting an amendment to their current Voluntary Agreement so the hours can move forward.

We also announced the first public meeting for the West Dupont Circle Moratorium Committee. The meeting will be held at Church of the Pilgrims at 7pm on January 18th. More information will follow on this matter.

I would love to hear your feed back on these matters and on anything else impacting you in our neighborhood. Do let me know what is on your mind.

Posted by: oconnorfordc | January 4, 2011

A New Mayor, A New Year

On Sunday I had the distinct pleasure of being sworn in as the new Commissioner of Advisory Neighborhood Commission Single-Member District 2B02. The ceremony at the Convention Center was the culmination of months of work but I am proud to say it was just the beginning. I look forward to serving with Mayor Gray, the Council and my fellow ANC Commissioners in the coming years to help our neighborhood continue to blossom into its fullest potential.

I want to thank you all for your support during the election season. In particular, my family and friends as well as my predecessor, Bhavna Patel.

ANC 2B Commissioners Past and Present

ANC 2B Commissioners Past and Present

In the coming month, I will be hosting a series of meetings related to the West Dupont Circle Moratorium, a matter of great significance to the future of our neighborhood. When the meeting space is final, I will post dates and more information.

Stay tuned and thank you again or your support!

Posted by: oconnorfordc | December 10, 2010

December 2010 ANC Meeting Debrief!

Another month, another meeting to cross of the calendar!

ANC2B held it’s monthly meeting Wednesday (12/8) and brougth up several important resolutions concerning our single-member district.

First, the Alcohol Policy Committee released it’s proposed public space guidelines for consideration and public comment. These deal largely with sidewalk cafés and instances when they will be permitted and protested by the ANC. You can ANC 2B Proposed Revised Public Space Guidelines. Please review it. If there is something you like or dislike let me know! The ANC wants public feedback before the final version is passed in January!

Additionally, the ANC passed a resolution to form a committee to make a determination about the future of the West Dupont Circle Moratorium.I am pleased to say I, or rather the Commissioner from ANC2B02, will be acting as Chairperson of this committee. The Committee will also be represented by Commissioner Mike Feldstein of ANC2B01, a representative from ANC2B06 (to be named), a representative of the Dupont Circle Citizens Association and a representative from the Dupont Circle Merchants and Professionals Association.

January Community Meetings will be announced shortly. Stay tuned for details!
Here is the resolution as passed:

Resolution to Establish a Committee on the West Dupont Circle Moratorium

Whereas the West Dupont Circle Moratorium is set to expire March 23, 2011; and

Whereas Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B (“the ANC”) must weigh the appropriate action to take on the West Dupont Circle Moratorium (“the Moratorium”);

Therefore be it resolved that the Commission hereby establishes the West Dupont
Circle Moratorium Committee (“Committee”);

Be it further resolved that the Committee be charged with the following:

• Engaging the residents and businesses of ANC 2B to gather input on the Moratorium; and
• Reporting to the ANC; and
• Drafting a Resolution with suggested action for ANC2B for the
February 2011 meeting of the ANC.

Be it further resolved that the Committee shall consist of five members as follows:

•The Commissioner from ANC2B02, who shall act as Committee Chairperson;
•The Commissioner from ANC2B06 (or a delegate on their behalf);
•The Commissioner from ANC2B01;
•______, who shall act as a representative of the Dupont Circle Citizen’s Association; and
•______, who shall act as a representative of the Dupont Circle Merchants and Professionals Association.

Posted by: oconnorfordc | November 9, 2010

ANC Meeting Wednesday!

It’s time for the monthly ANC meeting (the first post-election!). There are several items on the agenda that will directly impact ANC 2B02.

The first is discussion surrounding the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development‘s discussion concerning, Dupont Underground.

There will also be discussion surrounding the P Street moratorium.

Additionally, the following liquor licenses will be considered:

Apex – 1415 22nd Street, NW

The Fireplace – 2161 P Street, NW

Gazuza – 1629 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Omega – 2123 Twinning Court, NW

The Brickskeller – 1523 22nd Street, NW

Marrakesh Palace – 2147 P Street, NW

Should you have any questions you wish me to ask, feel free to contact me.

The meeting will be at 7pm at the Brookings Institution this Wednesday, November 10, 2010.

See you there!

Here’s a copy of the agenda for this Wednesday.

Posted by: oconnorfordc | November 3, 2010

The Results are in: Thank you ANC 2B02!

There were many interesting results in yesterday’s elections, but I am proud to be able to be able to say that I successfully carried my single-member district.

2010 Election Results for ANC 2B02

Thank you to all of my family, friends and supporters for your efforts in the campaign!

I look forward to working with all of my constituents throughout the Dupont Circle community to help tackle the challenges we face in the next two years. I hope that we can continue to help make this neighborhood the best in the District.

Thanks again!

Posted by: oconnorfordc | November 2, 2010

A Celebration for Councilmember Evans

ANC Commissioners and CM Evans

Commissioner Stephens, and myself with CM Jack Evans and other ANC Commissioners

Last Wednesday, October 27, I was fortunate to be able to attend Councilmember Jack Evans’s Birthday party and marriage celebration. It was good to be able see people from all around Ward 2 come together to celebrate with our Councilmember.
The Georgetown Dish has the full write up.

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