From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email. You can follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann.
Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B voted Wednesday evening to protest the liquor license application for “The Post Office” restaurant project at 1407-1409 T Street NW.
The vote was 7-0 with two abstentions: Jack Jacobson and Mike Silverstein. Silverstein is also a member of the DC Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board and regularly abstains from ANC votes on liquor license related issues.
One speaker on Wednesday evening said that she was not for or against the endeavor, but hopes that a resolution will be achieved in a reasonable manner, not through fear-mongering anonymous fliers.
Three Speakers Voice Opinions
During the very brief period for presenting the application before an unusually crowded meeting, three local residents were allowed to speak. One gentleman from the 1500 block of Caroline Street NW said the “project merits the support of the neighborhood.”
A resident of the Nolando Condominium, which is adjacent to the proposed Post Office restaurant, spoke about the challenges of sharing a wall with a commercial entity, citing the already-operating Policy on 14th Street as a source of many disturbances.
The final speaker from the 1400 block of T Street opened by saying she is not for or against the Post Office endeavor, but hopes that a resolution will be achieved in a reasonable manner, not through fear-mongering anonymous fliers.
She later confirmed to Borderstan that the now famous fliers distributed on Tuesday — warning that T Street was going to become like Adams Morgan — were the work of the partner of the ANC Commissioner for Single Member District 2B09, Ramon Estrada. Roughly half the attendees left the meeting room after the presentation.
The two buildings are zoned commercial and while they face the Room and Board store across the street, everything else on the 1400 block of T Street is residential, and close by at that. LoopNet lists the property as 1407-1409 and shows the two buildings joined by a two-story addition.
Voluntary Agreement Negotiations Likely
With the first formal protest in the works, there is a good chance that owners of The Post Office would have to sign a Voluntary Agreement (V.A.) setting conditions for the operation of the restaurant. There are roughly 1,700 such V.A.s citywide.
ANC 2B recently revised its guidelines for public space sidewalk cafe applications, which will likely be important during any negotiations. Protests to the application must be filed with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) on or before June 6.
Anyone wishing to appear before ABRA’s ABC Board at the application hearing — even those who support the application — must file a protest. The protest hearing for The Post Office application is scheduled for June 20.
ANC 2B and 14th Street
Why is the Dupont Circle ANC 2B responsible for the block near 14th and T — an area many associate more with Logan Circle or U Street? The answer goes back 10 years to when the boundaries of Ward 2 were redrawn after the 2000 census results became available. The blocks southwest of 14th and U were shifted from Ward 1 to Ward 2 to balance population among the D.C. Wards.
The 2010 census results now show that Ward 2 is too large and must have its borders redrawn and give up residents to a neighboring Ward. This review process has begun and will be decided this summer.