The DC Council will hold a July 12 hearing on proposed changes to DC liquor licensing. The new bill, scheduled to be introduced at the hearing, is sponsored by Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) and co-sponsored by Councilmembers Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7).
Recent licensing battles in the neighborhood, such as those with Hank’s Oyster Bar and All Souls, have caused quite a stir and have produced numerous opinions from local residents. That is why the local organization is encouraging residents to support new regulations that change the licensing process.
Currently, groups of at least five or more people can protest the licenses of local establishments and cause lengthy delays in the approval process or force businesses to sign restrictive Voluntary Agreements (V.A.’s) in order to move forward. Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, the Metropolitan Police Department and community organizations (with a formal membership vote) can also protest license applications and be parties to V.A.’s.
This new bill, however, changes the proximity requirement for protest groups, requiring protestors to live or own property within a 400-foot radius from the business, instead of the current 600-foot regulation, among other changes.
The hearing starts at 11 am, and will take place in room 412 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Anyone wishing to speak at the hearing must be added to the witness schedule. To do this, contact Malcolm Cameron at mcameron[AT]DCCouncil.com or (202) 724-8191.