The heated debate over liquor licensing between some local residents and neighborhood businesses is nothing new to the Borderstan area. However, a recent push from two neighborhood groups to establish a liquor license moratorium zone for the 14th and U Street NW corridor added fuel to the already lit fire.
The proposed moratorium appears to be the reason behind a new anti-NIMBY website, In My Backyard. This site, whose owner is only given as “Michael,” is “a group designed to counter the small-but-powerful NIMBYs in your neighborhood,” according to a message on the landing page.
“What an amazingly stupid idea,” wrote one commentator, in reference to Borderstan’s piece about the proposed moratorium, posted January 22. “Let’s distort the market and discourage further development. If these people need something better to do with their free time, maybe they could do some volunteer work around the area. I’m sure there are some kids who could use tutors.”
Another commentator wrote, “Harming and estranging local small businesses takes away both their incentive and the financial wherewithal to meet the expense burden of sustaining a business-oriented entity such as a BID.”
One commentator posted a link to an opposing petition on the matter. So far there are 775 supporting signatures. (See New Citizens’ Organization Seeks Different Path for 14th Uand Online Petition Opposing Liquor License Moratorium Draws Support.)
Of the 22 commenters on Borderstan’s story, none spoke in favor of the moratorium.
In My Backyard
In My Backyard says, “It has been too easy for small groups that do not represent most DC residents to derail any kind of new development in DC,” says the website’s homepage. “With just a few signatures and some complaining, these groups successfully stop businesses and homebuilders from serving the needs of DC residents. It’s my opinion that DC will be better off with more options for consumers, not fewer.”
According the website, its primary function is to submit petitions and comments to City Council, Advisory Neighborhood Commissions and the Alcohol Beverage Control Board in support of the new developments that “can provide homes and jobs for our growing community.”
So what say you, Borderstan? Are these comments and is this website representative of the majority of the neighborhood’s feelings? Or is the issue of liquor licensing a divided issue in the neighborhood?
And “Michael,” email me — we’d like to interview you.