ANC 1B Alcoholic Beverage Committee Rejects Moratorium

by Borderstan.com March 22, 2013 at 7:00 am 2 Comments

From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.


ANC 1B Alcoholic Beverage Committee met Thursday night at the Thurgood Mashall Center. (David McAuley)

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B (U Street) took the next step in rejecting the proposed U Street liquor license moratorium last night, March 21. The ANC 1B’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Committee voted 10 to 3 to reject the proposed moratorium during its regular monthly meeting. Three members of the committee were absent.

Among those voting against the moratorium were both members of the committee who are also current ANC 1B commissioners: Chair Jeremy Leffler (1B-02) and Zahra Jilani (1B-12). Among those voting for the moratorium was committee member Joan Sterling of the Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance (SDCA), the group petitioning for the liquor license moratorium.

Some members who voted against the moratorium noted the influence of the overwhelming community response against the moratorium at the previous evening’s multi-ANC listening session, which was also held at the Thurgood Marshall Center.

“It served as a great tool for bringing the community together,” said Heather Ferris, an ABC Committee member. Ferris also said that she had expressed a neutral opinion at the microphone during the previous evening’s listening session, but she had decided to vote against the moratorium, even though she felt her vote was “not 100 percent”.

The outcome of the vote seemed in doubt up until the final show of hands, as a blog post made yesterday by ANC 1B ABC committee member Nick Baumann quoted Leffler as saying “there are even pro and anti voices on the [committee].”

Procedural Problems

The committee vote had some procedural problems. After the initial voice vote (and after a tweet had gone out announcing the vote results), ANC 1B Chair Tony Norman (1B-10), observing the event, noted that parliamentary procedure had not been followed during the vote, meaning, there had not been a motion, a second, and an opportunity to present amendments.

The committee had to return to the question and do the vote over. Before the second vote was taken, there was further debate and suggestions for amendments, including one saying that the committee rejected the moratorium “as written.” This amendment passed.

Aside from ANC Chair Norman, the following ANC 1B commissioners who are not officially part of the ABC Committee also observed the meeting: Marc Morgan (1B-01), Ricardo Reinoso (1B-05) and Emily Washington (1B-08).

The recommendation to reject the moratorium now goes to the full ANC for a vote. The vote is scheduled for its regular monthly meeting on April 4 at the Reeves Center.

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  • Pat

    I commend Ms. Jilani (my ANC rep) and the other members of the ABC committee who heard the community’s roaring opposition to the proposed moratorium and voted accordingly. Contrary to the snide suggestion by moratorium proponents that the outcry of opposition was nothing but a “pro-business jihad,” it is clearly the community of local RESIDENTS who have spoken. We live here because we love the vibrancy that is U Street and 14th Street — it is second to none in downtown DC — and don’t want to see progress stunted by as blunt an instrument as a moratorium. Hopefully (but doubtfully) the SDCA will accept the message that theirs is not the path that the overwhelming majority of their neighbors desire for this neighborhood, and they will now cease and desist in their efforts to impose their views upon the rest of us.

  • Just Me

    The city really needs to look at curbing the SDCA influence and other small block associations to take on neighborhood issues.

    What really bothers me about this group is they concoted limited boundaries so that they would have a small membership and then immediately try to dictate policy for a much broader area. the MidCity Resident Association did the same thing. It enable tiny block groups to masquerade as real community associations.


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