by Borderstan.com — April 15, 2013 at 8:00 am 1 Comment

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

The Cherry Blossom Festival is over, the tourists are gone, and even the Nationals have left town. It’s time to divert yourself with a little local politics.

Monday and Tuesday offer local events in Borderstan as DC’s special election for an At-Large City Council seat enters its last lap. On Wednesday, you can get nostalgic for last month’s town hall meeting as Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont holds another liquor license moratorium listening session.

Monday: The Black Cat

If listening to politicians drives you to drink, Loose Lips At-Large Candidates Debate at the Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, will be for you. There will be four DC Council contenders present: Republican Patrick Mara, and Democrats Matthew Frumin, Elissa Silverman and Paul Zukerberg. Questioning the candidates will be Jonetta Rose Barras of the Washington Examiner, Tom Sherwood from WRC-TV/Channel 4 and Alan Suderman (the city politics columnist “Loose Lips”) from the Washington City Paper. Doors open at 7 pm.

Alcoholic refreshment will be served. It seems unlikely any of the candidates will be buying.

Tuesday: The Dupont Circle Hotel

Tomorrow night, show your support for your candidate at the Ward 2 Democrats At-Large Straw Poll. The poll is open between 7 and 8 pm at the Dupont Circle Hotel, 1500 New Hampshire Avenue. Any Democrat living in Ward 2 is eligible to vote. Most of Borderstan south of U Street and west of 9th Street is in Ward 2. Unsure if you live in Ward 2? Check here.


Ward 2 Democrats Web Site Screen shot.

This one promises only “light refreshments”.

Ward 2 Democrats seem to be trying to keep the straw poll a secret. Their Facebook page hasn’t been updated since a previous straw poll was held in March 2012. The organization’s home page looks like this:

Wednesday: Chastleton Cooperative Ballroom (tentative)

If the DC City Council is too distant and abstract, Wednesday is an opportunity to get more local.

ANC 2B liquor licensing affairs subcommittee will host a listening session on the proposed U Street liquor license moratorium. This will be an additional opportunity for Commissioners to hear community opinion from 2B residents before the full ANC votes on the moratorium at its next full meeting on May 8. The subcommittee will formulate a recommendation to the full ANC after this listening session.

The session is scheduled from 7 to 9 pm at the Chastleton Cooperative Ballroom, 1701 16th Street NW. The website of Commissioner Noah Smith, 2B-09, says the location is “tentative and will be confirmed.” Check the site before setting out.

Of the four ANCs within the proposed moratorium zone, three have already voted against it. DC’s Alcoholic Beverage Board is currently soliciting direct public comment in writing and inviting the public to testify at a hearing on May 22.

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by Borderstan.com — April 11, 2013 at 11:32 am 2 Comments

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

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B, at its monthly meeting last night, April 10, unanimously supported a request by the Embassy of Indonesia to erect a statue of a Hindu goddess on public space on Massachusetts Avenue NW. It also unanimously called on DC’s Historic Preservation Office (HPO) to improve its operating procedures and communication both with ANCs and with the public.


An edited photo showing how the sculpture will appear in place on Massachusetts Avenue NW. (David McAuley)

Statue of Saraswati on Public Space

The Commission heard a presentation by Heru Subolo, Minister-Counselor for Press and Information Affairs of the Embassy of Indonesia, asking for ANC support for a proposed statue of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts and science, to be erected on a public space next to the grounds of the Embassy at 2020 Massachusetts Avenue NW.

Subolo told the committee that the statue had been approved by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Foreign Missions. Subolo also said that the planned site for the statue had been moved, at the request of the DC government’s Historic Preservation Office (HPO), from its original planned location at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and 21st Street (also adjacent to the Embassy), to a location next to the sidewalk further west along Massachusetts.

The location is currently fenced in. Subolo said that the fence would be removed to make the statue accessible to the public.

“I’m really happy to open up a fenced space,” said Kevin O’Connor, ANC commissioner for district 2B-02.

“This is a wonderful addition to our neighborhood and to our nation’s capital. Hindus across DC and around the world are ecstatic about this beautiful statue of Saraswati. It is so fitting that it will be installed just a stone’s throw from the also magnificent statue of Mahatma Gandhi — the only statue of a Hindu in DC,” said Kishan Putta, ANC 2B-04 commissioner.

The ANC voted 9-0 in favor.

Resolution on Historic Preservation Office

The DC Historic Preservation Office (HPO) has a new draft plan for the next four years and is soliciting comment. ANC 2B took the opportunity to approve a resolution outlining the ways it believes that the HPO and its parent organization, the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB), could work more effectively with ANCs and the public.

The resolution noted the following problems, among others:

  • Effective Enforcement: “…Frequently, violators pay a limited fine, sometimes as little as $500, but are not forced thereafter to actually correct the offending construction or work….”
  • Notice to ANCs: “…The HPO/HPRB is the only regulatory board that does not currently send a notice document directly to ANCs for each application within the respective ANC that will be on the board’s agenda. This is contrary to the practice of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, the District Department of Transportation Public Space Committee, the Board of Zoning Adjustment, and the Zoning Commission….”
  • Ensuring Timely and Fair Staff Reports: “…The HPO needs to release draft staff reports in time for relevant ANCs to weigh in and respond, before the HPRB hearing on the matter….In addition, the HPRB needs to ensure that staff reports are fair and cite all relevant precedent….”
  • Fair Appeals Process: “The plan should address the process for appealing an HPRB decision, which can be costly and slow….”

The ANC vote was 9-0.

1412 T Street New Construction

The Commission approved a resolution calling for a one-month delay in a new construction project at 1412 T Street. The proposed construction is a two-unit residential structure on a vacant lot. Both T Street neighbors adjacent to the location spoke last night.

“We totally welcome a new building,” one said. “But this is a total aberration on the block.”

“This is not in the context of the block,” the other agreed. “But I’d love to see a property there.”

The Commission agreed that the height and depth as proposed were not appropriate. It requested additional information from the developer’s representative and referred the matter back to the Zoning, Preservation, & Development Committee for reconsideration at its next meeting on May 7.

Liquor License Moratoriums

Commissioner O’Connor said that the ANC 2B Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) Policy Committee would hold an additional listening session about the proposed 14th and U Street liquor license moratorium next Wednesday, April 17, at a location to be determined. The hearing will focus on ANC district 2B-09, which falls within the boundaries of the proposed moratorium.

O’Connor also said that he will present a “game plan” at ANC 2B’s May 8 meeting concerning the Dupont East Liquor License Moratorium, which will come up for renewal in September of this year. This moratorium is in effect on 17th Street. O’Connor is the chair of ANC 2B’s ABRA Policy Committee.

New ANC 2B Email Addresses

The Commission announced improvements to its website. On ANC2B’s commissioners and staff page, there are now group addresses which will deliver email to the entire ANC or its subcommittees through a single address. The addresses are:

  • for all ANC2B commissioners: [email protected]
  • for the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration Policy Committee: [email protected]
  • for the Zoning, Preservation, & Development Committee: [email protected]
  • for the Community Involvement Committee: [email protected]

ANC2B serves the Dupont Circle area.

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by Borderstan.com — March 28, 2013 at 9:30 am 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.


News from Dupont-Logan-U Street.

The candidates in the April 23 special election for a DC At-Large Council seat will be available to answer your questions tonight at the ANC 2B candidate forum. Six of the seven candidates are confirmed.

Candidates for the election include Michael Brown, Anita Bonds, Matthew Frumin, Elissa Silverman, Paul Zukerberg, Perry Redd for the Green Party and Republican Patrick Mara. The election will take place on April 23. The seat is temporarily being held by Anita Bonds; it opened up when At-Large Councilmember Phil Mendelson was elected Council chair in November.

Moderators for the evening include NBC 4’s Tom Sherwood and Mark Segraves. The meeting is open to the public and will start at 7 pm at the American College of Cardiology, 24th and N Streets NW.

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by Borderstan.com — March 21, 2013 at 6:39 am 12 Comments

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

Lining up to testify at listening session. (David McAuley)

Neighbors line up to testify at Wednesday night’s town hall meeting on the proposed liquor license moratorium for the 14th and U corridor. (David McAuley)

Sentiment ran almost 6 to 1 against the proposed 14th and U Streets liquor license moratorium at last night’s town hall style listening session.  Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) 1B (U Street),  2B/Dupont and 2F/Logan all sent members to attend the meeting at the basketball court of the Thurgood Marshall Center on 12th Street NW to hear what the public had to say.

About 160 people attended the event, filling every chair, then sitting and standing against the walls. My final count was 47 people testifying against, 8 for and 3 neutral. Of the 47 people testifying against, only two identified themselves as not living in or near the moratorium district. On Twitter, other witnesses put the count at 48 against, 8 for; 46 against, 9 for; and 41 against, 7 for.

ANC chairs in attendance were Tony Norman (1B-10) and Matt Raymond (2F-07). All three commissions sent the chairs of their respective alcohol licensing affairs committees: John Fanning (2F-04), Jeremy Leffler (1B-02) and Kevin O’Connor (2B-02). At least 10 other commissioners from across the three ANCs attended as well.

There are currently five liquor license moratorium zones in DC: Georgetown, Glover Park, Adams Morgan, Dupont West (21st and P NW) and Dupont East (17th Street NW). The 17th Street liquor license moratorium is due to expire in September 2013.

Opening Statements

Leffler called the meeting to order at 7 pm and Commissioner Noah Smith (2B-09) explained the meeting guidelines. The original plan was for each speaker to have two minutes to address the listening commissioners, but due to the overwhelming response, the time was cut back to 90 seconds. As a result, the meeting finished at planned 9 pm time.

Before citizen testimony period, the attendees heard remarks by Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Berman of the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA), Sgt. Iris Beistline of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and Joan Sterling, president of the Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance (SDCA), the group petitioning for the liquor license moratorium. SDCA membership is limited to residents living between 12th and 15th Streets and S and U Streets NW.

  • ABRA had found that SDCA satisfied the minimum requirement for filing the moratorium petition, Berman said. He also said that the other group who signed the petition, the Residential Action Coalition, had not qualified for standing before ABRA, and would no longer be considered a petitioner. However, the SDCA may continue the petitioning process before the ABC Board, which will next consider the matter on May 22.
  • In answer to audience questions, Berman said that the normal term for moratoriums was five years, but could be renewed. He then said that, once enacted, no liquor license moratorium had ever been dissolved.
  • Beistline said the MPD could not supply relevant crime statistics because there were none available. A new computer system was being put in place, she explained, and some statistics were still inaccurate.
  • Sterling then pleaded the SDCA’s case for the moratorium. She noted the difficulty in getting the DC government to enforce the law concerning the percentage of street frontage that can be given to liquor licensees on any block. (The Uptown Arts District Overlay limits the square footage of ground-floor storefronts serving food/drink on each block to 50% of all square footage facing the street on that block. The percentage was increased to 50% from 25% in 2010.)
  • Sterling also noted that there are now 16,000 combined seats in the establishments of the liquor licensees in the zone. She said that, since the zone had well over 18 liquor licensees, it met ABRA’s definition of an “overconcentration” of licensees. “Moratoriums are temporary,” Sterling added.

Testimony from Attendees

After Sterling’s statement, the floor was turned over to the public. “Let’s keep this civil,” Leffler reminded. People lined up in an orderly manner to speak. Nearly every person stated his or her name and address or ANC district. Here is a selection of comments:

  • “I oppose the moratorium. I vote and I’ll remember.”
  • “This process draws in thousands and thousands of man-hours. It’s a complete waste of resources. Six people made us come here. It’s time to reform the system.”
  •  “I have been awakened at all hours of the night by music I can literally sing along to.”
  • “I’m strongly opposed. I love the vibrancy. It’s just awesome.”
  • “The moratorium is too blunt an instrument.”
  • “There’s no actual evidence that the moratorium will lead to prosperity.”
  • “A lot of people are saying that there are other solutions. What? Will someone pick up my trash?”
  • “Why stall development in the neighborhood?”
  • “Remember the Georgetown moratorium. It didn’t fix the noise, the parking, the litter.”
  • “A moratorium is not right. Hold each bar and restaurant responsible.”
  • “It’s anti-small business, anti-competition. I’m inalterably opposed.”
  • “It’s good to see people getting involved.”
  • “It’s kind of a joke that we’re here tonight.”
  • “I like vibrancy.”
  • “My fear is stagnation in the community,” said a man identified on Twitter as the owner of DC9 nightclub. He went on to say that retail space should be encouraged, ways should be found for rents to be lower, there should be tax relief, and ABRA should be convinced to work on “bad apple” liquor licensees.
  • The only sign of incivility occurred toward the end when one man, a moratorium supporter, decided to take aim at the newly opened Matchox restaurant at 14th and T NW. He disparaged the restaurant and its food, much to the surprise of other attendees.

Next Steps

“That was fantastic,” Jeremy Leffler said after the final testimony. “I’m impressed by the turnout, passion and research.” To conclude the meeting, each ANC briefly outlined their next steps.

  • Leffler said that ANC1B’s liquor license affairs committee would meet tonight, March 21, at the Thurgood Marshall Center. A vote on the proposed moratorium is on the agenda. The committee’s recommendation would then be considered when ANC1B has its regular monthly meeting on April 4 at the Reeves Center.
  • Raymond said that ANC2F would have its regular monthly meeting on April 3 and a vote on the moratorium would be on the agenda.
  • O’Connor said that ANC2B would consider the issue on its May 8 meeting, before which he hoped to have one or two more listening sessions.
One after the other neighbors lined up. (David McAuley)

Attendees lined up to speak at Wednesday night’s town hall. (David McAuley)

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by Borderstan.com — March 20, 2013 at 8:00 am 2 Comments

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


The area of the proposed liquor license moratorium for the 14th and U area.

Reminder: The town hall format joint meeting of three local Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) will take place tonight, March 20, at 7 pm at the Thurgood Marshall Center (1816 12th Street NW).  ANC 1B‘s website says the purpose of the meeting is to get residents’ input on the proposed liquor license moratorium for 14th and U Street NW area. There will be no votes, motions or resolutions at the meeting.

“We want to be able to address any questions people may have about the process or about specific aspects of the moratorium,” said ANC 2B Commissioner Kevin O’Connor. O’Connor is the commissioner for district 02 and chair of the ANC 2B committee for liquor license issues.

This meeting has also been touted as a “listening session.”

What Will the Commissioners Listen For?

1. The effect of a moratorium on peace, order, quiet and sanitation.

Commissioner O’Connor said that members of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) had been invited to the meeting, and what they have to say will be important. In their original petition, advocates of the moratorium point to data, which they say indicates high levels of violent and non-violent crime in the proposed moratorium area.

But others, such as ANC 2F Commissioner John Fanning, contend that moratorium area crime rate “actually declined according to MPD Crime Statistics.” These views cannot both be right, so look for expert testimony on this matter. Fanning is the commissioner for district 04 and chair of the ANC 2F committee for liquor license issues.

2. The effect of the moratorium on residential parking needs and pedestrian safety.

Can the pro-moratorium forces link U Street’s dangerous intersections and parking shortages to the number of liquor licensees? Again, law enforcement’s opinion may be key.

3. Testimony from local business.

The voice of local business has largely been absent from the public discussions at ANC meetings. Commissioners have publicly speculated that current liquor license holders are quietly hoping the moratorium will pass, because a moratorium will both shield them from prospective competitors and increase the value of existing liquor licenses. Of special interest will be statements from small business owners who are also local residents.

4. The number of voices each side can muster.

An obvious and important factor: Partisans of both sides believe that their opponents exaggerate the number of people who support them. The anti-moratorium group characterizes the pro-moratorium side as a small group of NIMBY homeowners. How much pro-moratorium testimony will there be from local residents who are not connected to the Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance, the spearhead of the movement?

The anti-moratorium camp has a strong online presence but can’t seem to always muster a similar number of the live human beings to sit through the often-tedious government meetings where the decisions get made. The pro-moratorium side is not impressed with online anti-moratorium sentiment, petitions and comment.

The pro-moratorium side contends that at least some, perhaps many, of the participants in these activities are not actually local residents. If local residents come out in large numbers to speak against the moratorium, it will put a serious dent in that argument.

What Happens After The Meeting

It’s unclear what the post-listening session game plan is. Can the three participating ANCs speak with one voice?

“Going forward, I think we all agree that it benefits us all to try and take a similar action on the moratorium issue. We have the opportunity to make the greatest impact if we act together,” said O’Connor in an email.

During a recent ANC meeting, O’Connor also said he hoped that the town hall meeting would be the first of several, but there is evidence that the two other ANCs plan to move ahead quickly after this single meeting.

“I intend to offer a resolution for a vote on the moratorium at ANC 2F’s monthly meeting on April 3,” ANC2F Commission Chair Matt Raymond (district 07) said in an email. “It will not be in support of the moratorium. Whether it would be language outright opposing the moratorium or seeking changes to it is something I will decide after March 20.”

Meanwhile, the liquor license affairs subcommittee of ANC 1B will meet publicly the evening following the listening session, ANC 1B liquor license committee chair Jeremy Leffler (Commissioner for district 02) said in an email. A report that there will be an up-or-down vote about the moratorium at this meeting could not be confirmed. Any recommendation emerging from this meeting would then be considered by ANC 1B as a whole.

“It’s my understanding that the full ANC 1B will vote on the moratorium on April 4, the day after ANC 2F does so. I also understand that ANC 2B might not vote on the moratorium until its May meeting,” Raymond said.

“It’s my goal, and I think it’s achievable, that all three of the remaining ANCs that haven’t taken a formal position might be able to agree on identical resolutions, which we believe will carry greater weight with the ANC Board than divergent opinions.”

The fourth ANC, 6E in Shaw, has already voted against the moratorium and will not be participating in the town hall tonight.

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by Borderstan.com — March 19, 2013 at 8:00 am 1 Comment


The zone for the proposed liquor license moratorium for the 14th and U NW area.

Advisory Neighborhood Commissions 1B, 2B/Dupont and 2F/Logan are hosting a public town hall meeting on Wednesday, March 20 to discuss the proposed liquor moratorium for the 14th and U Streets NW area. The meeting of the three ANCs will take place at The Thurgood Marshall Center (1816 12th Street NW) at 7 pm.

According to the organizing ANCs, “Though this is the only joint meeting being held on the proposal, ANCs may hold additional smaller meetings — decisions or actions will not be taken at this meeting. Organizers intend to give each participant one to two minutes to speak and request that members of the community direct their comments to the ANC Commissioners present.” (See Liquor License Moratorium Roadshow Visits ANC 2F.)

The Proposed Liquor Moratorium

The Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance (SDCA) and the Residential Action Coalition (RAC) citizen groups have filed a petition with the DC Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) to establish a liquor license moratorium zone for the 14th and U Street NW corridor. The two groups request that a circular zone be established that extends 1,800 feet from 1211 U Street NW.

So far, almost 1,000 residents have signed a petition against the moratorium. ANC 1B briefly discussed the proposed moratorium on February 7, but there was no official motion or vote on the meeting or any other aspect of the moratorium. 

The filing of the moratorium petition by SDCA and RAC came just days after Mayor Vincent Gray officially enacted major changes to laws and regulations pertaining to alcohol sales. Among the changes in the law is a provision that would dismiss any liquor license protest by a group of five or more residents if an applicant reaches an agreement with their ANC.

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by Borderstan.com — March 14, 2013 at 6:49 am 1 Comment

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


Sealing the ballot box at last night’s special election. Seated from left are three ANC 2B commissioners: Chair Will Stephens (08), Vice Chair Mike Feldstein (01) and Noah Smith (09). (David McAuley)

Abigail Nichols defeated Dito Sevilla in the special election for the vacant seat on Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont last night, Wednesday, March 13. The final tally was 34 votes for Nichols and 12 for Sevilla.

Nichols will fill the seat for Single Member District 05 until the next election in 2014. The seat became open after Commissioner Victor Wexler resigned after being re-elected in November. Each district has approximately 2,000 residents and there are nine commissioners of ANC 2B.

Gottlieb Simon, executive director of the District Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, acted as election manager. Simon allowed me to observe the vote count, along with Nichols. There was no representative present from the Sevilla campaign. A resolution endorsing the election results  passed unanimously after the results were reported.

Abigail Nichols new 2B05 Commissioner.(Courtesy Abigail Nichols)

Abigail Nichols. (Courtesy of Nichols)

Nichols must now be sworn in by a member of the DC council. Ruth Warner of the office of Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) was present at the meeting and offered to arrange a swearing-in before the next ANC 2B meeting.

ANC Meeting Highlights

The election was held on the sidelines of ANC 2B’s regular monthly meeting. Some highlights from the meeting:

  • The ANC unanimously authorized spending up to $100 for new signs for the park at the intersection of T, 17th and New Hampshire NW (located just north of the Dog Park). The signs will remind that this park is for humans, not for dogs. The police will enforce this rule only after signs have been placed warning citizens, and the wait for signs from the DC Department of Parks and Recreation is too long.
  • The ANC, by a vote of 5 to 0 (with one abstention), voted to endorse proposed additional bus service for lower 16th Street NW. The extra buses will run from 7:30 to 9:15 am weekdays on a short route starting at Harvard Street and ending at McPherson Square. WMATA head bus planner Jim Hamre told the meeting that the extra buses will start on March 25.
  • The ANC unanimously approved Commissioner Noah Smith’s resolution in support of the DC Council’s “Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013.” Smith represents 2B-09.

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by Borderstan.com — February 22, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

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


ANC 2F discusses the proposed liquor moratorium on Wednesday night. (David McAuley)

In two separate public meetings Wednesday night, February 20, the Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) Committees of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) 2F and 1B discussed next steps on the proposed U Street liquor license moratorium. ANC 2F covers the Logan Circle area while ANC 1B includes a large bulk of the U Street area.

The area of the proposed moratorium would fall in both districts, as well as neighboring districts 2B and 6E.

At the ANC 2F meeting, ABRA Committee Member Christopher Dyer proposed and later withdrew a motion opposing the liquor license moratorium. In between the proposal and the withdrawal, committee members discussed various issues surrounding the moratorium and listened to opinions from members of the public.

Some committee members expressed opposition to the moratorium; others said that they wanted more public input first. ABRA Committee Member Kate Gordon said that she was against Dyer’s motion “because I want to hear what people have to say.”

Committee Member Matt Raymond (also Commissioner for ANC2 F-07 and chair of ANC 2F) noted that a joint meeting of all effected ANCs, which had been first proposed by ANC2F, was tentatively scheduled for March 20. The committee hoped that “maybe” there would be an opportunity to meet again after the proposed joint ANC meeting in March, at which time the committee could discuss and vote on a recommendation to the ANC as a whole.

Raymond also told the committee that Shaw-Dupont Citizens Alliance President Joan E. Sterling had to decline an invitation to speak at the ANC 2F committee, due to the conflicting ANC 1B meeting. When the floor was opened to comments, one other member of the public, a resident of ANC 6E, spoke in favor of the moratorium. A representative of the Logan Circle Community Association spoke against it.

At the same time, reports on Twitter indicated that ANC1B’s ABRA Committee was hearing testimony on the moratorium. ANC 2B Commissioner Kevin O’Connor tweeted from the meeting that a representative of the DC government did a “good presentation” about moratorium process and procedure.

Later, O’Connor tweeted that the Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance presented their petition to the committee. However, no action or vote was taken by ANC1B’s ABRA Committee. O’Connor described the meeting as “a listening session.”

O’Connor is also the chairman of the ABRA Committee for neighboring ANC 2B.

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by Borderstan.com — February 14, 2013 at 9:30 am 0

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


ANC 2B  discussed growler sales the the 14th and U liquor license moratorium. (David McAuley.)

At its meeting last night (February 13), Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B‘s discussion on the controversial 14th and U Liquor License Moratorium was limited to procedural issues. No public comment, for or against the proposal itself, was solicited or accepted by the committee. No members of the public attempted to speak about the moratorium during the part of the meeting when the Commission addressed it.

“Look for public meetings in late March,” said Kevin O’Connor, commissioner for ANC 2B-02, and chairman of the Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) Policy Committee — referring to a previous proposal to hold a joint committee meeting of the ANCs that fall within the boundaries of the proposed moratorium. This proposal for a joint committee was first passed as a resolution at the meeting of Logan Circle area ANC 2F on February 6. It was discussed and characterized as a “super-committee” at the U Street area ANC 1B meeting on February 7.

“It sends a better message if we coordinate,” O’Connor also said.

Commissioner Noah Smith (ANC 2B-09) said that calling the joint meeting a “super-committee” was inaccurate. He said that the joint meetings should be considered “listening sessions”, in which the commissioners will hear the opinions of the community. No votes would be taken at the joint meetings, Smith said.

Smith also disagreed with an opinion expressed by supporters of the moratorium. Supporters, said Smith, had asserted that local communities would not be effected if it did not fall within the proposed boundaries of the moratorium. Smith said that communities near the proposed moratorium will be effected as well.

Dupont Circle is currently the site of two existing liquor license moratoriums, one at Dupont West (centered at the corner of 21st and P Streets NW), and the other on 17th Street NW. The 17th Street liquor license moratorium is due to expire in September 2013, according to the committee.

Earlier in the same meeting, ANC2B voted unanimously in favor of widening the availability of growlers in the Dupont area. Owing to a gap in DC’s recent omnibus ABRA legislation, local liquor and grocery stores in certain parts of DC were not allowed to sell growlers without local ANC permission. ANC2B’s vote means that all liquor and grocery stores in its jurisdiction that have already received permission to sell single units of alcohol in other forms will now be able to sell growlers as well.

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by Borderstan.com — February 4, 2013 at 9:00 am 2 Comments

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


Dupont ANC to Vote on growler sales. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Another front on the Borderstan-area liquor sales controversy could open up on Wednesday, 13 February. That’s when the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B will vote on a resolution that will allow liquor and grocery stores in the Dupont Circle area to sell growlers of beer. Growlers are reusable jugs, often glass or ceramic, with a capacity of up to one-half gallon.

ANC 2B is already accepting comments on the resolution on its blog. One anti-resolution commenter on the site declared that allowing the sale of growlers “steps over the line”.

The new resolution comes on the heels of recent attempts by two local citizens groups to establish a new liquor license moratorium in an approximately six-block-wide circular area centered near the intersection U and 12th Streets NW. In response, opponents of the moratorium have started a petition and a website.

The sale of growlers for off-premise consumption became officially legal in the District as of January 15 due to new legislation. However, sales of single containers of beer are banned in all of Ward 2, an area which extends from the Capitol to Georgetown and from the Potomac to U Street.

ANC 2B is authorized to grant exceptions to this ban for liquor and grocery stores in its own jurisdiction, which is a considerably smaller area around Dupont Circle. The resolution, if passed, would effectively grandfather in all liquor and grocery stores in the area that have previously been granted a Single-Sales Exemption for other types of beer container, allowing them to sell growlers as well.

Brewpubs, or microbreweries, in the area do not require an exemption to sell growlers.

The 13 February ANC 2B meeting will be open to the public, starting at 7 pm at the Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW. The text of the resolution can be found on ANC 2B’s website. Comments can be left at the bottom of this page. A map showing the area of ANC 2B’s jurisdiction can be found here.

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by Borderstan.com — January 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.


12 Dupont Circle restaurants included in the 100 Best of Washingtonian Magazine. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The most recent issue of Washingtonian magazine features the best 100 restaurants in the DC metro area. And while you’ll have to pick-up this month’s magazine to get the full list, Dupont Circle ANC 2B tells us that this year, 12 of the top restaurants hail from Dupont Circle.

Komi, Little Serow, Boqueria, DGS Delicatessen and Eola have been visited by our contributors.

The 12 named Dupont restaurants are:

  • Komi, 1509 17th Street NW
  • Little Serow, 1511 17th Street NW
  • Adour at The St. Regis, 932 16th Street NW
  • The Bombay Club, 815 Connecticut Avenue NW
  • Boqueria, 1837 M Street NW
  • DGS Delicatessen, 1317 Connecticut Avenue NW
  • Eola, 2020 P Street NW
  • Kaz Sushi Bistro, 1915 I Street NW
  • Obelisk, 2029 P Street NW
  • Plume at The Jefferson, 1200 16th Street NW
  • Sushi Taro, 1503 17th Street NW
  • Vidalia, 1990 M Street NW

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by Borderstan.com — December 27, 2012 at 10:00 am 0

"politics and government"

Five of the 10 most popular 2012 Politics and Government stories were related to local ANC races. (Collage by Luis Gomez Photos)

It’s that time again… a look back before we start 2013. Like last December, we will provide you with a list of the most-read stories on Borderstan by category. Today are the Top 10 from the Politics and Governmenet section.

The web is forever, so they say. Posted stories continue to get hits a long time after originally going up on the site. As a result, some of the most-read stories for the year were sometimes published the year before — especially if they were published late the year before (although that was not the case with following stories, all from 2012).

Top 10 Politics and Government Stories of 2012

These Politics and Government stories were Top 10 most read last year on Borderstan.com. Five of them were related to local ANC candidaes/races in Advisory Neighborhood Commissions 1B, 2B and 2F. section.

  1. Meet Walt Cain: Candidate for ANC 2F-02 (Rachel Nania)
  2. Where to Follow the Election Online Today (Borderstan)
  3. Mayor Gray Dines at Hank’s Oyster Bar, Shows Support for Restaurant (Tom Hay)
  4. Know the Candidates in Contested ANC Races (Rachel Nania)
  5. Have Our National Monuments Become Too “Disneyfied?” (Maggie Barron)
  6. Streetscape Project: U Street Rehabilitation To Begin June 11 (Tom Hay)
  7. Contested ANC Races: Compare the Candidates’ Positions (Borderstan)
  8. Borderstan ANC Races: Six Contested Races in 2B, 2F and 1B (Tom Hay)
  9. Meet Zahra Jilani: Candidate for ANC 1B-12 (Rachel Nania)
  10. Poll Closes Sunday: Should Just 5 People Be Allowed to Protest a Liquor License? (Rachel Nania)

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by Borderstan.com — December 10, 2012 at 8:00 am 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com. 


Click for a larger map: ANC 2B covers the Dupont Circle area and has 9 seats. (DC Board of Elections)

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B will hold it’s monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 12 at 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW from 7 pm until 10 pm.

At the height of they city’s impending bill to reform liquor licensing, voluntary agreements (VAs) and the role of neighbors in influencing a businesses liquor license, the ANC will discuss  a consideration of waiver of VA interior hours restrictions during Inauguration Week (January 15 through January 21).

The meeting will also discuss a resolution on planned school consolidations, routine regulatory applications, zoning and development updates and public safety concerns — which should be an interesting discussion, considering the recent spike in crime in the area.

The meeting is open to the public. For more information, visit ANC 2B’s website.

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by Borderstan.com — November 7, 2012 at 9:15 am 3 Comments


Waiting for the provisional and absentee ballot count: Four winners, two races questionable in local ANC races. (Collage Luis Gomez Photos)

All 143 DC Precincts have reported in, but provisional and absentee ballots have yet to be counted. Even with some votes still to be counted by the DC Board of Elections and Ethics, there seem to be four clear winners — and two races that could depend on the uncounted votes — in local contested races for Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) seats in 1B, 2B and 2F.

According to the DC Board of Elections and Ethics (DCBOEE), provisional and absentee ballots must be counted no later than 10 days after an election. As of early Wednesday morning, DCBOEE was unable to say how many such ballots are outstanding in DC.

Tuesday Morning ANC Race Results

  • U Street: In the four-way 1B-12 race, Zahara Jilanni has 263 votes with her nearest competitor, John Green, holding 245 votes, an 18 vote difference. Erling Bailey and Dan Wittels finished further back. The question in this race comes down to those outstanding votes.
  • Dupont: In the 2B-03 race, Stephanie Maltz holds a commanding lead over Bevan Mace, 404 to 102; Maltz has 78% of the vote.
  • Dupont: In 2B-04, Kishan Putta has 62% with 497 votes. Stephanie Sheridan is in second place with 208 votes and Martin Espinoza has 87 votes.
  • Logan: In 2F-02, Walt Cain holds a 51 vote lead over Adam Stempel, 292 to 241.
  • Logan: In 2F-04, John Fanning has a 14 vote lead over Joel Heisey, 299 to 285. Again, could provisional and absentee ballots change the result?
  • Logan: In 2F-08, Matt Connolly holds what is probably a comfortable 47 vote lead over Howard Marks, 235 to 188.

ANC 1B-12

  • Erling Bailey: 127
  • John Green: 245
  • Zahra Jilani: 263
  • Dan Wittels: 85
  • Write-In: 9

ANC 2B-03

  • Bevan Mace: 102
  • Stephanie Maltz: 404
  • Write-In: 147

ANC 2B-04

  • Martin Espinoza: 87
  • Kishan Putta: 497
  • Stephanie Sheridan: 208
  • Write-In: 7

ANC 2F-02

  • James Baker: 75
  • Walt Cain: 292
  • Adam Stempel: 241
  • Write-In: 6

ANC 2F-04

  • John Fanning: 299
  • Joel Heisey: 285
  • Write-In: 12

ANC 2F-08

  • Matt Connolly: 235
  • Howard Marks: 188
  • Write-In: 6

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by Borderstan.com — October 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm 1 Comment

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.


Bevan Mace is running for the ANC 2B-03 seat. (Courtesy Bevan Mace)

There are 21 Single Member District (SMD) seats up for grabs on the November 6 ballot in three different local ANCs: 2B/Dupont2F/Logan and 1B, which includes most of the U Street corridor. Recently we introduced you to the candidates, including Bevan Mace (see Know the Candidates in Contested ANC Races). He faces Stephanie Maltz for the ANC 2B-03 seat.

Now, it’s Question and Answer Time on the issues.

Borderstan: What will be your first priority/new initiative if you are elected to ANC 2B and why?

Mace: Increasing the communication between residents/ businesses and the ANC would be a top priority. The development of the ANC website is a great resource but we need to continue to find effective ways to directly connect with constituents in our neighborhood. This is important because constituents may not be aware of the issues and topics being discussed that impact them and therefore represent missed opportunities to get their perspectives to inform the ANC’s decisions and actions.

Borderstan: How will you engage your constituents on issues so that your decisions reflect that of the majority of your Single Member District?

Mace: Continuing from the previous question I believe we need effective formal and informal methods to engage our constituents and provide a better network of information distribution. One specific formal method I would like to see is a direct link between the ANC, neighborhood associations and the major residential buildings via the presidents of the homeowner/ condo associations. This would provide a quick way to proactively communicate upcoming issues to a large portion of our constituents. One informal method would involve partnering with businesses to help advertise to residents specific upcoming topics or issues, where to go for more information and how to provide feedback to decision makers.

Borderstan: How will you work to help bring process and transparency to decisions that impact the DuPont neighborhood, such as the renovations for Stead Park, so that the diversity of the community as a whole is reflected?

Mace: Given the complex nature of neighborhood decisions they need a formalized decision making process similar to the informal one we follow when making personal decisions (weigh pros and cons and choose the option we believe meets our needs the most). I strongly believe in collaboratively discussing all stakeholder needs and goals at the onset of any major issue or project. Once needs and goals are established then metrics should be identified that allow planners, designers and decision makers to rank various options and ideas. This ranking provides two benefits: 1 — allows the group to see what solution has the most advantages (pros) and 2 — provides transparency on how a decision was reached that can be used to easily communicate the decision making process to others.

Borderstan: What value do you think neighborhood associations provide and how do you plan to interact with them?

Mace: The neighborhood associations provide a great direct link to both residents and businesses and are a critical part of the community network to increase two way communication between the ANC and constituents. I would meet with the leadership of the neighborhood associations and develop ways to promote increased communication about issues and awareness of needs to inform my decision making.


Click for a larger map of ANC 2B. (DC Board of Elections)

Borderstan: The East Dupont Liquor License Moratorium, which affects 17th Street NW, comes up for renewal in 2013, and ANC 2B will have an opportunity to weigh in by offering an advisory opinion to the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board on its renewal. Do you support renewing the moratorium? If so, why? If not, why?

Mace: Many constituents have voiced a desire to not see the moratorium renewed. I believe the moratorium is a temporary solution and we need to proactively engage all stakeholders to address the real needs and issues of businesses and residents in this area. By addressing the real issues in a collaborative way I hope we can develop long term innovative and sustainable solutions that integrate businesses and residents needs and can be a model for other neighborhoods.

Borderstan: Do you believe the voluntary agreement process for liquor license applicants needs to be changed? If so, how?

Mace: I believe the voluntary agreement provides a solution to reaching a mutual agreement when all parties act in good faith for specific issues that could not have been concieved or addressed with broader policies or regulations. However, the current process can allow a small number of people to disproportionally affect a larger group of constituents. I believe this process and any changes need to considered as part of the long term solution to the issues currently addressed by the Moratorium.

Borderstan: Do you believe that the police presence, particularly on the 17th Street, 18th Street and Connecticut Avenue corridors, is adequate, especially on weekends?

Mace: I think public safety and police presence is an issue that is constantly changing and strategies need to evolve and adapt with that change. I think the police presence is improved but we can always do better — we still have residents with safety and security concerns that need to be addressed.

Borderstan: Are there types of business in the neighborhood that stand out as something we need more of in the area? If so, can you name three?

Mace: For the last six years I have enjoyed the diversity of our neighborhood that makes it the best place to live in DC! We have a great variety of small and large businesses, landmarks, museums and, of course, restaurants. One thing that stands out is the need to develop the Dupont Underground. Certainly this is a complex topic but one with a lot of opportunity. I look forward to hearing from constituents about potential needs to adapt to current trends and maintain our neighborhood’s diversity.

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