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ABC Board Rejects Petition for 14th & U Sts. Area Liquor Moratorium

By a unanimous decision issued on October 2, 2013, the ABC Board denied the petition of the Shaw-Dupont Citizens Alliance (SDCA) to impose a moratorium on the issuance of new ABC licenses except for the sale of beer and wine at grocery stores, and for other restrictions, in the U Street corridor as “not in the public interest.”

The Board determination was based on what it characterized as careful consideration of “public input and evaluating various standards for issuing a moratorium.” Further, the Board noted that “data collected by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) shows the [area] has undergone a revival. Property values are appreciating, the violent crime rate has decreased, and residents and businesses alike are being attracted to the area. There was no evidence that additional ABC-licensed establishments will have an adverse effect on the neighborhood.”

The Board also considered comments provided by the relevant ANCs which had opposed the moratorium petition, noting that the ANCs reported that affected residents and others were opposed to a moratorium and raised concerns it would have a negative impact on the neighborhood’s economic development. (To read the Board’s complete 31-page opinion, go to http://tinyurl.com/po3a5ot.)

For background, see our report of this past Spring, “Proposed U Street Liquor Moratorium Heavily Opposed at Meeting Called by Four ANCs Covering More Than 70,000 Ward 1 and Ward 2 Residents,” InTowner, April 2013 issue PDF page 1; http://tinyurl.com/mb8j7k9.

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