Retail Mix Taskforce Opposes Moratorium – Urges ANC6b Vote February 8. Recommends Actions to Address Resident’s Concerns
by Larry Janezich
ANC6b Retail Mix Taskforce met today, Saturday, January 22, to consider its final report to the full ANC scheduled for its February 8, meeting. The Task Force, appointed almost a year ago, was charged with considering the range of options available, and to formulate interim and long term strategies to address problems associated with achieving a retail mix for the commercial corridors in ANC6b.
The Taskforce reached a consensus on the following short term recommendations:
That the ANC not pursue a liquor license moratorium for Barracks Row.
That the ANC communicate to city officials in the strongest terms, its support for strengthening and enforcing Voluntary Operating Agreements entered into by businesses, and to urge that there be repercussions for non-compliance.
That the ANC develop some set of guidelines to use when evaluating new liquor license applications (see Principles for Evaluating ABC Applications below).
That the ANC coordinate comprehensive inspection of commercial alleys and sidewalks/public space with staff from Mayor Gray’s office and develop an action plan to improve conditions.
That the ANC coordinate with Councilmember Wells and DDOT to perform a parking study that expands upon the Performance Parking Program.
That the ANC study and make recommendations for use of revenue from the Performance Parking Fund.
That the ANC work with Barracks Row Main Street and DDOT to promote the parking lot under the freeway, and to encourage its use for Barracks Row employees and for valet parking.
That the ANC allow the Retail Mix Taskforce to expire and utilize its two allotted seats on the CHAMPS Retail Mix Taskforce to further the work started by the ANC Taskforce.
That the ANC promote better coordination among and delivery of services from the three business organizations serving Capitol Hill. (CHAMPS, BRMS, BID)
That the ANC strongly encourage Capitol Hill BID to more aggressively intervene regarding management of public space and help solve parking, noise and public safety issues.
There was also a consensus to remain silent on the issue of over concentration of restaurants and bars, deferring to those involved in the rewrite of the zoning laws which could address that issue.
The further consensus was to refer recommendations for long term implementation such as tax incentives, overlays, acquisition and management or non-restaurant retail property, etc., to the CHAMPS Taskforce on Retail Mix.
Principles for Evaluating ABC Applications
The Taskforce then moved to consider a set of principles to recommend to the ANC to use when evaluating ABC applications.
Consensus was reached on the following:
Applications will be reviewed against the best standards now in place for restaurants and retailers.
Liquor licenses for restaurants will be given preference over licenses for bars and taverns.
Applicants for liquor licenses should expect to provide a management plan that addresses the potential for negative impact on near-by residents and the community in general, including:
Proper maintenance of the area surrounding the establishment, including entrances and exits, outdoor seating, sidewalk and dumpster areas.
Parking for staff and patrons.
Control of noise levels inside and outside the establishment, including disposal of trash.
Control of loitering within the establishment’s immediate area.
These preliminary agreements will be circulated among Taskforce members for final input and approval. There was consensus among the members to urge the ANC to schedule a vote on the moratorium issue at its February meeting, should the Executive Committee place the Taskforce Report on the ANC’s Agenda. What disposition of the other recommendations raised by the report would be for the full ANC to decide.
The ANC6b will next meet at 7:00pm, Tuesday, February 8, at Brent School.