Neighbors Organize Formal Protest to Hill Center’s Application for a Liquor License – Claim ANC6B’s Deal Falls Short
by Larry Janezich
A dozen neighbors of the Hill Center who will be most adversely affected by events held at the Hill Center – weddings, receptions, etc., – met Saturday afternoon to begin organizing a formal protest before the Alcohol Beverage Review Administration when it meets July 18 to consider granting the Center’s application for a liquor license. The Hill Center’s annual operating budget is $750,000, much of which will be raised by renting out space for events. The Hill Center has not released details of any business plan they have and refuses to estimate how many events they will hold annually to meet their financing goal. The protest could delay what would otherwise be smooth sailing for approval of the license. ANC6b unanimously approved the license application last Tuesday after entering into a voluntary agreement with the Center that neighbors consider inadequate.
Some of the items the group will push for in a new voluntary agreement for the Center include reducing the hours they can serve alcohol, agree to no amplification of sound outside, limit further the occupancy for events, provide increased security inside and outside the grounds, restrict loading and unloading to Pennsylvania Avenue, and reduce the number of vehicles that automatically triggers the valet service. Petitions are being circulated in support of the protest.
One of the key organizers of the group is Barbara Eck, long active in the community. In addition to being a longtime supporter of the Hill Center, Eck serves as Treasurer of Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee, a member of the Board of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society, a member of Coalition of Concerned Citizens of Eastern Washington, and supporter of the Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project.