Representatives of Neighbor’s Group Withdraw Protest of Hill Center Liquor License – Absence of ANC 6B Support Cited As Critical Factor
Wednesday morning, the group of neighbors protesting the Hill Center Liquor license filed a motion to withdraw their liquor license protest before the Alcohol Beverage Control Administration (ABRA). The action came after the group had failed to win any concessions from the Hill Center and after two procedural setbacks on September 14, when ABRA denied the petition of Frank Young for reinstatement as a formal protestant and denied the protestor’s motion to quash the submission into evidence of a private email between protestants which had been obtained by the Hill Center. The first was denied on the matter of finding no cause, and the second was denied on the grounds of the lack of jurisdiction to enforce privacy laws and failure of the petitioners to submit the email in question to the Board in order to determine its relevance.
According to representatives of the neighbor’s group, they have decided to pursue other options to curb the noise and late hours of nighttime parties at the Old Naval Hospital. In an email to the members of the neighbors’ group, representatives acknowledged that, “[g]iven the intransigence of the Hill Center, the lack of support from the ANC6B Commission, the rejection by the ABCB of all of the motions submitted by neighbors, and the high probability of achieving nothing at the ABCB hearing, our judgment is that further opposition through the alcohol licensing process is futile. Other options may prove more fruitful. Therefore, we have decided to pursue those options instead.”
Those other options are still being discussed, but will probably involve individual neighbors taking action when and if late night/early morning noise and related disturbances reach high levels on specific occasions. Group representatives are seeking suggestions from all concerned neighbors as to what kinds of actions are appropriate and effective to reduce noise from late night events at the Center.
According to one protestant, a Hill Center representative indicated that had the ANC given more support to protesting neighbors, the Hill Center would have had to consider accommodating some of their demands. The statement reinforces the apparent conviction of the protestors that ABRA is not a good venue for independent groups of neighbors without ANC backing.
In related news, the Capitol Hill Restoration Society Board of Directors narrowly defeated a motion to move its offices into the Hill Center, voting instead to renew their lease for a year at Kirby House, their current location. The vote came at the Board’s July 19th meeting. Both the vote and the discussion were held in a closed session of the Board, so additional details – including the reasons why the Restoration Society opted not to move into the Hill Center – were unavailable.