More Bar Hours Nixed by Georgetown Leaders
Georgetown’s leading community groups have come out against the proposal for later bars hours during 19 three-day holiday weekends. Council Chairman Kwame Brown has proposed this extension to raise an estimated $1.5 million in next year’s District budget.
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E acted on Monday evening, unanimously passing a resolution introduced by Commissioner Bill Starrels that closely follows and the earlier position of the Citizens Association of Georgetown. Both point out that because the new closing time will be after mass transit (e.g., Metro, the Circulator) shuts down, patrons from Arlington and other nearby jurisdictions that have earlier closings will be tempted to drink-and-drive to the District. “It doesn’t make sense,” said Starrels, although he thought the Council was determined to support the later hours in its final vote on Tuesday.
“I’m pleased with the way the ANC voted.” said Cookie Cruse, CAG’s spokesperson on alcohol issues. She also pointed out that the later closing will strain police resources and encourage street crime because, without transit, more people will be walking. Cruse also said this extension is a “slippery slope” to further extend serving hours, as a press release from the Restaurant Association implies. It said the extension is part of an “evolving 24-hour economy…and represents the first step toward an inevitable, across-the-board extension of hours.”
On a much less controversial note, the ANC welcomed Dana Nerenberg, principal of Hyde-Addison Elementary School on O Street. She announced that there is $7 million in next year’s budget to replace the library and gym. After community consultation, work is to start in about a year. Already, central air conditioning and heating and upgraded lighting are being installed. ‘We’re excited,” said Commissioner Jeff Jones.
The anticipated discussion on the status of negotiations between the community and Georgetown University on GU’s 10-year campus plan will be at a special ANC meeting, sometime between now and June 18 when the agreement is to go to the Zoning Commission.