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Re-Invisioning Outdoor Dining in Georgetown

It's time to improve Georgetown streateries and restore Georgetown's historic charm.

Residents of Georgetown, District of Columbia (DC) and community members of the wider DC metropolitan area and the Georgetown Coalition for Public Spaces (GCPS) are committed to having beautiful, sustainable and evolving uses for our public spaces.

The Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) Wider Sidewalk and Streatery Pilot, which was launched due to the pandemic along M St and Wisconsin Ave, is heading into its fourth year. This Pilot sponsors the overwhelming majority of extended sidewalks on which the streateries in Georgetown sit.  It has been an innovative Pilot.  Many lessons – positive and negative - have been learned by the Pilot. We believe it is time to proactively address issues regarding its Pilot while a longer term and holistic plan for these public spaces emerges.  It is an exciting time for Georgetown.

We urge action in order to maintain the charm and livability of historic Georgetown, and to keep our focus on a future vision.  Any 2024 permit for the Pilot should require the following:

There should be no plastic deck style sidewalks except directly in front of open restaurants. All other jersey barriers should be removed.

Like New York City, the streateries should be seasonal if they sit empty for large parts of the year.  Negative environmental impact, extra cost for city services (e.g. snow removal), and loss of parking fees/income should be taken into account.  Appropriate budgets should be in place for installation, removal, maintenance, and storage of streatery materials during off-peak seasons.

Georgetown streateries must follow strict aesthetic conditions that are enforced by the Pilot sponsor or appropriate city agencies, and reviewed by the Old Georgetown Board (OGB).

As the permit holder, the BID is responsible to proactively work with the community to  address documented issues.  If the BID cannot do so, the permit should be revoked and restaurants can directly apply to the city for a streatery permit by visiting DDOT Public Space Permits.

Any extension of the BID’s permit must align with community-wide priorities and timelines. Therefore, the BID's streatery pilot must be re-evaluated at the end of 2024, which will be nine months after the Georgetown Access and Circulation Study recommendations are issued. This Study, which has implementation funding, is working on a holistic vision for these public spaces.  How public spaces are used on M Street and Wisconsin Avenue will have direct impact on what will occur on Georgetown’s side streets, especially with regard to transportation needs such as micro-mobility flow, pedestrian needs and parking.  These inter-dependencies and trade-off’s must be weighed by the community.  

Together, let us work toward creating beautiful public spaces that benefit residents, businesses, students and visitors alike while preserving the unique character that makes Georgetown so special.  Join us by signing the petition today.

Georgetown Coalition for Public Spaces
Photo by Georgetown Coalition for Public Spaces

Thank you, in advance, for your support.
Tom Birch, Former ANC Chair and East Side Resident
Ron Lewis, Former ANC Chair and West Side Resident
Elizabeth Miller, Former ANC Chair and East Side Resident
Pam Moore, Former ANC Chair and East Side Resident
Daphna Peled, Owner, Pillar & Post and East Side Resident
AnnMaria Naldine, Owner, Amina Rubinacci
Zoe Feldman, Owner, Zoe Feldman Design
Carine Krawiec, Owner, Carine’s Bridal and East Side Resident
Sara Swabb, Owner, Storie Collective and East Side Resident
Steve Kleinrock, KSA Architects
Bill Starrels, Former ANC Commissioner 
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas E. Crocker, Georgetown commercial building owners and residents
Deborah Winsor, Georgetown commercial property owner
Monica Roche, Former ANC Commissioner
Christian Zapatka Architect, PLLC
Robert Hughes, General Manager, Violet Salon & East Village Resident

Sign now to add your name to the growing list of supporters.