Lucye Rafferty/The Hoya Mike Glick (COL ’05)

Georgetown’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission supported a renewal of Georgetown’s moratorium on liquor licenses at Tuesday evening’s monthly meeting and approved the refinancing of tax-exempt bonds on Georgetown University Hospital.

The ANC approved a motion to recommend the renewal of the liquor license moratorium, which began in 1988 and was set to expire next January, in an effort to curb the number of establishments licensed to sell alcohol in the Georgetown area.

Currently, the zone affected by the moratorium extends 1,800 feet in all directions from Nathan’s Tavern at M St. and Wisconsin Ave. It mandates that no new licenses be sold by the city. The only way for a new business to get a license is to buy one from a restaurant or bar going out of business. These licenses can run upwards of $50,000.

The ANC agreed to recommend a request for a five-year extension with the addition of Prospect Court and Washington Harbor into the moratorium zone. This request will go before the Citizens Association of Georgetown in October before being submitted to the Alcohol and Beverage Control Board.

ANC representative Michael Glick (COL ’05) opposed the motion. “My concern is at times that the residential community and its advocates are draining the life out of Georgetown by imposing tough restrictions on restaurants, bars, nightlife, etc,” he said. “I just hate to see it happening. Georgetown should pride itself on being an avenue for upscale nightlife in one of the most amazing cities in the world.”

Glick also said that, based on early discussion on the New South renovation project, a pub may be possible, if not probable, and he expressed concern that the moratorium would hamper the proposal.

“I don’t want the operators of that space to be held up because they are forced to buy an existing license rather than apply for a cheaper one from the city,” Glick said.

The ANC also voted to approve the refinancing of tax-exempt bonds to MedStar, owner of Georgetown University Hospital. The bonds, issued in 1998 and 2001, were used for facilities improvements and the purchase of equipment at both Georgetown University Hospital and two other area MedStar hospitals.

“In order to continue to have two programs to meet the health needs of this city – of this community – we have to have the money continuing to come in,” Regina Woods, assistant vice president for external relations, said. “This is not new money, it’s the money that’s already there.”

The meeting also gave members of the Georgetown community at large the chance to comment on the opening of the new Southwest Quadrangle.

Overall, response to the new facility was overwhelmingly positive.

The main concern voiced by residents was the proposed use of the new parking garage, though Glick assuaged fears that the number of parking spaces on campus would increase.

“The community is very, very pleased,” he said. “People are relieved that a number of [former student] houses in west Georgetown and Burleith” are no longer occupied by students.”

Georgetown resident Karen Cruz said she felt differently, however. She emphasized the importance of timeliness in renewing the ABC moratorium. She said that any gap between the end of the old and beginning of the new would allow opportunity for businesses to apply for and receive new liquor licenses.

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