Blagden Alley Naylor Court Association Responds to Fox5 Report on Alleged Incidents Involving Reported Stalking, Intimidation, and Assault by Owner of Eighteenth Street Lounge

The association remains outraged, asks its Advisory Neighborhood Commission, Mayor Bowser, Councilmembers for help, has engaged D.C. and federal attorneys offices for help, continues its requests for a special D.C. task force to ensure the safety of Blagden Alley Naylor Court

Club owner allegedly using intimidation tactics amid liquor license battle

Blagden Alley Naylor Court Association (BANCA) issued the following statement regarding Perris Jones' Fox5 Report: DC club owner allegedly used intimidation tactics amid liquor license battle:

"We remain fearful and distraught over the alleged incidents of threatening behavior and assault that took place on March 20, 2022. We, along with every District resident, have a right to provide input on ("protest") an alcohol license application without fear of retaliation. It has been three weeks since the alleged incident—compelling evidence has been shared—and we are in disbelief that we have yet to receive any response or support from Mayor Muriel Bowser, Councilmember Brooke Pinto, other elected officials, or our Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) as a whole. 

"We understand Mayor Bowser's stated policy to grow the District's nighttime economy—a policy we support if implemented responsibly. 'Vegas, DC' should ensure victim justice and never come at the cost of residents' safety.

"A policy or system that tolerates or rewards any applicant who commits acts of aggression towards protestants (or their neighborhoods, homes, or families) with a liquor license is on its face a demonstrable failure of government or worse. It also sets a dangerous precedent—further jeopardizing our safety and having a profound chilling effect on the entire alcohol licensing process. 

"Both District and Federal law strictly prohibit any form of intimidation, harassment, or threat against parties/witnesses in such types of administrative proceedings. Before issuing a license, the ABC Board is obligated to ensure the applicant is of good character and generally fit for the responsibilities of licensure. No applicant who terrorizes a neighborhood or commits acts of aggression towards protestants should ever be granted a liquor license. We believe the District and ABC Board have a duty to uphold the law, protect our safety, and preserve the sanctity of the alcohol licensing process throughout all wards of the District.  

"The Blagden Naylor community has a long history of supporting the responsible businesses operating in and around the alleys, including several caring and community-oriented alcohol establishments. The alleys are an intimate space—initially all residential—where restaurants and lounges sit mere feet away from bedroom windows. We are grateful for these businesses who strive to wind down the alleys' outdoor vibrancy by 10 p.m. so residents can sleep.    

"Nightclubs can have a profound effect on the quality of life of families living nearby, which is why most chose locations away from residential zoning.[1][2]The Eighteenth Street Lounge alcohol license application includes outdoor entertainment until 2 a.m. on weekdays and 3 a.m. on weekends less than 55 yards from residential zoning and older homes. Residents who expressed concerns, particularly our longstanding residents, should also never have to face ridicule or be painted as hysterical, racist, or "NIMBY", especially by those associated with the establishment or those tasked to protect and represent our community. BANCA will continue to vigorously protect our residents and responsible businesses. 

"We call for a thorough investigation into all factors leading up to and surrounding current circumstances in Blagden Alley and have engaged the D.C. Office of Attorney General and federal officials for assistance.  

"We have asked our Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) for a special meeting to gain alignment so they may confidently and vigorously advocate on our behalf with the ABC Board to help ensure the peace and safety of our residents, their constituents.      

"We continue to hope for a meaningful and positive response from Mayor Muriel Bowser, Councilmembers Brooke Pinto, Kenyan McDuffie, Robert White, and Phil Mendelson to our request for help and for a special task force to work directly and actively with BANCA to safeguard the residential use of the Blagden Alley Naylor Court Historic District—a policy already required by law."[3]

[1] Blagden Alley zoning consists of mixed-use and residential with vast majority of properties being residential.

[2] There is no provision for considering any pre-licensure investment made by the liquor license applicant.  Therefore, some owners, especially those in contested applications, wait until securing their liquor license before starting renovations to ensure the viability of any investment in property build-outs. Of note, BANCA and ANC2F protested the Eighteenth Street Lounge alcohol license application; with the ANC's protest carrying "Great Weight."  

[3] D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 10 § A2111 "2111.8 Policy NNW-2.1.4: Blagden Alley "…Appropriate measures should be taken to safeguard existing residential uses..."  

###

The Blagden Alley Naylor Court Association (BANCA) is a citizen's association established in 1985. Its members reside in and around the alleys. Our mission is to advance responsible historic neighborhood stewardship, empower the community, and honor the character of the alleys and their complicated past. BANCA endeavors to embed racial equity, inclusion, and opportunity in every aspect of neighborhood development. Our vision is for the alleys to never be in jeopardy; to always be preserved as a sanctuary offering a level of vibrancy for residents and tourists alike to connect, respect, and reflect upon the alley's profound African American history—a moving story of struggle, survival, and success. These alleys are the heart of our broader Logan/Shaw/Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhoods and precious to many in the District, the country, and around the world. Visit us at: www.myblagdennaylor.org 

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @myblagdennaylor 

Contact: BANCA Media myblagdennaylor@gmail.com 

Source: Blagden Alley Naylor Court Association

Share:


Categories: Politics, Politicians, Political Corruption

Tags: ABRA, blagden alley, children, corruption, crime, DC, DOJ, enforcement, government, justice, Karl Racine, malfeasance, Matthew Graves, neighborhood, nightclub, nightlife, police, policy, safety, US Attorney General