GLAA urges Mayor to petition Zoning Commission on displaced clubs
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GLAA urges Mayor to petition Zoning Commission
on displaced clubs


GAY AND LESBIAN ACTIVISTS ALLIANCE OF WASHINGTON
Fighting for Equal Rights Since 1971
P. O. Box 75265
Washington, D.C. 20013
(202) 667-5139

February 13, 2006

The Honorable Anthony A. Williams
Mayor
The District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20004

Dear Mayor Williams:

We are writing to urge you to petition the Zoning Commission to amend the zoning regulations to facilitate the relocation of several business establishments in or near the footprint of the proposed baseball stadium, which are being displaced by the stadium project.

As Councilmember Graham has indicated, the District's zoning laws regarding sexually oriented businesses are highly restrictive, making it virtually impossible for the displaced clubs to relocate to an affordable venue without a special one-time waiver of the relevant zoning restrictions. These are legitimate, tax-generating businesses that have been serving residents and visitors to the District for decades in some cases. The city owes them its help in relocating, since it has caused the dislocation. Indeed, the clubs were essentially exiled to the area off South Capitol Street in the early 1970s by the city itself through then-MPD Chief Jerry Wilson, thereby creating an ethical and moral obligation for the City to provide now for relocation.

You have promised to help the businesses displaced by the stadium development, but the devil is in the details. We hope you will make good on your pledge by using your good offices to persuade the Zoning Commission to take the necessary action to help the affected establishments find a new home. We note that the businesses affected include both ABC-licensed and non-ABC-licensed establishments; all need to be taken care of.

Attached is a copy of the testimony on the subject that we submitted for the record to Mr. Grahamís committee. We are eager to work with you in any way we can to resolve this problem. Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

Christopher L. Neff
President

cc: Carol Mitten, Chairman, Zoning Commission
Anthony J. Hood
Gregory Jeffries
John G. Parsons
Michael G. Turnbull
Honorable Jim Graham


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