A special meeting was called by the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5A to address a critical concern. Reviewing the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABRA) Application. This review process was critical because of the deadline, and its content; the final approved language 4 Seasons liquor license.
My note taking started on time, just when Chairman Edwards was reviewing proposed closing times for 4 Season Convenience store on Sundays. Although this is a special meeting for the ARBA Application finalization, none of the Ward 5 ANC Commissioners or community has ever met the owner of the liquor store. Moving right along with the meeting, it was now time to vote on the proposed closing hours for 4 Season Liquor store on Sundays. The proposed hours of operations were:
- Closed on Sundays
- 11 am – 6:30 pm
- noon- 6:00 pm
Many were in favor of 4 Seasons Convenience store closing on Sundays. All in favor for closing counted 10 votes, no constituents were in favor of the proposed 11 am hours of operations. There were 2 constituents in favor of the liquor store opening at noon on Sundays. Although the vote had taken place, Commissioner Frank Wilds stated “opening on Sunday is up to owner’s discretion, we can vote for it.” Even with the vote, ABRA still has the final authorization to approve hours of operation for the liquor store. Regardless of the decision, don’t expect to purchase any single beer, only the pack according to Mr. Cho. He represented the liquor store on behalf of the owner who was on family vacation at the time when the community wanted to learn the need for the liquor store. However, the community insist 4 Seasons stays closed on Sundays. “It’s worship Sunday, and they’re open 6 days anyway,” says Mr. Lockett. Someone stated that people purchase lottery tickets on Sunday, to which Mr. Lockett wasn’t really feeling that expression, “I’m not standing for it,” the liquor store being open on Sundays.
Parliamentarian, Grace Lewis was concerned that the constituents were imposing something on new owners and not imposing on other owners. With no plans for plexi glass in the liquor store, some security concerns were raised. “Are the people going to have a gun in their store? They just can’t go outside,” says one constituent. According to Mr. Lockett, about five years ago, the owner of 4 Seasons came out with his shotgun for kids stealing. The ABRA Application and the Community Benefits Agreement are separate, furthermore the agreement still had a few more pages to flip through and read. “You’re gone,” Chairman Edwards asked Commissioner Frank Wilds as he turned over his nameplate and removed himself from the table. “Yes, I’m gone,” he replied, and by that time it was 8:10 p.m. “We’ve been on this an hour and a half, stretching it a bit,” suggested Chairman Edwards to the residents. Commissioner Lewis informed the constituents that they must bring justification forward for any opposition to which Mr. Lockett asked “What about the 300 people?” Well they sure were not at the Special Meeting to give more feedback to add when they initially signed opposing the liquor from the start.
Vice-Chairman Gordon Fletcher stated that he gave a proper and timely notice. One resident was interested to learn “what do you call proper time?” It was obvious some of the residents received a notice since they showed up to the Special Meeting. The Treasurer, Sandi Washington still had a few items on the agenda for further discussion and she suggested “we gotta bring this thing to a close.” After flipping through the agreement with vigorous and intense debate, the ABRA Application Agreement was moved for the next phase of submission. Before closing the meeting, Sandi Washignton presented the budget of $20,982.00 in the checking account, and needed to get the residents vote to buy out the copier machine or continue to lease it. The community agreed to buy out the copier machine with a maintenance plan. The meeting was finally adjourned a few minutes before 9 p.m.