Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1B, which has jurisdiction over the 14th and U Street, N.W. corridor, voted earlier this month to protest the liquor license renewal application of the D.C. gay bar MOVA Lounge, which is located at 2204 14th St., N.W.
The action by the ANC follows by three months a decision by a group of 14 residents of a condominium building 1407 W St., N.W. and the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association to file separate protests against the MOVA license renewal. The condo building is located directly behind MOVA.
Each of the three protests say the bar is adversely impacting the “peace, order, and quiet” of nearby residents.
“MOVA has an open-air roof deck that is open late into the evening with loud music played directly into the bedrooms of residents in our building,” the protest by the condo residents says.
MOVA’s general manager, who identified himself only as Brad, told the Blade Tuesday night that MOVA owner Babak Movahedi was taking steps to address the neighbors’ concerns with the intent of resolving the protest.
Gay ANC Commissioner Marc Morgan said he was among the commissioners that voted for the protest. He said the ANC’s intent is to persuade MOVA to enter into a settlement agreement with the ANC that would ensure that the bar curtails any noise that may be disturbing its neighbors. He said he sees no indication that MOVA is being targeted because it’s a gay bar.
“Just because we file a protest doesn’t mean we want to see an establishment closed,” said Morgan. “We plan to drop the protest if a settlement agreement is reached.”
The D.C. City Charter, which created the ANCs, limits their authority to providing advisory recommendations to city government agencies, which must give “great weight” to ANC recommendations. The final decision on liquor license matters rests with the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, which is an arm of ABRA.