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Nude Dancing Bars in Ward 5 - Displaced sexually oriented businesses

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See if the police department does anything. I bet not.

 

Fifth District Station

1805 Bladensburg Rd., NE

Washington, DC 20002

Phone: (202) 698-0150 or (202) 737-4404

 

I think this is more of a zoning issue. I contacted the Public Relations Officer, Eric Rogers of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. He can be reached at 442-8947. Mr. Rogers stated that he was going to speak with Bill Crews, the DC Zoning Administrator about investigating 2120 West Virginia Ave. He promised to get back with me.

 

On a more positive note. The Washington Times published an article about the unclothed Dancing Bars in Ward 5 today. I could not have stated it better myself. Although, the article failed to mention the fact that having these current establishments breaks DC Zoning Regulation for a C-M 1 Zone.

 

http://washingtontimes.com/metro/20070524-104520-2100r.htm

 

Northeast riled over strip-club relocation

By Gary Emerling and Jen Haberkorn

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

May 25, 2007

 

A D.C. Council member's proposal to allow strip clubs to relocate along the New York Avenue corridor in Northeast has angered residents and businesses who have long been promised redevelopment on the blighted gateway.

 

Jim Graham, Ward 1 Democrat, has introduced legislation that would allow displaced clubs near the city's new baseball stadium in Southeast to transfer their liquor licenses and move to a differently zoned area of the District.

 

The bill paves the way for the clubs to move into mostly industrial areas of Ward 5, where establishment owners have identified potential sites.

 

"Many of the residents of Ward 5 are appalled that another council member would like to impose a red-light district in our community, in our ward, which is essentially at the gateway of the nation's capital," said Kathryn Pearson-West, a resident who opposes the clubs' moving to the corridor. "It just doesn't make any sense."

 

An amendment to the legislation from Kwame R. Brown, at-large Democrat, also allows a strip club within the Skyland Development Project in Southeast to relocate and exempts the affected clubs from the 600-foot minimum distance required between unclothed-dancing businesses.

 

Mr. Graham said the clubs -- some of which cater to men, others to women -- are legal businesses that have an "equity in terms of being relocated."

 

"We uprooted them," he said. "I didn't pick these locations. I did not send them to Ward 5. I did not even suggest as to where they should go."

 

Council member Harry Thomas Jr., who represents the area, opposes the bill and plans to introduce amendments that may include creating 1,200-foot buffer zones between clubs and limiting the same types of clubs moving into the same area.

 

"The fiber of that neighborhood has been waiting for a lot of change," said Mr. Thomas, Ward 5 Democrat. "As council member, I'm adamantly opposed to Mr. Graham's legislation."

 

The council is expected to take an initial vote on the legislation June 5. Mr. Thomas yesterday led about 40 constituents through the John A. Wilson Building to lobby his colleagues to oppose the bill.

 

The group debated with council member David A. Catania, at-large independent who was visiting council member Marion Barry's office, and caught newly elected member Muriel Bowser, Ward 4 Democrat, on her way to lunch.

 

"I'm not sure where I am on this, but I've got to be honest with you, there is some equity on the part of these businesses," Mr. Catania told the crowd. "The solution is to find a way to distribute these businesses in a way so there's no overconcentration."

 

An identical bill introduced by Mr. Graham in January 2006 died when the council session ended last year. But that legislation garnered nine co-sponsors, including Mr. Barry and current council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, both Democrats.

 

"When I signed on, I was trying to deal with the injustices," said Mr. Barry, who represents Ward 8. "I did not sign onto the details."

 

Mr. Gray said he hoped to help broker a compromise on the bill and have Mr. Graham and Mr. Thomas meet by the end of today.

 

He said placing the clubs in the same area could create an unwanted red-light district in the city.

 

"If you wound up putting all the clubs together, there is a possibility for it," Mr. Gray said. "I don't think anybody envisioned this kind of concentration."

 

Roughly 200,000 vehicles travel along Interstate 295 and Route 50 each day, according to the Maryland State Highway Administration. Route 50 becomes New York Avenue at the D.C. line, and the six-lane thoroughfare that serves as one of the main entrances into the city has long been underdeveloped.

 

However, development downtown has been moving west. In Ward 5 alone, more than 5 million square feet of office and retail space is planned or proposed, according to a study prepared for the D.C. Office of Planning.

 

The New York Avenue Metro station and the new headquarters for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives at Florida Avenue Northeast is expected to spur development down the corridor.

 

Farther west, the former Hecht's warehouse is up for sale and expected to be redeveloped.

 

Jim Abdo, whose Abdo Development recently received rezoning approval for a massive 15-acre project at the Southwest corner of New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road, said the clubs aren't in line with what he and some city planners have outlined for the thoroughfare.

 

"This community has dealt with underdeveloped, undesirable [buildings] for years," Mr. Abdo said this week at the International Council of Shopping Center's annual convention in Las Vegas, where he attempted to negotiate deals with retailers to move to the site.

 

He said he met with local residents while planning the development.

 

"We went out of our way to talk to the community," Mr. Abdo said. "They spoke clearly about what they wanted to see. That's not part of it."

 

Residents say the clubs will strain police presence and detract from a community trying to reinvent itself in a positive light.

 

"We need to be on the road for improvement," said India Henderson, an advisory neighborhood commissioner. "By bringing adult-themed nightclubs into the area, especially of that magnitude, it's going to be problematic [and bring] tons of negativity into the neighborhood."

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Mercy Coogan, of the Public Relations office of Gallaudet University gave this statement.

 

First, our university would never support any type of business that did not follow zoning guidelines. Second, the University would never support the any type of business that endangers the safety and welfare of our students, faculty, and staff. This is a real concern for the people of Gallaudet.

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Gentlemen, on behalf of the Bethesda Baptist Church family community we greet you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

We want to thank Luke Wilbur and your organization for its interest in giving us a public voice to convey our concerns on the subject of unclothed Bars in our community.

 

Bethesda Baptist Church has been in the Ivy City/Trinidad Community for over 85 years. We have seen changes in our community in that period of time. Some good, such as community redevelopment by individuals and businesses. Some not so good such as drugs, alcoholism and prostitution.

 

Currently, the Trinidad Ivy City Community is on a strong comeback. The community has received new streets, new housing reconstruction new recreation centers for children and the list goes on.

 

Our community has always been a vital concern of ourchurch because the constituents of our church started here or still live here. We are also very concerned about our community because we care about the quality of life for all people.

 

We are constantly people focused on helping our community stimulate improvement, development and growth towards a better quality of life for its constituents.

 

Our goal is that the Trinidad/Ivy City community will be a better place to worship, live, work and play. To help meet that goal we have in the past and are actively doing now the following:

 

. Community clean up programs

. Street evangelism and witnessing homeless shelter worship

services;

. Adopt a school initiative (Webb elementary);

. Tract distribution (Life Changing information about

salvation)

. Free clothes distribution to the community feeding the

Homeless;

. Feeding the Homeless;

. Senior citizens Lunch Programs

. Vacation Bible School for neighborhood children;

. Open air worship services outdoors;

. Prayer for the community outdoors.

 

As was stated earlier the Trinidad/Ivy City community is on a strong comeback. With the work our church is doing in the community in cooperation with Metropolitan Police and the D.C. Government, our community is a much better and safer Place than it was 10 years ago.

 

That brings me to the subject of the unclothed Bars who wish to move into our community. We totally are against businesses of that type in our community. Studies have shown that where businesses of that nature operate certain types of crime follow them. Crimes such as prostitution, pedophilia, public drunkenness etc. Many years ago when businesses of that type were located near New York avenue and (14th street thru

17th streets, N.W.) Prostitution (male and female) flourished heavily. The only way the D.C. Government was able to stop it was to shut those businesses down.

 

All businesses that stimulate a challenge to clean moral behavior are a menace and detriment wherever they are. unclothed bars in our community will destroy the peace, stability, tranquility and overall harmony that has begun to flourish in the community. We have children that play outside and ride their bicycles all over the area. We want to keep them safe.

 

The last thing we need in this community is a return to what we just came out of in the 70’s and 80’s.

 

Lastly we wish to solicit help from good family friendly businesses to move into our community. Businesses that can help the entire community not just a few strippers.

 

We want the strong comeback of the Trinidad/Ivy city community to continue until Jesus Christ returns.

 

Thank you Sincerely,

 

Rev. Richard McPayten

Spokesperson for Bethesda Baptist Church

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Ward 5 Councilmember Harry “Tommy” Thomas, Jr. to Hold Follow-Up Town Hall Meeting on Legislation to Relocate Adult-Themed Establishments

 

Legislation is before the City Council to permit a one-time transfer of adult-themed establishments displaced by ballpark development. As currently written, the legislation eliminates the 600-foot minimum distance between establishments that permitnude dancing and may usurp the authority of the Zoning Commission. The purpose of the follow-up Ward 5 Town Hall Meeting is to provide a status report on the establishments' efforts to relocate to Ward 5 and provide residents with an opportunity to share their opinions about the legislation.

 

Who: Ward Councilmember Harry “Tommy” Thomas, Jr.

What: Follow-Up Ward 5 Town Hall Meeting

Where: Washington Center for the Aging, 2601 18th Street, NE

When: Wednesday, May 30, 2007, 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm

 

 

This was sent to me by the office of Councilmember Harry L. Thomas, Jr.

 

An Alternative Proposal

Last week, the D.C. City Council’s Committee on Public Works and the Environment voted in support of a bill to provide a one-time exception to the District’s alcohol beverage regulations so that four unclothed dancing clubs displaced by the baseball stadium may operate in the Ivy City neighborhood of Ward 5. The legislation is scheduled for Council debate on June 5.

 

As the Ward 5 Councilmember, I have gone on record as opposing this legislation. Unfortunately, some have portrayed my opposition as anti-GLBT because several of the adult clubs seeking to relocate into Ivy City are gay-oriented. This portrayal is incorrect. Ward 5 includes GLBT residents and GLBT business owners, and both groups are a welcome and vital part of our community. Rather, my opposition to this legislation stems from a fundamental belief that residents should be involved in shaping the future of their neighborhoods. As a legislator, ensuring that residents have a voice in what occurs in their communities is critically important to me.

 

I also oppose the legislation because it could hamper the neighborhood revitalization and economic development planned for this part of Ward 5. A number of residential and commercial projects are in the pipeline for the Ivy City area. Under the Home Again Initiative, 59 residential units will be built in Ivy City between December 2007 and March 2009, some of which will be situated on West Virginia Avenue near the proposed locations of two of the adult clubs. Abdo Development’s Arbor Place project is slated to add about 3,500 residential units and roughly 200,000 sq. ft. of retail space at New York Avenue, Montana Avenue, and Bladensburg Road. Additional development is planned for sections of Ward 5 adjacent to Ivy City.

 

Furthermore, the legislation ignores the DC Office of Planning’s recommended revitalization strategy for Ivy City. In its report, “Northeast Gateway: Many Neighborhoods, One Community,” the Office of Planning recommends mixed-income redevelopment for Ivy City, including coordinated acquisition of vacant and abandoned properties, development of mixed-income and mixed-use communities, housing and public realm investment, and the creation of a “gateway.”

 

While I appreciate the concerns of the displaced establishments, a broader, more cohesive strategy for assisting these businesses is warranted. With this in mind, I have suggested to my colleagues on the Council that we hold a series of public roundtables on developing a holistic approach to relocating the displaced establishments. By working together, the Council can avoid the piecemeal approach of this legislation and fashion a comprehensive plan to address the issue.

 

Harry “Tommy” Thomas, Jr.

Ward 5 Councilmember

Council of the District of Columbia

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...l?nav=rss_metro

 

Hundreds Protest Bill on Strip Club Relocation

Residents Seek 'Positive Changes'

By Yolanda Woodlee

Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, May 31, 2007; B04

 

More than 300 residents jammed a Ward 5 community meeting last night to protest legislation pending in the D.C. Council that would allow unclothed entertainment clubs to relocate to their Northeast neighborhoods.

 

The bill, introduced by council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), is scheduled for a vote Tuesday. It would change regulations for unclothed bars, whose licenses now prohibit them from moving, and allow relocation if the new sites have the same zoning designation: commercial and light manufacturing.

 

Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5) called the meeting at the Washington Center for Aging Services to rally opposition to the measure. Thomas says the legislation would allow too many clubs, including three in a warehouse district in his ward, close to an area where residents and developers are seeking to improve neighborhood standards.

 

Thomas rejected charges that the community opposes the clubs because many cater to homosexuals.

 

"This is not about whether you're homophobic or against straight clubs. It's about developing a community," Thomas said. "We want a fair-shared process that looks at the whole city."

 

Graham, who did not attend the meeting, says his bill would simply allow the clubs to move from one commercial manufacturing zone to another.

 

"I'm not sending these clubs to Ward 5," Graham said. Acceptable commercial zones are "in every ward of the city," he said. "This has all become all very personalized. I'm not a real estate agent, nor do I assign bars in any location."

 

The clubs were displaced after the District decided to build the Washington Nationals baseball stadium in Southeast Washington.

Council member Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large) attended the meeting and said he wanted to show his support for Ward 5 residents.

 

"Kwame Brown does not want nudie bars next to residential homes," he said.

 

The sites under consideration are along streets with warehouses, but some of the clubs would be close to homes, schools and churches.

 

One opponent, the Rev. Michael Kelsey, pastor of New Samaritan Baptist Church, said he had nearly 350 signatures.

 

"In this community, we've been waiting for positive changes for a long time," Kelsey said. "A red light district is not what we consider a positive change."

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Guest Carolyn C. Steptoe

I am very disappointed the majority of DC Council voted in support of Graham's Relocation bill (Catania, Cheh, Evans, Graham, Gray, Mendelson, Schwartz, Wells and Barry), the 6 amendments Harry Thomas introduced at least provide some semblance of protection to Ward 5 residents, specifically as to equitable distribution among all Wards, ANC involvement and the extended boundary restrictions to name a few.

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