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This week GM is celebrating his tenth anniversary by revisiting some of the bigger stories he covered over that time. And today brings us to, well, today. Here are some of the bigger stories of the last several years:
The End of the Liquor License Moratorium
By the time it came to an end, the liquor license moratorium was getting ridiculous. Originally adopted in 1989 to limit the seemingly endless growth of rowdy bars, the moratorium became simply a way to make existing liquor licenses worth more than they ought to have been. When the city released licenses it created a gold rush, where parties claimed the licenses with no concrete plans to actually open a restaurant.
The idea to actually end the moratorium came from the BID in 2015. Initially the idea was met with some skepticism from the community groups. But after some open and frank discussions, common ground was found. As GM wrote in 2016:
Did the moratorium end Georgetown’s partying ways? Certainly not immediately. But it arguably put a ceiling on its growth. And as neighborhoods across the city grew into nightlife destinations of their own, much of the energy was drained from the Georgetown nightlife scene. And the moratorium was not only no longer necessary, it was detrimental.
So egged on by the BID, neighborhood leaders came back together last year and agreed that the moratorium needed to go. After reaching an agreement on how to proceed, the groups requested that the ABC Board not extend the moratorium this year.
This week, GM is celebrating his tenth anniversary by going through some of the notable stories he covered over the years. Today he is strolling through the middle years, from 2013 to 2015.
One of the bigger projects from this period was the BID-driven Georgetown 2028 plan. This was a report filled with recommendations for what changes Georgetown could make to best position itself to continue to be a thriving neighborhood in 2028. And while it was led by the BID, the committees guiding it had residents as well as business owners (GM served on the steering committee).
The final report had recommendations covering topics as wide as transportation, street furniture, the canal and the neighborhood’s gateways. But perhaps the most eye-catching parts of the report called for a Metro stop in Georgetown, and, until then, a gondola. Both those ideas are still but dreams, however the push for the gondolas continues.
The report also led to the creation of Georgetown Heritage, the non-profit established to restore the canal. They are responsible for the massive project to rebuild the third lock, which was in danger of completely collapsing. With its completion, the canal boat will be able to return for tourist rides. Continue reading