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YOU’RE ALL PROBABLY sick and tired of the war of words over J.R.’s (“Who Fought J.R.’s?,” The District Line, 9/8) but Marilyn Groves’ rhetoric (The Mail, 10/6) cries out for a response.
After many months of listening to all sides of the issue and arranging mediation between J.R.’s and residents, the Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) finally put the public space application on our June agenda. Was this a surprise? No. Was there important new evidence waiting to be revealed? No. Does the ANC have the legal right to discuss and vote on any issue at any time? Yes, we do. Did we examine the application as filed with the Public Space Office before our June meeting? Of course. Did we have to wait until the application wound its way to us through the D.C. bureaucracy? No. Didn’t Commissioner Kyle Pitsor, absent at our June meeting, have as much opportunity to represent himself and his constituents on J.R.’s during our July meeting when we voted on their liquor license amendment? Yup.
Throughout all of Groves’ letter, did you spot any actual substantive reasons why J.R’s shouldn’t be allowed to operate a 15-seat sidewalk café? I didn’t. Smoke and mirrors, as Marcia Clark might say. Was Pitsor removed as ANC vice chair to punish him for urging the D.C. Public Space Committee to ignore the ANC’s vote to support J.R.’s? No; it was only a vote of no confidence in his future ability, as vice chair, to represent the ANC’s majority decisions, if the chair was not available and if he again found himself in the minority.
Is the Dupont Circle Citizens Association (or whoever makes their decisions), along with their other J.R.’s-opposing cohorts, pissed off that they’re not getting their way? You betcha. In the 1920s, the DCCA “arrayed its forces to combat the encroachment of apartment houses in its residential territory,” and fought against allowing any apartment buildings west of 15th Street. Has their attitude changed much in the past 70 years? No!
Commissioner, ANC 2B-03 Dupont Circle via the Internet