Code of the District of Columbia

§ 25–601. Standing to file protest against a license.

(a) The following persons may protest the issuance or renewal of a license, the approval of a substantial change in the nature of operation as determined by the Board under § 25-404, or the transfer of a license to a new location:

(1)(A) An abutting property owner;

(B) For the purposes of this paragraph, the term "abutting property" means any property where the property line has a boundary or boundary point in common with the property line of the licensed establishment.

(2) A group of no fewer than 5 residents or property owners of the District sharing common grounds for their protest; provided, that in a moratorium zone established under § 25-351 (or in existence as of May 3, 2001), a group of no fewer than 3 residents or property owners of the District sharing common grounds for their protest;

(3) A citizens association incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia located within the affected area; provided, that the following conditions are met:

(A) Membership in the citizens association is open to all residents of the area represented by the association; and

(B) A resolution concerning the license application has been duly approved in accordance with the association’s articles of incorporation or bylaws at a duly called meeting, with notice of the meeting given to the voting body and the applicant at least 7 days before the date of the meeting;

(4) An affected ANC;

(5) In the case of property owned by the District within a 600-foot radius of the establishment to be licensed, the Mayor;

(6) In the case of property owned by the United States within a 600-foot radius of the establishment to be licensed, the designated custodian of the property; or

(7) The Metropolitan Police Department District Commander, or his or her designee, in whose Police District the establishment resides.

(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, an individual or entity that holds a valid wholesaler's license, manufacturer's license, or retailer's license shall not be permitted to protest the issuance or renewal of a license, the approval of a substantial change in the nature of operation, as determined by the Board under § 25-404, or the transfer of a license to a new location.

(2) An individual who resides in the neighborhood where the establishment is to be licensed and who holds a wholesaler's license, manufacturer's license, or retailer's license may protest the issuance or renewal of a license, the approval of a substantial change in the nature of operation, as determined by the Board under § 25-404, or the transfer of a license to a new location if the individual otherwise has standing pursuant to subsection (a)(1) or (2) of this section.


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Oct. 26, 2001, D.C. Law 14-42, § 6(d), 48 DCR 7612; Sept. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-187, § 101(x), 51 DCR 6525; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-191, § 47(a), 53 DCR 6794; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-310, § 2(u), 60 DCR 3410; Feb. 21, 2020, D.C. Law 23-52, § 2(d), 67 DCR 21.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 25-211, § 25-351, § 25-421, § 25-601.01, § 25-602, and § 25-609.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-42 validated the previously made technical correction in par. (2).

D.C. Law 15-187 deleted “, or initiate a referendum as set forth in § 25-604” following “new location” in the lead-in language; and rewrote par. (3) which had read as follows: “(3) A citizens association incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia located within the affected area;”.

D.C. Law 16-191, in the introductory language, inserted “or” preceding “the transfer”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-310 deleted “a new owner license renewal” following “§ 25-404” in the introductory language; and substituted “meeting given to the voting body and the applicant at least 7 days before the date of the meeting” and a semicolon for “meeting being given at least 10 days before the date of the meeting” and a closing period in (3)(B).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 6(d) of Technical Amendments Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-108, August 3, 2001, 48 DCR 7622).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(u) of the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-597, January 14, 2013, 60 DCR 1001).

For temporary addition of a section designated as § 25-601.01, concerning certain documents to be made available, see § 2(v) of the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-597, January 14, 2013, 60 DCR 1001).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(u) of the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-52, April 22, 2013, 60 DCR 6372, 20 DCSTAT 1388).

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority to the Director of the Office of Property Management to Protest the Issuance or Renewal of Alcoholic Beverage Licenses Pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 25-601(5)(2001), see Mayor’s Order 2004-182, November 9, 2004 ( 51 DCR 11351).