Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter IV. Board-Created Moratoria.


§ 25–351. Board-created moratoria.

(a) If the Board reasonably determines that it is in the public interest to do so based on the appropriateness standard set forth in subchapter II of this chapter, the Board may, by rule:

(1) Limit the number of licenses of any class to be issued;

(2) Declare a moratorium on the issuance of licenses of any class, or the issuance of amended licenses that constitute a substantial change, in any locality, section, or portion of the District; or

(3) Declare a moratorium in any locality, section, or portion of the District to limit the sale of products by licensees under an off-premises retailer license, class A and B.

(b) Any group with standing under § 25-601 may request the Board to issue regulations establishing the limit or declaring the moratorium. A moratorium issued by the Board under subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section shall have a prospective effect and shall not apply to existing licenses.

(c) A moratorium on the issuance of an amended license that constitutes a substantial change, in accordance with § 25-762, shall only be allowed in those geographical areas for which a limit or moratorium on the number of licenses in any class is in effect and shall apply to any application filed after May 3, 2001, for an amended license that would constitute a substantial change.

(d) No licensee or agent of any licensee shall be entitled to make a request under subsection (b) of this section.

(e) A moratorium shall be effective for 5 years from the date of final rulemaking, or for a lesser period as determined by the Board.

(f) If the Board acts on a moratorium request, a moratorium request for the same area, or an area covering substantially the same area, shall not be considered for 2 years from the date of the Board’s action.

(g) The requirements of this section shall not apply to solicitor’s licenses, manager’s licenses, caterer’s licenses, or to temporary licenses.


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Sept. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-187, § 201(c), 51 DCR 6525.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 25-601.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-187 added subsec. (g).


§ 25–352. Procedures to request a moratorium.

(a) The moratorium request shall be made to the Board in writing, stating:

(1) The name and address of the individual, group, or business entity seeking the moratorium;

(2) The area of the District to be covered by the moratorium;

(3) The class or classes of licenses to be covered by the moratorium; and

(4) A detailed statement of the reasons that the moratorium is appropriate under at least 2 of the appropriateness standards set forth in subchapter II of this chapter.

(b) For the purposes of subsection (a)(2) of this section, the individual, group, or business entity seeking the moratorium shall identify one licensed establishment. The area to be covered by the moratorium shall be measured from the property lines of that establishment. The entire area to be covered under a moratorium shall be either a locality, section, or portion.

(c) For the purposes of subsection (a)(3) of this section, a moratorium may be sought for a single class of license or for any combination of the classes of licenses.

(d) No moratorium request to limit the number of licenses to be issued, the number of licenses issued for any single class, or the issuance of amended licenses for any single class that constitute a substantial change shall be considered by the Board unless all the requirements of subsection (a) of this section have been met and the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) If the requested moratorium area is a locality, there shall exist in the area at least 3 licensed establishments of the same class or 6 licensed establishments of any class or combination of classes;

(2) If the requested moratorium area is a section, there shall exist in the area at least 6 establishments of the same class or 12 establishments of any class or combination of classes; or

(3) If the requested moratorium area is a portion, there shall exist in the area at least 9 establishments of the same class or 18 establishments of any class or combination of classes.

(e) A moratorium request to limit the sale of products by licensees under an off-premises retailer’s license, class A and class B, shall not be considered by the Board unless all the requirements of subsection (a) of this section have been met and the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) If the requested moratorium area is a locality, there shall exist in the locality at least 3 class A, 3 class B, or any combination of 3 class A or class B licensed establishments;

(2) If the requested moratorium area is a section, there shall exist in the section at least 5 class A, 5 class B, or any combination of 5 class A or class B licensed establishments; or

(3) If the requested moratorium area is a portion, there shall exist in the portion at least 7 class A, 7 class B, or any combination of 7 class A or class B licensed establishments.

(f) The requirements of this section shall not apply to solicitor’s licenses, manager’s licenses, caterer’s licenses, or to temporary licenses.


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Oct. 1, 2002, D.C. Law 14-190, § 1702(h), 49 DCR 6968; Sept. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-187, § 201(d), 51 DCR 6525.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 25-353.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-190 rewrote subsec. (d), and added subsec. (e).

D.C. Law 15-187 added subsec. (f).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1702(h) of Fiscal Year 2003 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-453, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8026).


§ 25–353. Notice requirements for moratorium proceedings.

If a moratorium request meets all of the requirements set forth in § 25-352, the Board shall provide notice to the public according to the same procedures as required by § 25-421.


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Sept. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-187, § 101(p), 51 DCR 6525.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-187 substituted “§ 25-421” for “§§ 25-421 and 25-422; provided, that, for purposes of this section, the responsibilities of the applicant prescribed in § 25-422 shall be assumed by the Board”.


§ 25–354. Board review of moratorium request.

(a) The Board shall hold a public hearing to review a proposed moratorium. The public hearing shall be in the nature of a rulemaking hearing under § 2-505 and not in the nature of a contested case under § 2-509.

(b) At the public hearing, any interested person may appear to give oral or written testimony in support of, or in opposition to, the moratorium request.

(c) In addition to receiving testimony from the public, the Board shall request formal comments from the following persons or agencies:

(1) The Councilmembers within whose wards the requested moratorium area is located;

(2) The ANCs within whose areas the requested moratorium area is located and any other ANC abutting the proposed moratorium area;

(3) The Assistant City Administrator for Economic Development, or his or her designee;

(4) The Office of Planning, or its successor agency; and

(5) The District Commander of the Metropolitan Police Department in which the requested moratorium zone is located.

(d) In deciding on a moratorium request, the Board shall consider the extent to which the testimony and comments show that the requested moratorium is appropriate under at least 2 of the appropriateness standards set forth in subchapter II of this chapter.

(e) The Board may grant the moratorium request in one or more of the following ways:

(1) In whole or in part;

(2) By enlarging or decreasing the moratorium area; or

(3) By limiting the moratorium to no more than one class of license.

(f) The Board may deny the moratorium request in its entirety.

(g) The decision of the Board shall be final and shall be issued in writing, including each member’s vote.


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Sept. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-187, § 101(q), 51 DCR 6525.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-187, in par. (2) of subsec. (c), substituted “is located and any other ANC abutting the proposed moratorium area” for “is located”.