Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter VI. Moratorium on Establishments Which Permit Nude Dancing.


§ 25–371. Moratorium on establishments which permit nude dancing.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, no licensee under this title shall permit nude dancers.

(b) A licensee who regularly provided entertainment by nude dancers before December 15, 1993, may continue to do so at its establishment.


(Jan. 24, 1934, 48 Stat. 319, ch. 4, § 3; Aug. 27, 1935, 49 Stat. 897, ch. 756, § 1; Dec. 8, 1970, 84 Stat. 1393, Pub. L. 91-535, § 1; Apr. 18, 1978, D.C. Law 2-73, § 3, 24 DCR 7066; Sept. 29, 1982, D.C. Law 4-157, §§ 2, 15, 29 DCR 3617; Mar. 10, 1983, D.C. Law 4-204, § 2, 30 DCR 185; Aug. 2, 1983, D.C. Law 5-16, § 2, 30 DCR 3193; May 23, 1986, D.C. Law 6-119, § 2, 33 DCR 2447; Mar. 7, 1987, D.C. Law 6-217, § 2, 34 DCR 907; Aug. 17, 1991, D.C. Law 9-40, § 2(a), 38 DCR 4974; Oct. 3, 1992, D.C. Law 9-174, § 2(a), 39 DCR 5859; Sept. 11, 1993, D.C. Law 10-12, § 2(a), 40 DCR 4020; May 24, 1994, D.C. Law 10-122,§ 2(a), 41 DCR 1658; Apr. 12, 1997, D.C. Law 11-258, § 2(a), 44 DCR 1421; Mar. 26, 1999, D.C. Law 12-202,§ 2(a), 45 DCR 8412; Mar. 26, 1999, D.C. Law 12-206, § 2(a), 45 DCR 8430; May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Oct. 26, 2001, D.C. Law 14-42, § 6(c), 48 DCR 7612.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 25-103.

1973 Ed., § 25-103.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 25-372, § 25-373, and § 25-374.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-42, in subsec. (a), substituted “shall” for “may”; and validated the previously made technical corrections in the section designation of § 25-371.

Emergency Legislation

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


§ 25–372. Nude dancing performances.

Nude dancers in an establishment licensed under § 25-371(b) shall perform only upon a stage at least 18 inches above the immediate floor level and removed at least 3 feet from the nearest customer. The licensee under an on-premises retailer’s license for a multipurpose facility for a legitimate theater may permit nudity by performers in dramatic productions.


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959.)


§ 25–373. Transfer of ownership of establishments which permit nude dancing.

A licensee under § 25-371(b) may transfer ownership in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959.)


§ 25–374. Transfer of location of establishments which permit nude dancing.

(a) A license under § 25-371(b) may only be transferred to a location in the Central Business District or, if the licensee is currently located in a CM or M-zoned district, transferred within the same CM or M-zoned district, as identified in the zoning regulations of the District of Columbia and shown in the official atlases of the Zoning Commission of the District of Columbia; provided, that no license shall be transferred to any premises which is located:

(1) Six hundred feet or less from another licensee operating under § 25-371(b); and

(2) Six hundred feet from a building with a certificate of occupancy for residential use or a lot or building with a permit from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs for residential construction at the premises.

(a-1) On or after January 1, 2013, a class CN license with a nude dancing endorsement under § 25-371(b) shall not be transferred into Ward 5, as defined by [§ 1-1041.03]; provided, that this section shall not prohibit the transfer of an existing CN license with a nude dancing endorsement within Ward 5.

(b) [Repealed].

(c) [Repealed].

(d) [Repealed].

(e) No portion of any establishment granted a license pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall be located within 600 feet of a church, school, library, playground, or the area under the jurisdiction of the Commission of Fine Arts pursuant to §§ 6-611.016-611.02.

(f) All licensees shall consult the Advisory Neighborhood Commission in the area where the license is transferred pursuant to subsection (b) of this section regarding entering a settlement agreement with the community.

(g) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a license under subsection (b) of this section shall not be transferred prior to November 1, 2007, or to a location that has been rezoned by that date to a residential, C-1, or C-2 zoning district classification as identified in the Zoning Regulations of the District of Columbia.


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Oct. 18, 2007, D.C. Law 17-24, § 2, 54 DCR 8011; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-310, § 2(l), 60 DCR 3410; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-165, § 2(c)(8), 65 DCR 9366.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-24 designated the existing text as subsec. (a); and added subsecs. (b) to (g).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-310 added (a-1); and substituted “settlement agreement” for “voluntary agreement” in (f).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Moratorium on Establishments Which Permit Nude Dancing Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-302, February 21, 2012, 59 DCR 1671).

For temporary addition of (a-1) and amendment of (f), see § 2(l) 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(l) 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).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2 of D.C. Law 19-129 added subsec. (a-1) to read as follows:

“(a-1) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, no class CN license with nude dancing shall be issued in or transferred into Ward 5, as defined by § 1-1041.03; provided, that this section shall not prohibit the transfer of an existing CN license with nude dancing within Ward 5.”.

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-129 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.