Saturday, September 1, 2007

Claws Out

I heard about Black Cat’s deck plans while attending my ANC's (2F) monthly meeting. Dee Hunter, chairman of ANC 1B, came to make a last-minute presentation to 2F. Hunter’s ANC has filed as a protestant to Black Cat’s request for an ABC license modification (necessary when an alcohol-serving establishment changes its operations in almost any way). Though the deadline for filing protests had passed, Hunter asked that 2F file a letter in support of 1B’s protest.

Hunter’s presentation was not on the agenda, and only the 2F commissioners could have known about it in advance. According to Ferrando, he was not made aware of the presentation or invited to attend. Ultimately, the 2F commissioners voted unanimously to support 1B’s protest. I understand from Hunter that ANC 2C has also agreed to submit a letter in support of the protest.

Hunter stated that one of his reasons for coming before our ANC to enlist support is that the Frontiers condo association president (and a resident of our ANC) is concerned that the sight lines from the deck would be directly into the homes of Frontiers residents. Stand on the east side of 14th Street and judge for yourself. No representative of the condo association was present at the meeting.

Hunter also spoke out against Ferrando generally. He voiced doubt that the deck was really being built to facilitate outdoor smoking and complained that Ferrando had tied up the ABRA hearings with extensive testimony. Hunter also accused Ferrando of representing a bouncer as a sound engineer during the hearings. Commissioner Dyer jumped in the fray stating dismissively that Ferrando “is basically looking to expand his club.” Dyer also voiced concern that clinking glasses and intoxicated people create lots of noise.

The one ANC commissioner who has voiced dissent – although not at Hunter’s presentation to ANC 2F – is Phil Spaulding. Spaulding represents the single member district where Black Cat is located, and Ferrando shared that Spaulding had been very supportive of the club.

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