You'll remember from previous episodes community members fought valiantly to STOP Uncle Lee's from getting a class A liquor license. The store would be the twelfth liquor store in the greater Deanwood neighborhood (Advisory Neighborhood Commission 7C). While that effort was not successful, we did get rid of the illegal vendor. We've also gotten much needed police and government attention at the Eastern-Sheriff-Division intersection. Since April, Commissioner Sylvia C. Brown, Commissioner for the area in which Uncle Lee's is located, has established relationships with the Prince George's County Police Department District III and with Maryland State Senator Joanne Benson (D-24) who represents the area across from Uncle Lee's. Brown has become a regular at the police's monthly Coffee Chats at Wegman's and Senator Benson's monthly Greater 202 Coalition breakfast.
The backdrop to the community's hardball civic activism was the District's fiscal year 2012 gap closing. One of the proposals to close the gap was a one percent increase on alcohol taxes, up to 10%. The trade-off was liquor stores could stay open until 12 midnight. In light of the extended hours and community members' vocal and persistent opposition to the liquor store, conventional wisdom would take that Uncle Lee's owner(s) would be on it's p's and q's--working with the police and the community to report and stop negative behavior, such as litter, loitering, and public drinking. The store, however, has not been very...let's say forward-thinking.
In late November, the store
Au contraire, mon frere...
The Board of Zoning Adjustment is scheduled to hear the extended hours application on January 10, 2012. Fortunately, the 7C Commission voted to oppose the modification application. Community members will be represented in full force at this hearing. If you'd like to weigh-in opposing extended hours for Uncle Lee's email Board Secretary Clifford Moy or call him at (202) 727-0348.
Contact the Commission at 202-398-5100 or by email to confirm the hearing. All Hands on Deck to improve and promote our quality of life.