Code of the District of Columbia

§ 25–336. Retail license prohibited in residential-use district.

(a) No retailer’s license shall be issued for, or transferred to, a business operated in a residential-use district as defined in the zoning regulations and shown in the official atlases of the Zoning Commission for the District, except for a restaurant or tavern operated in a hotel or apartment house, if the entrance to the restaurant or tavern is entirely inside the hotel or apartment house and no sign or display is visible from the outside of the building.

(b) A nightclub license may be issued on the premises of a hotel that was legally located in a residential-use district and was operating a nightclub on the licensed premises on September 30, 1986.

(c) Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply if, at the time the application for a new license is submitted to the Board, a license of the same type and class is operating an establishment within 400 feet of the applicant.

(d) The provisions of this section shall not apply to:

(1) A restaurant which has received a valid certificate of occupancy as of January 1, 2000 for a restaurant operation in a residential-use district;

(2) A club which is operated under a license issued by the Board as of January 1, 2000 for operation in a residential-use district;

(3) A bed and breakfast license; or

(4) An on-premises Retailer's License, class CR, DR, CH, DH, CT, DT, CX, or DX that is located entirely on a college or university campus and will not have direct public access to the street or the outside of the college's or university's main entrance.

(e)(1) For the purposes of this subsection, the term “ANC 3/4G” means the single member district area partly in Ward 3 and partly in Ward 4, established under § 1-309.03.

(2) Notwithstanding the restriction in subsection (a) of this section, a full service grocery store in a residential-use district in ANC 3/4G with a certificate of occupancy issued prior to [March 21, 2009], may apply for a retailer Class B license.

(3) The Mayor, pursuant to [subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2], may issue rules to implement the provisions of this subsection. The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 30-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, in whole or in part, by resolution, within this 30-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved.

(f) Notwithstanding the restriction in subsection (a) of this section, a retailer's license may be applied for and approved by the Board in a residential-use district if a retailer's license previously existed at the same location within the previous 2 years.


(Jan. 24, 1934, 48 Stat. 328, ch. 4, § 15; June 16, 1934, 48 Stat. 974, ch. 552; May 22, 1958, 72 Stat. 132, Pub. L. 85-423, § 1; Mar. 7, 1987, D.C. Law 6-217, § 10, 34 DCR 907; May 24, 1994, D.C. Law 10-122, § 2(g), 41 DCR 1658; Apr. 12, 1997, D.C. Law 11-258, § 2(b), 44 DCR 1421; Mar. 24, 1998, D.C. Law 12-81, § 15, 45 DCR 745; May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Mar. 21, 2009, D.C. Law 17-324, § 2(b), 56 DCR 239; Mar. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-84, § 2(c), 63 DCR 781; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-260, § 2(c)(7), 64 DCR 2079; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-165, § 2(c)(6), 65 DCR 9366.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 25-336.

1973 Ed., § 25-116.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-324 added subsec. (e).

The 2016 amendment by D.C. Law 21-84 added (f).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Retail Class Exemption Clarification Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-67, July 9, 2007, 54 DCR 6822).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Retail Class Exemption Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-144, October 17, 2007, 54 DCR 10747).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2 of D.C. Law 17-32 amended subsec. (c) by striking “type and”.

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 17-32 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.