(a)(1) If a licensee closes the licensed premises or ceases to operate at the licensed premises for 21 or more calendar days, the licensee shall immediately notify the Board in writing of the closure or cessation of operation and surrender the license for safekeeping. The licensee's written notice shall include the estimated length of closure or cessation of operation and the licensee's future intentions as to the use of the license.
(2) The Board shall hold the license until the licensee resumes operation at the licensed premises or the license is transferred to a new location or owner.
(3) If the licensee has not initiated proceedings to resume operations or to transfer the license within 60 days after surrendering the license for safekeeping, the Board, after giving notice to the licensee, may deem the license abandoned. The licensee shall have 14 calendar days to respond to the Board's notice to request continued safekeeping.
(b) The Board may extend the period of safekeeping beyond 60 days for reasonable cause, such as fire, flood, other natural disaster; rebuilding or reconstruction; or to complete the sale of the establishment.
(c)(1) Licenses in safekeeping beyond 60 days, as extended by the Board, shall be reviewed by the Board every 6 months to ensure that the licensee is making reasonable progress on returning to operation.
(2) For purposes of this subsection, the term "reasonable progress" means taking deliberate steps to resume business operations, including acquiring the necessary permits or approvals from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, the Office of Zoning, the Historic Preservation Board, or any other District agency, executing contractual agreements or lease agreements, retaining contractors, or transferring the license to a new owner or new location.
(c-1)(1) Except as proved by paragraph (3) of this subsection, the Board shall assess licenses in safekeeping a fee of 25% of the annual license fee for every 6 months that the license remains in safekeeping. The initial 6-month fee shall be paid by the licensee at the time the license is placed in safekeeping. Each additional 6-month safekeeping fee shall be paid in advance by the licensee.
(2) After 4 consecutive 6-month periods of safekeeping, the safekeeping fee shall be 50% of the annual license fee for every 6 months that the license remains in safekeeping.
(3) The safekeeping fee required by this subsection shall not apply to a licensee serving a suspension.
(d) This section shall not relieve a licensee from the responsibility of renewing the license.
(e) If a licensee notifies the Board that the licensee has ceased to do business under the license or if the Board cancels the license under this section, the license shall be marked as "canceled."
(f) Licenses which are restored after being held in safekeeping for longer than 2 years shall be subject to the license renewal process set forth in Chapter 4.
(g) A license suspended by the Board under this title shall be stored at the Board.
(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Mar. 13, 2004, D.C. Law 15-105, § 104(a), 51 DCR 881; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-310, § 2(dd), 60 DCR 3410; Feb. 21, 2020, D.C. Law 23-52, § 2(e)(2), 67 DCR 21.)