• Sign in and pay dues 6:30-7:00
  • Treasurer’s report
  • Beer & Popsicles casual Friday happy hours this summer
  • Election of officers and members at large
  • Discussion of the Memorandum of Understanding between BGCA and Pinehurst Wine Shoppe (See Memorandum below)

How will this MOU work?

An MOU is a negotiated agreement between two parties – in this case, PWS and BGCA. They are typically used when one party wants an exception to zoning laws.

In this case, PWS wants to expand their premises to accommodate an expanding business model. In agreeing to the expansion, BGCA recommends the MOU you see here. Crucial to this agreement is that it be lasting, to match the duration of the expansion. To accomplish this, this MOU must be binding on the property’s heirs and assigns. Without that, this MOU ceases to exist the moment the property is sold.

Our community can certainly negotiate a new MOU with the new owners, should that be mutually desirable, so long as this MOU is still in place. Without it, the community will have no power to bring the new owner to the negotiating table.

How was this MOU created?

This MOU process was initiated in June of 2023, after a productive conversation between the owners of Pinehurst Wine Shoppe and the Bellona-Gittings Community Association. Throughout the Fall of 2023, BGCA Board members convened a series of meetings with the Highly Impacted Neighbors (HIN), the 25 households within 200 ft of 6242 Bellona Avenue / Pinehurst Wine Shoppe. These are the households most impacted by any changes that may occur at that address, and their opinion is taken into greater consideration by the City and various agencies, ie, Liquor Board and the Board of Municipal Zoning Appeals. This group was invited to a series of meetings in order to discuss and prioritize their concerns and stipulations regarding the proposed expansion of PWS, explicitly for the purpose of informing the Memorandum of Understanding to be drafted between the BGCA Board and the owners of Pinehurst Wine Shoppe. There were four formal meetings of the HIN, in addition to various individual and email conversations. Two of these meetings included PWS ownership, including a site visit.

By December of 2023, the HIN compiled their concerns and priorities, which covered Use, Hours of Operation, Aesthetics: building exterior, Aesthetics: lot/landscaping, Special Events, Parking, General Nuisance, and other related items. In late winter, BGCA sought feedback from the Bellona-Gittings Community at-large. This feedback fully informed the MOU you see below.

In January of 2024, BGCA’s lawyer retired, and by February we had found new representation. By March, the first draft of the MOU, built directly from community feedback, was given to PWS ownership. Since then, BGCA and PWS have been in frequent communication to fine tune this agreement. BGCA has continued to consult with the Highly Impacted Neighbors throughout this process.

We are confident that the owners of Pinehurst Wine Shoppe will honor the wishes of its neighbors, who, above all else, have a vested interest in improving the quality of life and property in our neighborhood.