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Community Group Seeks Closure of My Place Bar

The Great Odenton Improvement Association is forming a petition to stop the renewal of the liquor license at the bar, which has been the site of several violent incidents.

A local community group is crafting a petition in an effort to remove the liquor license from a North Odenton bar where several violent incidents have taken place. 

Leaders from the Greater Odenton Improvements Association seek to close the My Place Bar and Lounge on Annapolis Road, calling it a "public nuisance." The group could complete the petition and present it to members of the Seven Oaks community as soon as Wednesday. 

"We're going to take all measures necessary to close them," said GOIA Vice President David Tibbetts, who also serves as the group's general counsel.

The Anne Arundel County Liquor Board requires the signatures of at least ten residents near the business, and the protest must be officially filed to the liquor board in March. 

Community leaders and owners of adjacent businesses said My Place attracts crowds that often flow out of the business and into nearby parking lots, and that arguments among customers are common. At times, things have gotten violent.

In the early morning hours on Nov. 27 last year, three people were shot outside My Place after a dispute that spilled out into the parking lot. In September, an off-duty Prince George's County Police officer was charged in connection with the assault of a tow truck driver who was seeking to remove an illegally parked car from the lot next to the bar. 

Two people were also hospitalized following a stabbing incident near the bar in August. 

The bar's manager, William Major, was previously the manager at the Traffic Bar and Lounge, which closed in 2009 following a shooting inciden the year before that left two people dead and two others injured. Major did not return calls requesting comment and a phone call to My Place rang unanswered.

County laws generally forbid establishments from holding a license for a nightclub if they are located close to a residential area. But the license for My Place were assigned before the development of the Seven Oaks community, and was grandfathered in.

Tibbets said he believes My Place has violated the liquor license because of the violent incidents, but also said he has seen photographs on social network websites showing lap dances and other sexual activity that would also be in violation.

Bill Chewning, who owns the properties in the adjacent North Odenton Shopping Plaza, said he has constantly battled the operators of My Place over issues of parking and safety.

Chewning was the owner of Traffic Bar when the shootings ocurred there in 2008, but has since tried to move away from operating bars and clubs.

"It's kind of like the same thing all over again," he said. "We're constantly fighting the crowds and the parking ... when you can't control your own customers, it's a concern of ours, for sure."

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