Today we read of residents of U Street who are upset that things have gotten so noisy. That it's becoming a nightlife hotspot, and will soon be just like Adams Morgan. I'm sorry but anyone with a shred of common sense could have told you this was coming. If you moved to U Street in 2003, you didn't do so because it was a relaxing, quiet neighborhood. You did it because prices were reasonable, it was near a Metro, and the neighborhood was growing. Back in 2003, the 14th Street corridor as well as U Street were not yet yuppie destinations. In the early part of this decade, most people probably considered the area a bit 'rough.'
If you moved to new construction at 14th and V in 2003, you knew the building had street level retail space. You knew development was coming. The writing was on the wall. U Street has grown, and yes there are more people out at night. However, if you move a block from the corner of 14th and U and expect peace and quiet, you are an idiot.
I'm sure a majority of people in the neighborhood understand that there will be noise. Especially if you live on 14th Street or on U Street. But there's always that very, very vocal minority who love to hear their own whining. They want to live within walking distance of everything they could ever want, but they'd like all of that to disappear when they are sleeping.
I know for a fact, though, that if U street were hit hard by the recession and the shops and clubs shuttered, these people would be up in arms. They do not want a return to the U Street of the 1980s.
U Street is historically an entertainment corridor and that defines the area. It is not a quiet place to live. Building an 8 story condo or apartment complex in an entertainment area does not change that it's a commercial strip! It's not as if someone dropped a bunch of nightclubs and stores into the middle of a Chevy Chase neighborhood.
I hate to say it, but claiming you moved there in 2003 and that you have some claim to making the neighborhood quiet is laughable. Sure, there are existing noise regulations on the books. Should these be enforced? In a magical wonderworld where there wasn't a hiring freeze for MPD and ABRA had more investigators, then yes. In the real world where we live, things get noisy. Restaurants and bars get loud. The police and ABRA are too busy to constantly walk around with dB meters. If you move within a few blocks of a popular entertainment area you understand you have to deal with it. To demand otherwise is annoyingly stupid.
People living along H St NE, beware, one day that strip will be loud. It'll be safer and more popular and will have better transit, but it'll be loud. Your property values will likely go up as it becomes a destination, but there might be some noise and some trash. Just an FYI.