Wednesday, February11, 2009
The Heritage Foundation
Present: Commissioners Brown, Dixon, Docter, Hamilton, Phelps, Richardson, Silver, Velasco, Wirt.
The meeting was convened at 7:02 pm
- Approval of Agenda
Motion: Mr. Dixon moved/Ms. Velasco seconded a motion to approve the agenda as presented. It was accepted without objection.
Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to accept the January minutes as presented, with any additions or corrections being added. The motion passed without objection.
- Treasurer’s Report
Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Ms. Brown seconded a motion to accept the Quarterly Report for the 1st Quarter of FY09. The motion passed without objection.
Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to table discussion of the January Treasurer’s Report to the March meeting. The motion passed without objection.
Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion that allocations be approved for $120 for renewal of the ANC’s mailbox; $16 for duplicate checks for the Auditor; and $472 for Roberta Weiner for the taking and transcribing of minutes. The motion passed without objection.
Ms. Phelps raised the issue of allocating funds—up to $6000—for possible attorney’s fees for mediation on the voluntary agreement for H Street Lounge. She said they have been negotiation for two and half months and the sticking point is parking in an otherwise good voluntary agreement. The establishment will be 6000 sq. ft., so it’s a lot of people. Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to allocate up to $6000 to pay an attorney in the H Street Lounge case. The motion passed without objection.
- Public Safety
Mr. Dixon introduced Lt. Gary Grant and Commander Dave Kamperin of the 1st District. Commander Kamperin announced changes in the staffing of the 1st District, and that Lt. Durand will be taking Lt. Kim Williams place as liaison to the PSA.
He mapped out the crime statistics, and said they were looking at forecasting within the different seasons. He said that violent crime is down 16% and that overall crime is down 15%.
He reviewed the move of the1st District to the Bowen School on M Street SW. He said the move is because of the construction of the consolidated forensic lab on the site of the current station. He said it will have community space and state-of-the-art technology, and will include large screens to show movies for the community and space for “camp” sleepovers for community children. He said he is excited about moving into the neighborhood. Ms. Phelps and other commissioners thanked Commander Kamperin for all his good work.
- Community Announcements
St. Patrick’s Day 8K Race
David Moreland outlined the St. Patrick’s Day 8K race for Special Olympics DC, to take place on Sunday, March 5th. Motion: Mr. Docter moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to send a letter of support to Emergency Management for the St. Patrick’s Day 8K Race. The motion passed without objection.
Mr. Hamilton reported that the 6C website was going to be updated, and he was looking for someone to manage it. Roberta Weiner suggested that dcaccess, which is used by other ANC’s and is a local Capitol Hill business.
Commissioner Hamilton admittted that perhaps the use of the word “boycott” was ill advised. He has been trying to get the Examiner to stop delivering to his home and has had no luck. However, after the City Paper wrote that the “Examiner Boycott” was an agenda item for this meeting, a reporter from the Examiner did make contact. The reporter wanted to know if the “boycott” was because of delivery policy or editorial content. Mr. Hamilton assured the reporter that it was strictly a delivery (and ecological) issue that had nothing to do with the editorial content of the paper. The reporter agreed to follow through. Commissioner Hamilton suggested that the whole issue could wait for a month to see what transpired.
Capitol Hill Restoration Society Preservation Café
David Holmes of ANC 6A announced that the Capitol Hill Restoration Society would hold a Preservation Café on February 18th on storm windows. It will be held at Ebenezer’s Coffee House.
Mr. Dixon introduced Angela Rosser, a local businesswoman who has a State Farm Insurance agency at 534 H Street NW. She said she is involved in the community, and would be interested in applying for grants for projects in which she is involved.
- Committee Reports
Peabody School Garden
Vera Sisolak, president of the Capitol Hill Garden Club, presented information on a request for a grant of $1000 for the Spring 2009 Workday to prepare the Peabody School Garden for planting and for summer use. Motion: Ms. Brown moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to approve the grant of $1000 for the Peabody School. The motion passed without objection.
Recommendations for Bylaws/Grants Guidelines
Ms. Phelps reported that she had sent out the ANC’s by-laws for comments, and has received no recommendations for changes. However, there were some issues raised about the procedure for giving grants. She said that the process has to transparent and public in nature, and that an organizational grants liaison is needed who can check on the appropriateness and legality of grants prior to their coming before the Commission. She said she has drafted a new Grant Application with requests for additional information. She also suggested that the ANC cap on the amount of money available should be removed. Ms. Brown said that the form needs to have the year. She also expressed concern about lifting the cap because it could raise issues. Ms. Phelps responded that if the cap is retained she would like to see it raised. Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to table discussion of the grant process and application until March.
Licensing and Economic Development Committee
Policy on Moratorium and Single Sales
Mr. Docter said that there is no specific policy on waivers to the Ward 6 Single Sales moratorium. Ms. Phelps said that establishments can apply for waivers to the moratorium and go to ABRA to do so. She said she has developed an application similar to one implemented by ANC 6D, which requires a voluntary agreement with the ANC and a sign-off by the Commission before it goes to ABRA. She said it is a complicated process. She said she keeps hearing that people will go out of business, but no-one has yet, and there are a lot of factors that have to be considered. Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to approve the application developed for waivers from the Ward 6 Single Sales moratorium. Ms. Phelps said she hasn’t yet drafted a standard voluntary agreement, and that it and the application can be adjusted as the process moves forward. The motion passed without objection.
Good Libations, a liquor store at 5th an M Street NW is in the ANC 2C area, two blocks out of the 6D area. They are requesting that ABRA give them permission to sell 20 oz. singles. Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Docter seconded a motion to oppose the application for a waiver by Good Libations to sell 20 oz. singles, on the grounds that it is not in the best interests of the neighborhood, and while the application for the waiver was filed on January 23rd, there is no letter on record from ANC 2C. The motion will also authorize Mr. Docter and Miles Grove of the Downtown Neighborhood Association to represent the ANC in this matter. The motion passed without objection.
Transportation and Public Space Committee
Ms. Phelps reported that the Committee held a meeting at the Northeast Library to discuss the intersection at Maryland Avenue and 7th Street. Bill Schultheiss, a transportation planner, and ANC 6A Commissioner, discussed the problems at the intersection and said he is working on three options for solutions which will be posted on the ANC website after they are completed.
Youth and Education
Mr. Hamilton reported on Councilmember Wells’ Task Force on Juvenile Crime, on which he represents ANC 6C. He said they are looking at models of best practices and will be making recommendations within the next few weeks.
He reported on the Higher Achievement Program’s Valentine’s Day Poetry Contest on February 17th. Eight finalists recited their poems. All finalists received a copy of the poetry collection How to Eat a Poem. The books were donated by the Academy of American Poets.
Planning, Zoning and Economic Development
I-395 Air Rights Project
Bob Braunohler, of Dreyfuss, with Rod Garrett, of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the site planners of the 1-395 air rights project presented an update on the project, including modifications that have been made since their last presentation He reported that an application was filed on December 31st, and they have been dealing with Georgetown Law School, Holy Rosary Church, and the Federal Highway Administration. He said there is a process for modifying Federal highways which should take about a year, including an environmental assessment, which will run parallel to the Zoning Commission process.
Mr. Garrett said that the PUD that’s been filed is for the North block of the project and the attendant streetscape. He said the project will be LEED Platinum. He pointed out that there has been a change in the access to the tunnel, with the service ramp being moved from E to F.
Mr. Docter asked about whether the site included the DC Technology Office Building and the Judiciary Square Federal Building and asked whether they were taking part of the building. Mr. Braunohler said the building is in the right-of-way. Mr. Docter asked about the zoning, and was told it has been the same since the freeway was built.
The Commission was told that the North office building is 200,000 sq. ft. because they need that much in order to cover their costs, but there is no mandatory regulation about the size.
H Street Connection
Norman (Chip) Glasgow, of Holland & Knight, and Cheryl O’Neill and Sara Alexander of Torti Gallas, architects, representing the developer of the H Street Connection site at 8th and H Street NE, and Derek Woody, of the DC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, presented proposed plans for the redevelopment of the one-story mall and parking lot. They propose building buildings directly on H Street, with a consonant design on H Street, with setback heights up to 90’. There will be 52,000 sq. ft. of retail and 368 residential units. There will be 530 below grade parking spaces. The building will have a curve at the corner of 8th Street. The retail space will be doubled from what exists now, and there will be substantially more parking.
Ms. Phelps asked whether there was a need for so many parking spaces, and Mr. Velasco added that it was such a waste of money. Ms. Phelps admired the design of the building, and that it looks like it belongs where it will be located.
Monte Edwards, of the Stanton Park Neighborhood Association, said that it is a beautiful façade that reflects H Street, and mentioned that 8th and 10th Street are part of a row house neighborhood. He said the H Street Overlay guidelines should apply to the development. He said that while the overlay is silent on the FAR, Stanton Park would like to see the FAR reduced to 3.5. He recommended that the project have green roofs, and because the planning assumptions in the project are for the next 25 years, including the parking, the automobile can’t be a central factor in the project. Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to support the H Street Connection project. The motion passed 8-0-1, with Commissioner Hamilton abstaining. Motion: Mr. Phelps moved/Mr. Dixon seconded a motion that the ANC request party status before the Zoning Commission and that the Commission authorize Mr. Richardson and Zoning Committee Chair Rob Amos to represent the Commission in the matter. The motion passed without objection.
- New Business
Office Space for the ANC
Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to support a formal request for office space from the District of Columbia. The motion passed without objection.
ANC Computer Use
Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to approve the loan of the ANC computer to Commissioner Brown until office space is found. The motion passed without objection.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 pm.