June 2009

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Wednesday, June 19, 2009
Heritage FoundationMinutes

Present:Commissioners Brown,Dixon, Docter,Richardson, Silver, and Wirt

Absent:Commissioners Phelps and Velasco

The meeting opened at 7:06 pm

  1. Agenda

Motion:Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to accept the agenda.It was approved without objection.

  1. Minutes

Mot ion:Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to approve the April minutes, with amendments.They were approved without objection.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

Mr. Richardson submitted the May Treasurers Report.There was an opening balance of $8,933.84, including an interest payment of $0.97.There were payments of $212 to Roberta Weiner for taking and transcribing minutes (Check #1145); $5 for a bank service charge; and $212 to DC Access for web hosting (Check #1146), $202.50 to Roberta Weiner for taking and transcribing minutes (Check #1147); and $1500 to the Stanton Park Neighborhood Association a grant for its scholarship fund (Check #1149), leaving a balance of $79,781.84.

Motion:Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report.The motion passed without objection.

  1. Community Announcements

2010 Census

Lori Anderson, a Partnership Specialist from the US Census, gave a presentation on the 2010 Census, saying that the goal is to reduce the undercount by involving as many people as possible in helping the Census Bureau in the community.She said that the census would be simpler than ever, with only ten questions.She urged the ANC to get involved.In answer to a question, she said they had been hiring and would be hiring some more people.

BundySchoolDogPark

Martin Moulton presented information on a proposed dog park at theBundySchoolat400 P Street NW.He said that they have started a petition for support within the community and organized the Friends of Bundy Park, FriendsofBundy.net.They are urging the retention of the current athletic fields at the school, with the dog park in a currently unused vacant lot east of the fields.Mr. Silver expressed concern about the cost, and was told that the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) hasn’t given them an estimate yet, but that they say that reusing the land as a dog park is probably the least expensive solution for the land.In answer to another question, Mr. Moulton said that, by law, dog parks have to be self-enforcing as far as cleanliness and maintenance are concerned.Mr. Dixon said that everything about the plans for the park is okay.

  1. Old Business

Licensing and Permits Committee

Kelly’s Liquors, 415 H Street NE

Kefir Seyoum, the owner of Kelly’s Liquors,415 H Street NE, reported that his license is in safekeeping and he plans to re-open the store, which has been closed since 2007 because his brother, who was the manager, was ill.He said he has been at that location for decades.He said that in re-opening he looked at several models, and he has been renovating the store.H said he has noted the change in demographics in the neighborhood and he is planning to open a high-end store, focusing on wine.The petition date for opposing the license in June 22, with a hearing on July 6th. He said he presented his plans toH Street Main Street, which liked his proposal.He said he has never had any problems with the store, and he is happy to take any input from the community.

Jeff Green, a neighbor of the establishment said he has heard good things about the owner, and is excited about the proposed changes, but that he and six immediate neighbors want a strong Voluntary Agreement that includes provisions on trash, loitering, what he means by high end, etc. and would like to sit down an/d formalize something.

Ms. Wirt pointed out that the Commission would have to oppose the license in order to have standing at the ABC, but the objection can be withdrawn when a VA is approved.Mr. Richardson said he will hold a community meeting on the license.He said his concern is having liquor stores on3rdStreetand6thStreet.Mr. Seyoum said that they were there first.Mr. Hamilton said he had heard nothing to justify re-opening another liquor store onH Street.Mr. Seyoum said he offers the guarantee that the license is renewed every two years.He reiterated that he is spending several thousands of dollars on the renovations.

Motion:Mr. Richardson moved/Mr. Docter seconded a motion to oppose removing the license of Kelly’s from safekeeping in order to reach an agreement on a Voluntary Agreement.The motion passed 5-1, with Mr. Hamilton in opposition.

Level Lounge,315 H Street NW

Pouya Yousefi has applied for a tavern license for Level Lounge, at315 H Street NWbecause of the percentage of food involved.He said he wants to make it a tavern in order to maintain his liquidity, but he wants it to be a source of pride for the neighborhood.He is planning to set up a community meeting and is setting a website for the establishment which he plans to open in six-eight months.Miles Grove, of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, said that there would be a community meeting at Madrigal Lofts on June 18th.He said there are three buildings surrounding the proposed establishment, and he has qualms about opening as a tavern, with 100 seats per floor.He said he would prefer to see a CR license at the space.Mr. Richardson reiterated that if the Commission opposed the license, it would be in order to negotiate a Voluntary Agreement.

Chris Thompson, representing Pathways, a residence for women next door to the proposed establishment, said that there were ten women living permanently in the building, which is not transitional housing, and they should not be exposed to the late night noise and music.She said it would raise the possibility of reintroducing crime, drug dealing and prostitution to the neighborhood, and she opposes having a nightclub next door to the residence.Mr. Richardson asked whether she would be willing to work on a voluntary agreement.She said she was also concerned about parking.Mr. Docter asked whether they owned the building and Ms. Thompson responded that it was a rental.Mr. Groves said he wanted to be in a “living” downtown, but 3 a.m. noise was not part of that.

Motion:Mr. Docter moved/Mr. Silver seconded a motion to oppose the license with the understanding that the hearing will be the first step and negotiations will move forward.The motion passed 4-2, with Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Dixon in opposition.

Youth and Education Committee

Ludlow-Taylor Playground Equipment

Mr. Hamilton introduced Beth Bacon, who lives at418 7thStreet NE, who said she is working with her neighbors to strengthen the schools in her neighborhood.In April she noticed that the playground at Ludlow Taylor was in bad shape.She said there are four schoolsscheduled for new playgrounds, but there’s not yet a project manager.There are 11 Capitol Hill Schools meeting in a Greening Committee, which is working on playgrounds, gardens, trees.She said she has engaged Councilmember Wells and Ann Phelps, but she’s looking for support for funding.Motion:Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to send a letter to the Office of Property Management and DPR, asking for their involvement and financial commitment to renovating the Ludlow Taylor playground.Copies of the letter should also be sent to Councilmember Wells and School Board member Lisa Raymond.The motion passed without objection.

Transportation Committee

J.B.JohnsonNursingCenter–901 1stStreet NW

This is a public space request for ten additional parking spaces at the J.B Johnson NursingCenter, and was held over from the last meeting because the Applicant had not appearedbefore the ANC.They have done so.Mr. Dixon commended that the spaces are needed.Motion:Mr. Dixon moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation to support a public space application from the J.B. Johnson Nursing Centerfor ten additional parking spaces.The motion passed without objection.

ChinatownBID Streetscape and Lights

Mr. Docter reported that the top leadership at DDOT has changed, and that after many months of negotiati0on they have agreed with the BID to include theChinatownParkin their plans to develop theMassachusetts Avenuestreetscape.

DDOT Request for Parking Space for MetroAccess vans

Miles Grove reported that DDOT has requested 63’ of curb space atG Streetbetween 5thand6thStreet NWfor parking MetroAccess vans.He pointed out that that neighborhood already has a great deal of space that is unavailable for parking because of historic and office buildings.The requested space is at the Metro building.The building has no handrails at its handicapped entrance at 5thandF Streetand people struggle to get up and down the steps to the building.A place is needed for vans to pull up, and 5thand F would be good place.WMATA claims they need the additional space, but Mr. Grove says he’s never seen more than two vans parked in that space.Ms. Wirt asked whether there has been any discussion of compromise, for example that they’ll take two spaces.Mr. Grove responded that WMATA has not said they would put up rails.Mr. Docter said that a letter should be sent to WMATA outlining the problem and requesting their cooperation.Motion:Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Docter seconded a motion to send a letter to WMATA, to be drafted by Mr. Grove, outlining the problem and suggesting possible solutions.The motion passed without objection.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.