March 2009

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ANC 6C

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Heritage Foundation

Minutes

Present:  Commissioners Docter, Hamilton, Phelps, Richardson, Wirt.

Absent: Commissioners Brown, Dixon, Silver, Velasco

The meeting was convened at 7:02 pm

  1. Approval of Agenda

Motion:  Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Docter seconded a motion to accept the agenda as presented.  The motion was passed without objection.

  1. Approval of Minutes

Motion:  Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to approve the agenda as presented, pending any changes presented within a week.  The motion was accepted without objection.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer’s Report

Mr. Richardson gave the Treasurer’s Report for January and February.

January

The opening balance of the checking account was $87,123.88.  Checks were written to Roberta Weiner for $442 for taking and transcribing minutes (Check #1134), and there was a debit on the checking account for $40 for photo copying of checks, leaving a balance of $86,641.38

February

The opening balance of the checking account was $86.641/38, and there was a reimbursement from the Bank of America for check photocopies of $24, leaving an opening balance of &86,668.60.  Checks were  written to Healthy Living  for $1500 for a grant (Check #1135); to the ANC Security Fund for $25 ;(Check #1136); to Ludlow Taylor PTA for $1,000 for a grant (Check #1137); to PAIRNIK for $65 for web hosting (Check #1138); to Capitol Community News for $261 for advertising (Check #1139); to Roberta Weiner for $472 for taking and transcribing minutes (Check #1140); to Karen Wirt for $120 for reimbursement of post office box fees (Check #1141).  There was also a bank service charge of $5.  The final balance was $83,220.10.

Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to approve the January and February Treasurer’s Reports.  The motion passed without objection.

Allocations

Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion that allocations be approved for $33.83 for office supplies; and $255 for Roberta Weiner for the taking and transcribing of minutes.  The motion passed without objection.

Web Site

Mr. Hamilton said that he wanted to recommend that the ANC switch to DC Access for web hosting and management, because it was reasonable, local and they worked with other ANCs in Ward 6.  DC Access will host the site for $270 a year, with a $50 set-up fee, and they have suggested a way that the fee can be cut to $162.  If Gottlieb Simon’s office can make needed changes, the fees can then be revisited.  They will also provide an hour’s training for $80.  Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to switch the ANC’s web services account to DC Access, and approve hosting expenses of $270, and set-up fees of $50 for a total of $320.  The motion passed without objection.

  1. Community Announcements

Rob Amos

Ms. Wirt announced that Rob Amos, chair of the Planning, Zoning and Environment Committee had received the Hero of the Year Award from the Mt. Vernon Neighborhood Association.

SunTrust Marathon – March 21st

Chris Brown, of the Greater Washington Sports Alliance, outlined the route in ANC 6C for the SunTrust National Marathon.  Motion:  Ms. Wirt moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to support the SunTrust Marathon and to send a letter of support to the Emergency Management Task Force.  The motion passed without objection.

Walk for Lupus – March 29th

Elizabeth Muniot of the Walk for Lupus outlined the route in ANC 6D for the April 15th event.  Motion: Mr. Docter moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to support the race and send a letter of support to the Emergency Management Task Force.  The motion passed without objection.

Colon Cancer Awareness Event – April 18th

Julia Clowes, of the Colon Cancer Awareness Event, presented plans for the 5th Annual 5K race for colon cancer awareness.  Motion: Mr. Docter moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to support the race and send a letter of support to the Emergency Management Task Force.  The motion passed without objection.

Washington Examiner Boycott

Mr. Hamilton said that, perhaps because the issue had been made public, delivery of the Washington Examiner had finally stopped and he was withdrawing his request for a resolution on a boycott.

Change in Meeting Date

Ms. Wirt announced that because of the Passover holiday on Wednesday evening, the next meeting of ANC 6C would be held on Tuesday, April 7th at the Heritage Foundation.

  1. Committee Reports

License Committee

Cedar Restaurant – 822 E Street NW

This is a request for support for a CR license, with a hearing date set for March 30th.  Ms. Phelps said she has been working on a voluntary agreement with the establishment, and will support approving the license if the hours she has been working on are implemented, primarily that their garden close at 11 p.m., and that the indoor hours are that on week nights service is stopped at 1:30 a.m., for a 200 a.m. closing, and that on weekends, service is stopped at 2:30 a.m., with a 3 a.m. closing.  Ms. Phelps said they are willing to sign a voluntary agreement for the outdoor hours, but want to remain competitive with other venues in the neighborhood.  Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Docter seconded a motion to support the voluntary agreement, contingent on the Cedars agreeing to the outdoor hours.  The motion passed without objection.

ANC Policy on Exceptions to the Ward 6 Moratorium on Single Sales

Ms. Phelps said that while the moratorium on sales of single servings containers of beer and malt liquor as half pint bottles of liquor had gone into effect, there was language in the legislation applying to the ability of store owners to apply for exemptions from the ban.  She said that the ANC did not write or pass the law, and it was up to the ANC to respond on a case by case basis to the law, with the right to negotiate voluntary agreements with vendors applying to the law.

H Street Liquors – 303 H Street NE

Ms. Phelps reported that H Street Liquors had applied for an exemption from the single sales moratorium, but there had been 15 letters of opposition to the request because of the existing pattern of behavior of the store’s customers, with loitering, public urination and trash.  Because of the opposition, H Street Liquors was withdrawing their request.

Schneider’s Liquors – 300 Massachusetts Avenue NE

Schneider’s Liquors, at 300 Massachusetts Avenue NE is seeking an exemption from the single sales moratorium.  Ms. Phelps reported that there were more than 140 letters of support for the exemption, including more than a dozen immediate neighbors of the store.  She said that it is store that does not contribute to the problem with single sales, and is the kind of store that the exemption language was written for.  She said she had negotiated a voluntary agreement that includes the exemption, with language saying that the ANC would revisit the exemption in a year to see how it was working.  Motion:  Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to support Schneider’s request for an exemption to the single sales moratorium with a voluntary agreement that is effect for one year after which it will be revisited.  The motion passed 4-0-1, with Mr. Richardson abstaining.

Single Sales of Half Pints of Alcoholic Beverages

Ms. Phelps reported that ABRA was holding a fact-finding hearing on the possibility of selling multiple half pint bottles of alcoholic beverages, because the law doesn’t actually prohibit multiple sales.  Councilmembers Wells and Evans have written to Acting ABRA Director Fred Moosally opposing any relaxing of the moratorium.  Motion; Ms. Phelps moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion that the ANC send a letter to ABC board chair Peter Feather supporting the half pint ban without any exceptions.  The motion passed without objection.

Transportation Committee

Ms. Phelps introduced Joe McCann, one of the new co-chairs of the Transportation Committee.  Jon Kelley is the other co-chair.

7th Street Transportation Audit

Mr. McCann said that the Committee wants to request that that the ANC request from DDOT a transportation audit for 7th Street NE, between C and D Streets.  He pointed out that this is separate from the work that is being done to alleviate the problems on 7th Street at Maryland Avenue.  This is a separate, more limited audit for the area outside the library that has to be addressed in a more expeditious manner than the long term planning for Maryland Avenue.  Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to support the committee’s recommendation for a request from DDOT for a transportation audit for 7thStreet NE between C and D Streets NE, and that a letter be sent to DDOT with the request.  The motion passed without objection.

460 L Street NW – Parking Sign for City Vista

This a request for support of a public space permit for a parking sign for City Vista at 460 L Street NW.  The Transportation Committee has approved the sign and recommends that the ANC support the public space request.  Motion:  Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Docter seconded a motion to support the committee’s recommendation to support a public space permit request for a parking sign at 460 L Street NW.  The motion passed without objection.

Youth and Education Committee

New Community Child Development Center – 72

8 F Street NE

Mr. Hamilton reported on the history of this project: Last year, the ANC voted to oppose requested variances for the Center, primarily because they were requesting construction of a teen center, and an addition to the building, both of which were strongly opposed by the community.  At a BZA meeting in July, requests for the addition and the teen center were withdrawn, and the hearing was postponed.  Recently the Community Child Development Center (CDC) was relicensed by DCHOH.  Mr. Hamilton was requested by the owner, Donald Madden, and the head of the CDC, Rev. Lane to host a community meeting prior to the BZA hearing, which was scheduled for March 17th.  The meeting was scheduled for March 12th, which is a short time line.  Mr. Hamilton has offered to take the concerns of the community to the BZA.  Motion: Mr. Hamilton moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion for the ANC to request a delay from BZA in hearing the case of the Community Child Development Center so that the ANC can reconsider the case. The motion passed without objection.

Higher Achievement Program (HAP)

Mr. Hamilton introduced Jessica Thomas, Ward 6 Community Outreach Coordinator for the Higher Achievement Program, who had presented at the Youth and Education Committee meeting in February.  He said that HAP is looking for study hall aides, who volunteer for an hour or more each week from 3:30 to 6 p.m.  HAP is also looking for teachers for the 2009-2010 school year.  Their web site is higherachievement.org.

Juvenile Crime Task Force

+Mr. Hamilton announced that Councilmember Wells’ Juvenile Crime Task Force had issued its recommendations and that public meetings were being held throughout the Ward to share the findings with the community.  He urged people to attend the meetings, including one at Sherwood Rec Center.  Councilmember Wells will introduce legislation in April reflecting the recommendations.

Planning, Zoning and Environment Committee

H Street History Project

Drury Tallent, of the Stanton Park Neighborhood Association reported on a survey of historic structures on H Street that is being undertaken.  The goal is to document the structures by age, architecture and architect.  It is separate from the survey being undertaken on the north side of Capitol Hill.  The project is being funded by H Street Main Street ($5,000), Abdo Development ($10,000), and ANC 6A ($4,000).  After the survey is complete there will be an outreach and marketing effort, and at that time they may ask ANC 6D for funds.  In answer to a question, Mr. Tallent said that more than 50% of the H Street buildings are old.  One result of the survey will be the ability to add language to the H Street Zoning Overlay that clarifies the rules for lot consolidation.

1213 4th Street NW

This is a request for support for a Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) application for a concept design for a three story residential building at 1213 4th Street NW.  Abbas Fathi, the developer of the site said that the building will be consistent with other buildings on the street.  Questions were raised about the building’s lack of a cornice, and the width of windows, and the ANC was told that the original drawings had contained a cornice and wider windows but that HPRB had recommended that the cornice be removed.  It was suggested that Mr. Fathi return to the ANC with the original drawings.  Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to accept the recommendation of the Committee and send a letter to HPRB in support of the concept design of the residential building at 1213 4th Street NW.  The motion passed without objection.

Resolution on Downtown Residential Development

Mr. Docter presented a resolution to encourage residential development downtown over the next four years by providing limited partial ten-year tax abatement to developers to encourage the construction of more apartment units.  Motion: Mr. Docter moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation to send a copy of the resolution to Mayor Fenty, all DC Councilmembers and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton.  The motion also authorizes Mr. Docter to represent the ANC is this matter.  The resolution passed without objection.

645 Maryland Avenue NE

This is a request for support of a BZA application for a variance from the alley width requirements to allow a single family dwelling in an R-4 district.  Mark Merlino, the property owner, reported that he is living in the property, which is two lots, including a carriage house.  The Committee debated whether to support the application because, while there are no objections to the application, or two Mr. Merlino occupying the property, the permitting process, which allowed Mr. Merlino and his family occupy the premises without going through the process for a variance in advance.  Mr. Hamilton, in whose SMD the property is located, said that if the ANC votes to support the project it is essentially approving the process as well as the variance, and that the ANC will look kind of foolish if it votes to disapprove the request.  Motion:  Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to support the Committee’s recommendation to support the request for the variance, but in its letter the BZA to express the ANC’s reservations and concerns about the process through which the property was permitted.

317 Constitution Avenue NE

This is an appeal by David Brown of a BZA permit that allows the building at 317 Constitution Avenue NE, owned by Ken Golding of Stanton Development, to be used as a public parking garage in the Capitol Hill R-4 District.  Mr. Brown said, in essence, that the permit had been granted illegally because the building is the primary building on the property, occupying 94% of its lot, and garages, in an R-4 district are only allowed as accessory structures.  There is also a 7’5” fence around the property, which is violation of the regulation that permits fences only to the height of 7’.  Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation to support the BZA appeal by David Brown for 317 Maryland Avenue NE on the grounds that the building is the primary structure on the property, not an accessory structure, and should not be used as a garage.  The motion passed without objection.

1179 3rd Street NE – Oasis Liquors

This is an appeal to the BZA seeking reversal of a revocation of a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for the store at 1179 3rd Street NE.

Ms. Phelps reported that in 1986 the area surrounding the property was rezoned to R-4 and Mr. Joseph Park, the property’s owner, was granted a permit for a non-conforming use.  However, the store has been closed for more than three years, and the C of O, including the zoning exception, was revoked.  Mr. Park said that the store has been owned by his family since 1986, in a commercial building constructed in 1906.  He said the property has not been abandoned, and was opened one or two days a week.  He said his license was maintained in safekeeping, and he has paid his taxes on the property.  He said he had advertised the building for sale, and has finally found a potential lessee and applied for a new certificate of occupancy.  However, the Zoning Administrator says the C of O was given in error.  He said the three other corners of the street are zoned as commercial.  He said that neighborhood people like the store and presented petitions with over 100 signatures.

Mr. Gell, his lawyer, said that there is enough evidence to show that he did not abandon the property, and that there are neighborhood people who can attest they have bought things at the store.  Ms. Phelps said Mr. Park hasn’t shown any evidence he was open and if he was open a few days a week, it would have been in violation of several regulatory agency laws because he had no business license, no water, and no active liquor license.  The argument that the license is in safekeeping doesn’t matter –that could be to transfer it only.  The issue is whether the C of O was properly revoked and all evidence indicates yes.  She said that if the reversal is not granted, Mr. Park can begin the process again by applying for a new special use exception.

Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to support the Committee’s recommendation to support the revocation of the C of O for Oasis at 1179 3rd Street NE.  The motion also authorizes Ms. Phelps and Mr. Amos to represent the ANC in this matter.  The motion passed without objection.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 pm.