May 2010

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May 12, 2010

Heritage Foundation 


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

Absent: Commissioners Brown, Dixon, Silver

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m.

  1. Agenda

Ms. Phelps asked that 216 Morgan Avenue NW be added to the Planning, Zoning and Environment Committee agenda.  Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to accept the agenda as amended.  The motion passed without objection.

  1.  Minutes

Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to accept the minutes as presented. The motion passed without objection.

  1.  Treasurer’s Report

Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to accept the Quarterly Report for the 2nd Quarter of FY 10.  Mr. Richardson said he would make it available for final review.  The motion passed without objection.

Mr. Richardson presented the Treasurer’s Report.  The opening balance was $92,949.83, and there was an interest payment of $.76, and a refund of a $5 service charge, leaving a balance of $92,955.59. There was a disbursement of $135 to Roberta, Weiner for minute taking and transcription (check #1174), leaving a balance of $92,820.59.

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

Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to approve the following disbursements: $230 for business cards for Commissioners Brown and Docter and Education Committee chair Tanetta Isler; $240 for Roberta Weiner, for taking and transcribing minutes for ANC 6C and its Transportation and Public Space Committee; and $162 for an annual payment to DC Access for web services. There is also a request to purchase business cards for committee chairs Rob Amos and Joe McCann. The motion passed without objection.

  1.  Community Presentations and Announcements

National Building Museum Festival of Building Arts

Ellen Jackmain, of the National Building Museum, asked for support of the Annual Festival of the Building Arts at the Museum, which will be held on October 9th and will require the closing of F Street NW between 4th and 5th Streets.  The closed street will be used for demonstrations of builders and craftspeople.  Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to send a letter to the Emergency Management Task Force in support of the street closing for the Building Museum Festival of the Building Arts on October 9th.  The motion passed without objection

National Triathalon – June 20

Ira Brody of the National Triathalon requested support for the closing of Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 6th Street NW for a portion of the National Marathon on June 20th.  Mr. Docter raised questions about the traffic on 3rd and 6th Street which are major north-south access points and was told that the closing is from the west side of 3rd Street to the east side of 6th Street so that traffic will not be impeded.  Mr. Brody said that the route chosen will cause the least disruption.  Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to send a letter of support of the National Marathon on June 20th to the Emergency Management Task Force.  The motion passed without objection.

Jobs with Justice

Stephen Courtien, of the DC Jobs with Justice Coalition, presented information on the DC Resident Employment Stimulus Bill now pending before the City Council.  A hearing will be held on June 30th.  The bill provides that construction projects receiving more than $200,000 in District funds meet certain hiring, training, and apprenticeship requirements.  The bill also requires that a Project Labor Agreement and a Labor Peace Agreement be signed by the developer.

He said that there is little or no enforcement currently of First Source agreements and the bill mandates enforcement.  It requires that contractors have to submit regular reports to DOES on who has the jobs.  He said that the employment offset will increase the District tax base.  Ms. Phelps said that DOES says that there’s no pool of qualified applicants.   Mr. Courtien responded that there’s no pool because there’s no training.  Mr. Richardson said the bill is a great idea.  Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to send a letter of support for the District Resident Employment and Trade Stimulus Agreement Act (Bill 18-650) to the City Council.

Ms. Phelps said that the letter should specifically refer to the fact that the unemployment rate is higher in the District than in Maryland and Virginia.  Mr. Docter said that there are questions about enforcement, and that he is disappointed that he can’t get to the core of the problem which is seeing that the law is enforced. Mr. Courtien agreed, saying that DC has great laws but no enforcement.  Mr. Docter said that language should be added to the letter specifying that stronger enforcement is needed.  The motion passed without objection.

  1. Old Business

Grants Committee

Report of Grants Committee

The ANC, at a meeting held on May 1st, developed new guidelines and procedures for the allocation of grants funds:

ANC 6C Meeting To Discuss Grants, May 1, 2010

Mt. Airy Baptist Church, 1100 North Capitol Street N.W., 12:00 noon

Commissioners present: Lena Brown, Mark Dixon, Charley Docter, Anne Phelps, Ryan Velasco, and

Karen Wirt, The following items were discussed:

  1. 1. The grants guidelines will be amended to read “the suggested maximum of each grant shall be


  1. 2. A Grants Committee will be formed from recommendations of members from each

commissioner so that citizens of the community shall have a chance to participate in grant


  1. 3. The ANC 6C Commission will consider the distribution of a flyer to recruit members of the

Grants Committee to be posted on community and church bulletin boards as well as an ad in

local newspapers. ( A similar outreach effort will be considered for members of the Youth and

Education Committee.)

  1. 4. Commissioner Lena Brown will have oversight over this committee and responsibility for

ensuring the Grants Committee complies with the ANC 6C grants guidelines.

  1. 5. At the fírst meeting of the Grants Committee, the group will select a citizen committee chair,

who will work with Commissioner Brown, and she will guide this committee in the procedures

ANC 6C has established governing the awarding of grants.

  1. 6. A regular day of the month will be selected for meetings of this committee, and that day will be

coordinated with the grant guidelines, which indicate that grant applications are to be

submitted for consideration two weeks before the full-Commission 6C monthly meeting. The

day of the Grant Committee meetings will be posted on the ANC 6C Web site.

  1. 7. The two-week submission requirement for new grant applications to be submitted to the ANC

mailbox is to allow sufficient time for the Grants Committee and the commissioners to review ,

as well as for questions to be submitted to the D.C. Auditor. At the regularly scheduled monthly

full-Commission meeting, provided the above-mentioned reviews and the required grant

paperwork are complete, the grant will be considered and voted upon .

  1. 8. The grants committee, working with the commissioners, will explore proactive efforts such as

ANC- initiated projects, e.g., neighborhood cleanups or beautification of call-boxes by local

artists to enhance the visibility of historical/cultural artifacts in the ANC 6C community.

Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to accept the guidelines for grants that were adopted at the meeting of the Commission on May 1st.  The motion passed without objection.

Capitol Hill Garden Club

Ms. Wirt reported that the Capitol Hill Garden Club has to extend their grant until the end of June because of the ordering and billing deadlines involved in ordering the bulbs.  Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to extend the deadline for the submission of its paperwork to the Capitol Hill Garden Club for its grant.  The motion passed without objection.

Education Committee

Tanetta Isler introduced Suzanne Wells, of the Capitol Hill Public School Parent Organization, which is comprised of PTA representatives from several Capitol Hill schools.  They worked on the School Libraries Project with the Capitol Hill Community Foundation and are now working on a middle school initiative.  There are two middle schools on the Hill—Stuart Hobson, which is small, and Eliot/Hine, which currently has about 200 students but has the capacity for 830.  In 2009, Councilmember Wells has said that middle schools are a priority of his, and the group has had five meetings and reached a consensus on how the middle schools on the Hill should be shaped.

They recommend a three-tier model: one large school: Eliot Hine; one medium size school: Stuart Hobson; and several small schools.  They met with Michelle Rhee, who has been responsive, who is accepting of their program, and they are in on-going discussions with DCPS.  Mr. Docter asked about schools in Northwest, and Ms. Phelps mentioned Walker-Jones.  Mr. Hamilton complimented Ms. Wells on the “terrific” Libraries Project.

Transportation and Public Space Committee

77 K Street NE – Phillip’s Café

Chris Flak, an agent for the manager of Phillip’s Café at 77 K Street NE, would like support for a public space permit for four outdoor tables set in between tree boxes on the K Street side of the building.  The establishment is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.  The hearing is scheduled for May 27TH.  They have trash cans and staff to clean up the tables.  Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s unanimous recommendation to support the public space application for four tables on the K Street side of 77 K Street NE. The motion passed without objection.

Senior Wellness Center – 5th and K Street NE

The long-awaited Wellness Center will be completed by October or November 2010, and this is a public space request for the construction of one piece of  tot playground equipment on the south side (K Street) of the building to provide a multi-generational atmosphere at the building.  Commissioner Phelps introduced the project manager, who said he’s the third manager on the project and he discovered that Public Space had never reviewed the plans.  The property line is right against the building, and a permit is needed to place the piece of playground equipment in public space.  Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/ Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to support a public space permit for the construction of a piece of playground equpment at the new Senior Wellness Center and 5th and K Streets NE.

Planning Zoning and the Environment Committee

514 3rd Street NE

This is a request for support for a Historic Preservation request to add a front basement entrance to a two-unit structure at 514 3rd Street NE.  The building is part of an affordable housing initiative by DHCD, which is doing the development work.  The property will be purchased by people out of a pool of possible candidates.

Some properties on the block already have basement entrances, so this will not be unique.  Motion: Mr. Velasco moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to support the application at Historic Preservation for the construction of a basement at 514 3rd Street NE.  The motion passed without objection.

1211 4th Street NW

This is a request for support for a BZA variance to allow a new two-family flat without providing parking spaces.  This, with its sister building at 1213 4th Street NW, was supported by the ANC when it submitted a Historic Preservation application in March 2009.

According to Committee Chair Rob Amos, the property is “landlocked”, with no place for off street parking, and there appears to be no problem with parking in the neighborhood.  Mr. Doctor said that one has to be very careful about giving up parking because people are moving into that neighborhood.  Perhaps the ANC should thing about recommending a change in HPRB regulations to allow more parking in the neighborhood.  Motion: Mr. Phelps moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to support the BZA application for a variance for no off-street parking for 1211 4th Street NW.  The motion passed 5-0-1 with Mr. Docter abstaining.

216 Morgan Street NW

Ms. Phelps reported that a house at 216 Morgan Street NW has collapsed because of faulty underpinning when the building was being built out.  She said that DCRA is going to raze the building and she is asking that the ANC ask DCRA to save the facades of 216 and the building next door.  The raze was scheduled for May 16th.  There is no precedent for DCRA to pay for preservation, but if the owner pays $150, they can save the façade.  Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to urge DCRA to save the facades of both 216 and 218 Morgan Street.  The motion passed 4-1-1, with Mr. Hamilton in opposition, and Mr. Docter abstaining.

Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee

Museum of Science and Art – 915 F Street NW

This is a new establishment featuring art, music, beverages and food, three dance floors.  The hours would to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and to 2 a.m. weekdays.  The petition date is May 17thand a hearing scheduled for June 1st.

Stephen O’Brien, Peter Andrules III, who owns the building, Misha Kapourchali, the project manager,  and Joshua Craig, the general manager,  representing the club, were questioned by Ms. Phelps about the proposed establishment, which is located as the former site of Platinum.  She said she was concerned that there was not an actual business plan, floor plan or security plan.  She said the residents in the neighborhood are very concerned.  She said the application may be premature and said she was asking the ANC to protest the license.  Mr. Docter added that the ANC should hear witnesses.  He said the establishment is in ANC 2C, and that 6C has been involved with the club before when 2C has done nothing—this time, he said, they’re filing a protest.

The applicant said the wants to bring something new to DC, historic inside as well as outside, giving people an opportunity to view art.  He said he wants to attract a higher caliber of crowd.  He plans to do corporate events and attract embassy people.

Mr. Velasco said that the issue is the lack of a business model.  Ms. Phelps asked whether there is a design plan, and said that it is the first time in her experience there has been a request for a multi-purpose license and asked what it would look like.  She said these questions were asked at the committee meeting a week ago, and they asked for information and it has not been sent electronically.

Candace Haynes, a resident, said that it sounds like a club that will be used for parties.  She said they presentation was vague, and sounds like a reckless decision.  David Bernstein, who lives at the Ventura at 912 F Street, said he had multiple concerns, and there is nothing that specifies how it’s different than Platinum.  He said that essentially it’s an illusion, and he’s heard that there’s a large loan involved in the ownership.  He said he can only assume it’ll be like Platinum.  A member of the community working on the protest said that 46 residents have signed on.  He said that with Platinum there was noise, people being beaten up, blood on the sidewalk, parking problems and raucous behaviors.  Joanne Neuhaus, of 912 F Street said that as a senior she’s been around for a long time, and says she doesn’t have enough information, and nothing has come.  She said that if it’s a club, the community needs to know what they’re doing—they could be serving drinks at 8 a.m.if that’s when they’re planning to open.  Kevin Wilsey of the Downtown Neighborhood Association reiterated that there’s no good business plan, and said that other places have been closed down because there was no good plan. The Downtown Neighborhood Association, he said, hasn’t received any information either.

Ms. Phelps said that the community’s comments provide context for everyone’s concern. Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to protest the license application of Museumof Science and Arts.  Mr. Docter will be authorized to represent the ANC in this matter.  Ms. Phelps said that detailed information is needed to file a protest, and she encourages them to work with Mr. Docter to resolve all these outstanding issues.  Mr. Docter urged them to contact him.  The motion passed without objection.

Armand’s Chicago Pizzeria – 225 Massachusetts Ave. NE

This is a license renewal for Armand’s Chicago Pizzeria.  The petition date was May 24th. Camie Park represented the establishment.  Ms. Wirt said she has been monitoring the site since 2008, and especially in the spring and fall, there are always many tour buses parked outside the store, illegally idling and parked.  She said she has spoken with Ms. Park and spoken to DDOT, and has not gotten any results.  Ms. Park said she had sent a message to the bus companies but they do whatever they want.  Mr. Hamilton said that it’s not fair to hold Armand’s responsible for the conduct of the bus companies,  Mr. Amos said that bars and restaurants should be held responsible, as well as their patrons.  Mr. Richardson said that the presence of the buses makes parking a problem.  Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to protest the license of Armand’s and work with Ms. Park to resolve the issue.  The motion passed 4-1 with Mr. Hamilton in opposition.

Buddha Bar – 457 Massachusetts Ave. NW

This is a request for support for an entertainment endorsement for Buddha Bar, 457 Massachusetts Ave. NW.  Candace Fitch, an attorney for the establishment, was present.

Ms. Phelps said that 13 months ago Buddha Bar went through the licensing process with no request for an entertainment endorsement. At the beginning of May, the establishment had a soft opening.  ABRA came, and from their point of view, Buddha Bar’s DJ boot was elaborate enough to require an entertainment endorsement.

Mr. Docter said that from what he’s heard from the neighborhood, it would not be fair to speed through the application.  Ms. Fitch said that the DJ doesn‘t talk with the customers, and doesn’t mix music.  Despite that, ABRA said it was more than passive music and the VA has to be amended to add the endorsement.  Mr. Docter said the neighbors are concerned about the music, as it’s supposed to be a restaurant not a bar.  He said that it should be put aside for 30 days so the neighbors have a chance to comment.

Ms. Phelps said that what needs to be done is that the DJ language on the VA has to be amended so that the entertainment endorsement can then be requested. Then they will return to the ANC to discuss the entertainment endorsement. Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to amend the voluntary agreement to say they operate without entertainment, so that they can then file for an entertainment endorsement.  The motion passed 5:1:0, with Mr. Docter opposed.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:25 p.m.