September 7, 2010
Present: Commissioners Brown, Dixon, Docter, Hamilton, Phelps, Richardson, Silver, Wirt
The meeting was called to order at 6:58 p.m.
The Girls in Action Grant discussion was moved up to be directly after the Treasurers Report. Mr. Hamilton asked to be recognized during the Community Comments section of the agenda. Motion:Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to accept the agenda as amended. The motion passed without objection.
Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Ms. Richardson seconded a motion to accept the minutes as presented, with the proviso that they are open for amendment for one week after the meeting. The motion passed without objection.
- Treasurer’s Report
Mr. Richardson asked for approval of the following expenses: $342 to Ms. Wirt for renewal of the Post Office box, and $240 to Roberta Weiner for taking and transcribing the September minutes. Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to approve the expenditures. It passed without objection.
Mr. Richardson presented the Treasurer’s Report for July. The opening balance was $91,810.14, and there was an interest payment of $.84. There was a quarterly payment from the District of $17,372.70. There were disbursements of $142.50 to Roberta, Weiner for minute taking and transcription (check #1179); leaving a balance of $109,041.18.
Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Ms .Phelps seconded a motion to accept the July Treasurer’s Report as presented. The motion passed without objection.
Mr. Richardson presented the Treasurer’s Report for August. The opening balance was $109,041.18, and there was an interest payment of $.91. There were disbursements of $1500 to Southern Baptist Church for a grant (check #1180); and $2000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington for a grant, leaving a balance of $105,542.09.
Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Dixon seconded a motion to accept the August Treasurer’s Report as presented. The motion passed without objection.
- Community Presentations and Announcements
Girls In Action Grant
Ikisha Little of Sursum Corda presented information on Girls In Action. The program, which was founded in July 2009, provides a 1 2 month mentoring program, which includes bi-weekly rap sessions. The money will be used to buy supplies.
Ms. Wirt said she had spoken with the Auditor and the grant is fine, but no money can be used for food or entertainment. Ms. Phelps said that the grant should be increased to the full $3000 listed in the application as the cost of running the program. Mr. Silver said that Ms. Little had been raised in Sursum Corda and it is remarkable that she has stayed in the community and she is to be commended for giving back. Motion: Ma. Phelps moved/Mr. Dixon seconded a motion to approve a grant of $3000 to Girls in Action for operating expenses for its mentoring program. The motion passed without objection.
Larry Evans, logistics coordinator for the 10th Annual AIDs Walk gave a presentation on the event, which will be held on Saturday October 2nad. He said there would be rolling street closures for the Walk, which will begin and end at Freedom Plaza. Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion that ANC support the AIDs Walk on October 2nd. . The motion passed without objection.
Julie Hanson of Best Buddies gave a presentation on the Best Buddies Special Olympics Challenge, in honor of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, which will be a run/walk and bike ride to raise awareness and funds for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. On Saturday, October 23rd. The bike ride portion of the event will be through DC and through the ANC 6C area. There e will be 500-1000 people riding. They will be done in the ANC area by 10:30 am. Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to support the Best Buddies bike ride. The motion passed without objection.
Red Bull Sound Clash
Julie Hanson, also representing the Red Bull Sound Clash, presented information on the event, which will be held on Saturday, October 39th on Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 5th Streets. The streets will be shut off between Friday at 8 pm and Sunday at 4 am. There will be stages tenting, audio equipment, etc. They expect 2500 people. There was no vote.
Mariah Jackson presented information on this year’s Higher Achievement program in Ward 6. They partner with DCPS and the program runs 600 per year with mentoring programs from 3:30 to 8 p.m. They seek volunteer mentors to work from 6-8 p.m., two hours each week. The program uses 450 mentors, they currently need about 100. Mr. Hamilton said that it’s a wonderfully organized program and commended it.
Mr. Hamilton recommended an article in the current Hill Rag on solar energy for its timeliness and relevance.
Ms. Wirt invited ANC candidates that are present to introduce themselves:
Marge Maceda is running against Keith Silver in 6C01. She said she had been president of the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly before moving to K Street a year ago.
Rob Amos is running against Mark Dixon in ANC 6C02. He said he has been working with the Planning and Zoning Committee and the Mr. Vernon Square Neighborhood Association.
Walker-Jones School Garden
Colin Hill, principal of Walker-Jones Elementary School presented information on the school’s new garden on its property at New Jersey Avenue and K Street NW. He said it’s a big property, with a library and rec center as well as the school. They also have a large parking lot and a field that has been converted into a vegetable garden, worked primarily by volunteers. He said they have already been ea ting zucchinis from the garden and will have pumpkins for Halloween. He said it is an important program. Ms. Phelps said that she has been following the gardens and it’s an exiting program. She said it’s impressive to see the garden and all the work that’s gone into it, and she’s pleased that a garden from the Healthy Schools Act, incorporating local chefs and activities is located in this ANC. Mr. Hill said they harvested last week and the school families took home their own vegetables.
- Old Business
Mt. Vernon Triangle Farmer Market
Bill McLeod, executive director of the Mt. Vernon Triangle BID came before the ANC to request, in retroactively, a waiver of the requirement that ANC grantees be 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. The ANC in July gave the BID a grant toward a new Farmer’s Market for the area, but failed to take into account that the BID is not a 501(c)(3). Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to waive the501(c)(3) requirement for the Mt. Vernon Triangle Farmer’s Market grant. The motion passed without objection.
Innovative School of Performing Arts Project
Charles Garris, director of the Innovative School of Performing Arts, requested
$2500 toward a program to take place at Walker-Jones Elementary School that would be comprised of music, dance, video, and nutrition components culminating in a performance, a recording and CDs and DVDs that can be used as a fundraiser for future programs at the school. Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Dixon seconded a motion to approve a grant of $2500 to Innovative School of Performing Arts. The motion passed without objection.
Transportation and Public Space Committee
In the absence of Committee Chair Joe McCann, Roberta Weiner presented the Committee’s report
Hillsdale College – 245 Massachusetts Avenue NE
This is a request for support of a public space permit for the new Hillsdale College restoration of the site at 245 Massachusetts Avenue NE to install a flagpole, benches and two sculpture pedestals on the entrance terrace outside the building. Andy Adams and Aliison Prince, the project’s attorneys, David Bock, the director of the college’s Washington program, and the project architects presented the project.
The flagpole will be 24’ high and be at the building entrance. The benches and pedestal will be located at two landscaped and gravel areas near the sidewalk entrance, 46’ from the curb. The pedestals will hold sculptures, one a full torso, and one a bust. There have been preliminary discussions with the Historic Preservation office, which has given a preliminary okay to the project.
Mr. McCann asked about whether the benches would be a hospitable environment for homeless people and he was told there will be lighting at the base of the trees in the seating area, and there will be a receptionist and many people coming and going to discourage homeless people from sitting there. In answer to a question about who would be represented in the sculptures and Mr. Bock said that the college was founded by abolitionists and so it would likely be someone like Frederick Douglas, or James Madison who also has roots in the college. They said the project would like to be done in November.
Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation that the full ANC support the public space request by Hillsdale College for a flagpole, benches and sculpture pedestals. The motion passed without objection
National Public Radio—1111 North Capitol Street NE
This is request for support of a public space permit for a reduction in the number of curb cuts on Pierce St NE from three to one. There is also one curb cut on L Street NE. They want to eliminate three of the Pierce Street cuts, leaving one for an entrance to the underground parking area. The ct is the furthest off South Capitol Street of the current cuts.
Mr. Dixon asked about the loss of a traffic lane on Pierce Street during construction and he was told that because there is work that has to be done on the exterior of the original historic building, it will be necessary to build a covered pedestrian walkway but they will expedite it as quickly as possible.
In answer to a question about the number of employees and parking spaces, the committee was told that there would be between 700-800 employees, and the minimum required parking spaces. And that about one-third of the people will use Metro, and that 60% are non-auto users—walkers and bikers. There will be a bike storage room with access to the locker room and showers. . They are working on extending the city’s bike lanes to North Capitol Street. They building will be done in 2012, and they will require time to get their “gizmos” working because they will have to move overnight.
Ms. Phelps said she is always delighted when people want to reduce curb cuts. Mr. Dixon again welcomed NPR to the neighborhood and said how exciting it was for his community to have them there.
Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Dixon seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation that the full ANC support NPR’s request for a public space permit to reduce the number of curb cuts on Pierce St. NE from four to one. The motion passed without objection.
Planning Zoning and the Environment Committee
Rob Amos, Committee chair, delivered the following report:
6th and K Street NW
This is a request for a two year extension from the BZA of an application of Mid-Atlantic Realty Partners LLC for various variances they have received to permit the construction of multiple dwelling building with ground floor retail at the southeast corner of the intersection of 6th and K Streets NW (Square 484). Chip Glasgow of Holland and Knight, representing the applicant said that the two-year extension has been requested only for the residential of this project, the office portion having already been granted an extension. He said the extension is being requested because of the unfavorable financial market, and the plans as submitted are not changing.
Ms. Wirt asked who would be responsible for shoveling snow, and was told that the developer is obligated to shovel. Ms. Phelps said she hopes that things change soon. Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation that the ANC support the request for a two-year extension. The motion passed without objection.
Uline Arena – 1130-1150 3rd Street NE
This is a request for a two-year time extension from the BZA of the validity of the Decision Order for Application of Jemal’s Uline LLC for various variances and special exceptions to permit the expansion and renovation of the Uline arena and ice house. Chi-p Glasgow, also representing this Applicant, said that the extension is required because the unfavorable financial markets. At the Committee meeting, Tony Goodman brought to MR. Glasgow’s attention that there is a gaping hole in the side of the building, and there were people parking along M Street, parking in the public space. Mr. Glasgow reported that Jemal was going to close the hole and the parking lot staff would see to the parking. Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Docter seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation that the ANC support the request for a two year extension with the caveat the\at the applicant report to the full ANC what actions are being taken regarding the two issues of the large hole and parking in the public space (which he did). The motion passed without objection.
22 3rd Street NE
This is a request for support for a Historic Preservation Review Board application for a third floor addition and removal of an existing garage at 22 3rd Street NE. The applicant wishes to remove an existing garage on the property and ad a third story on the house to provide an additional bedroom space and a new bathroom. The lot coverage is currently non-conforming, but the removal of the garage will bring it down 59.5%. The third-story addition has been moved from the front of the building to the rear to accommodate the symmetry of the block. The applicant provided a letter of support from the neighbor at 20 3rd Street, and the neighbor at 24 3rd Street has been out of town. Motion: Mr. Hamilton moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation that the ANC support the request for a third floor addition and removal of the existing garage as presented, provided that the applicant provides a letter of support from the neighbor resident at 24 3rd Street NE. The motion passed without objection.
Primal Fitness Center – 219 M Street NW
This is the BZA reapplication for a variance from the use provisions to operate a fitness center in the R-4 District at 219 M Street NW. At the committee it was requested that the applicant, represented by Ray Valentine, the owner of the property and Jesse Woody, the manager, discuss what had changed sine the July 2010 ANC meeting. It was reported that the last inspection of the two outstanding items was done and the work passed inspection; it now just a matter of getting DC to complete the paperwork to issue the Certificate of Occupancy (CofO). Plastering and painting work at the neighboring property (B&W) Market) had been completed and paid. Applicant was requested to bring a copy of the paid notice to the full ANC meeting. Issues with vehicles parking in public space in front of the building have been addressed. Except for running through the neighborhood, all other outside activities have ceased. Primal Fitness will not use public spaced for training and proper permits or permission letters have been obtained. Mr. Woody also stated he is providing repeated reminders to his runners to be “good neighbors.” He also stated they have started transitioning to rubber weights that are quieter but function like metal weights. The transition will take several months.
Mr. Valentine applied for a C of O, and said it was denied, two months ago because of “politics”—“Mr. Valentine, you’re not getting a C of O.” Mr. Woody said that no-one comes to complain. He said there’s no C of O because it was a firehouse, and we had to get plans, so we had to get drawings. He said they should let the BZA do there thing. Ms. Phelps said that one is the C of O, the other is the R-4 zone. A fitness center is not flowered in an R 4 zone, and that is why he’s applying for a variance. She said they won’t give a C of O until the BZA hearing on September 28th, and then it will be several weeks or a couple of months until you hear anything.
Ms. Keyes, the owner of the B&M Market said she has been coming to meeting for three years, and they are still operating without a license, and the license has still not been applied for. She said they take over the neighborhood, running through the streets, and that is not acceptable in a residential neighborhood. If the club had been in Georgetown, it would have been closed. Mr. Silver said that doing business without a license is despicable. Mr. Amos said that he and Ms. Wirt had talked with DCRA and they are unable to shut the gym down.
Eugene Copeland said he has lived there for 25 years and he lives one and a half blocks away, and has been filing complaints. He said they use Dunbar property to make films and do dangerous exercises. They are using the park and damaging it, and it is public property. Groups of 10 to 16 people are running through the neighborhood. He said he was tired of the disruption and that the reason they were running through the streets is that there are no treadmills at the gym. Carrie Baxter spoke and said her building is going to collapse from the pounding weights. The neighborhood is old, she said, and the gym is disrespectful of others.
Ms. Wirt said that the neighbors should make a list of their concerns for the BZA: dropping weights, parking, etc. Ms. Phelps asked whether this is an appropriate use for an R-4 zone. Some of those streets are clearly residential. Mr. Docter said he is concerned that there are gyms in the neighborhood and there are no problems with them. There are places like Results, but not like Primal Fitness. .
Mr. Coburn said that New York Avenue is a peculiar street, with some residential properties there. The previous occupant was a Brazilian dance studio. It’s a peculiar mix, but they are disruptive and doing things outside the building. Mr. Dixon reiterated that they should write everything down. Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Dixon seconded a motion to oppose the use variance Primal Fitness is requesting, listing the reasons. The motion failed 4-4, with Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Docter, Ms. Phelps and Mr. Richardson in op0position.
Mr. Amos noted that the last time the issue was at BZA, it was noted that the ANC had no comment. Ms. Phelps said that it’s hard to separate the use variance issue from the other problems. Mr. Richardson added that he’s all for businesses opening, but they should be properly permitted. Mr. Amos said the\at if the ANC gives them specific questions BZA will take them into account, but if the ANC says nothing it will not be doing anything until the zoning order comes down. Mr. Dixon said that he had been promises by Mr. Valentine, but the ANC hasn’t gotten anything. There’s no way the ANC can approve the variance without a license. Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to support the Committee’s recommendation to support the applicant’s request for a use Variance to operate a fitness center in an R-4 district, but with the caveats that the gym’s vibrations have caused building damage. The motion passed 5-3, with Mr. Silver, Mr. Dixon and Ms. Wirt in opposition. .
Comprehensive Zoning Regulations Rewrite
These are proposed text changes that reflect changes in the new use category system and the consolidation of height regulations throughout the coder into a single height section.
The discussion in the committee centered on the consolidated height requirements. In general the Committee agreed with the approach to consolidate height zoning regulations. Primarily the discussion was about §402.4 which described how a height should be measured should the curb grade have been artificially changed by a bridge, viaduct, tunnel, etc. The Committee agreed that paragraphs 402.4(a) and 402.4(b) were suitable measuring points. Paragraph 4-02.4(d) was also suitable since it required a change t o the Zoning Regulations to allow a specific elevation or measurement point and that such a change would have proper public review process. However, paragraph 402.4(c) seemed to be an arbitrary means of setting an elevation and could change from one Zoning Administrator to the next without public comment or consideration. There were also editing issues noted in §402.2, which specifies §403.1 when it should specify §406.1. Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation that the ANC support the text changes proposed in Zoning Case 08-06 with these recommended changes: 1/ strike paragraph 402.4(c) and 2/correct §406.2 to specify §406.1 instead of §403.1. The motion passed without objection
The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
National Public Radio
September 16, 2010
Present: Commissioners Wirt, Phelps, Docter, Hamilton, Silver, Brown
The meeting was called to discuss expenditure for H Street Main Street for tables and chairs for the H Street Festival of September 18tbh.
The meeting was called to order at 6:10 p.m.
Anwar Saleem, representing H Street Main Street said that he thought that the money could be better spent on safety barriers and port-a-potties.
Ms. Phelps said it’s unusual but the ANC rarely acts proactively to spend money. It’s last minute, but because it’s for the festival it’s possible to do it. Ms. Wirt added that the ANC is here to serve the people of our community. Ms. Phelps said that the money can’t be used to buy food. Ms. Brown said that she supports as long the money can be justified with receipts for his expenses. Ms. Phelps said that subsidizing money for private business is a little discomfiting, but for public safety and sanitation it’s okay. She said that a check could not be written directly to H Street Main Street.
Motion: Mr. Silver moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to provide$3000 to pay for public safety and sanitation purposes at the H Street Festival on September 16th. The motion passed without objection.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:35