February 2011

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Heritage Foundation 
February 9, 2011


Present:  Commissioners Crews, Hamilton, Phelps, Richardson, Wilsey, and Wirt

Absent:  Commissioners Dixon and Silver

The meeting was called to order at 7:02 p.m.

  1. Agenda

There were two additions to Community Announcements: remarks by Kenry Hughes of Councilmember Seko9u Biddle’s staff; and an announcement of a meeting on Walmart.  The agenda was approved as amended without objection.

  1. Minutes

Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to accept the January minutes as presented, with the proviso that they are open for amendment for one week.  The motion was adopted without objection.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer’s Report

Mr. Richardson presented the Treasurer’s Report for January 2011.  The opening balance was $95,862.43, and there was an interest payment of $.81. There was a disbursement of $65 to Karen Wirt for reimbursement for the purchase of business cards, leaving a balance of $95,798.24. Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to accept the January 2011 Treasurer’s Report as presented. The motion passed without objection.

Motion: Ms Wirt moved to allocate funds for the reimbursement of Karen Wirt for business cards for Mr. Silver, Mr. Wilsey and Mr. Richardson for $260. The motion passed without objection.  Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Crews seconded a motion to approve a payment of $360 to Roberta Weiner for the transcription of minutes.  The motion passed without objection. Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to allocate $125 as a payment to the US Postal Service for the bi-annual cost of a postal box.  The motion passed without objection.

Quarterly Report

Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to approve the Quarterly Report for the first quarter of FY11, with the proviso that it would open for amendments pending review by members of the ANC.  The motion passed without objection.

  1. Community and Commissioner Announcements

Race for Hope, May 1

Danielle Rosensweig, of the Brain Tumor Society, presented the details of the Race for Hope, a 5 K race on Sunday, May 1st, beginning and ending Freedom Plaza, with a course along Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues.  Mr. Wilsey, in whose SMD the race will take place, has no problem with the race.  Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/r Hamilton seconded a motion to send a letter of support to the Emergency Management Task Force in support of the Race for Hope on May 1.  The motion passed without objection.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade – March 13

Lesley Green presented the details of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which will take place on March 13.  Mr. Wilsey said he very much supports the race, and complimented the organizers for being very well organized. Motion: Mr. Wilsey moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to send a letter to the Emergency Management Task Force in support of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 13th.  The motion passed without objection.

Renaming the New York Avenue Metro stop

Jamie Bratt of the NoMa BID returned to the ANC to ask for a letter of support for the BID’s application to WMATA to change the name of the New York Avenue Metro stop to NoMa/Gallaudet University.  Since her previous appearance at the ANC in December the idea has been endorsed to Councilmember Wells, Congresswoman Norton and the Capitol Hill North Association.  Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to support the change in the name of the Metro station. The motion passed without objection.  Ms. Phelps asked Ms. Bratt to let Ms, Wirt know to whom the letter should be sent.

Fresh Farm Markets

Juliette Glass, of the Fresh Farm Markets asked for support of the two Fresh Farm Markets that are within the area of ANC 6C.  The market on 8th Street NW in Penn Quarter and is entering its seventh year, on Thursdays; and H Street NE, which will be in its sixth year and has over 7,000 customers each Saturday.  Motion: Mr.; Hamilton moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to support the two Fresh Farm Markets for this year.  The motion passed without objection.

Montessori School Move

Sandra Moscoso-Mills presented information on the move of the Capitol Hill Montessori school from Watkins to the Logan School building.  They are kicking off the move by developing a green space at the school.  The school will begin as pre-school through 5th grade, and DCPS has yet to approve allowing it to go through 8th grade.  Motion Ms. Wirt moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to support the Montessori school and its extension to an 8th grade school.

Ms. Phelps said that her daughter went to the Montessori School and it provided her with a good start.  Mr. Hamilton said that they are working hard to be good neighbors and opening the moving process to the community, and he appreciates their efforts.  The motion passed without objection.

Ms. Moscoso-Mills mentioned that there would be a Yard Sale on March 26, and an auction on April 3rd at the North Hall of Eastern Market to raise money for the school.

Kenry Hughes

Kenry Hughes, the outreach coordinator for new Councilmember-At-Large Sekou Biddle, introduced himself and gave a brief rundown on the Councilmember’s activities and committees.  He can be reached at 724-8174, and at khughes@dccouncil.us.


Mackenzie Baris, who is working with Commissioner Silver on the new Walmart being built at New Jersey Ave. and H Street NW., invited people to attend a community meeting on February 15th at St. Aloysius Church.  Ms. Phelps asked whether Walmart representatives would be present and Ms. Baris said she didn’t know.

  1. Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee

Fiola – 601 Pennsylvania Ave NW


Steve O’Brien, the attorney for the restaurant, presented information on the restaurant which will be operated by noted chef Mario Trabocchi.  It will be a high end restaurant without entertainment on the site of the former Le Paradou.  They are willing to sign a Voluntary Agreement.  Motion: Mr. Wilsey moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to support the VA, and the granting of a license to Fiola.  The motion passed without objection.

TruOrleans – 400 

H Street NE

Mr. O’Brien, also representing the owners of TruOrleans, a New Orleans-themed restaurant opening at 400 H Street, said he had been to the
Zoning Commission and to the ANC, seeking support for the establishment, which will have an open second floor on 4th Street as well as an outdoor café.  He said they are working on architectural steps they can take to mitigate potential noise.  Their ABC hearing is on March 7th, and they are optimistic about having a signed VA before the hearing.  They are working with Mr. Richardson and the only thing that is still outstanding is language on noise.

Roger Hicks, who lives at 819 4th Street NE, said he is mainly concerned about the noise and pointed out the history of other establishments at that location.  He pointed out that the outdoors will be on 4th Street, in a residential neighborhood, not on commercial H Street.  He also expressed concern about the VA being ratified without coming back to the AN C for discussion.  Mary Francis, who is also a neighbor of the establishment, said that she supports the restaurant because it presents more dining options and more employment opportunities.  Mr. Crews asked how she felt about music on the second floor, and he was told there is no music.

Mr. Richardson reiterated that the VA is pretty much done, except for the remaining concern about noise.  Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to protest the license for TruOrleanspending the signing of a voluntary agreement.  Mr. Richardson is authorized to negotiate the final language of the VA.  The motion passed without objection.

Ms. Phelps asked about awnings as a noise suppressant and was told there would be umbrellas in the sidewalk café.

  1. Youth and Education Liaison

Mr. Hamilton reported on a new group. The Capitol Hill Public School Parent Organization (CHPSPO), which has participation from ANC Commissioners as well.  He said that ANC 6D was not represented, but that there was a Commissioner who was interested in joining.  The organization is dealing with all of Ward 6, and while, he said, he’s not in a position to suggest a name change, perhaps it should be considered.

  1. Planning, Zoning and the Environment Committee

Committee Chair Rob Amos reported on two items:

924 5th Street NW

This is a request for support of a Historic Preservation Review Board application for a concept design for a four-story rear addition to an existing three-story building and the demolition of a one-story rear wing.  The hearing was scheduled for February 24th.

The building, which is adjacent to 555 Massachusetts Avenue NW, has been vacant for ten years and was previously a paint store.  It is in the middle of a block that currently only used a means to get from Chinatown to City Vista.  The community is seeking retail uses that would add life to the block.  It is across the street from abandoned buildings (Fun Fair) and Louis’s Rogue.

Mark Brody, the applicant, has been working with HPRB on the plans and has incorporated several of their requests, including removing the cornice to make a flat roof, removing the headers from the side windows, moving the front side windows, using the same materials on the side as on the front, and using one over one windows. Representatives of 555 Massachusetts Ave. are supportive of the project.

Mr. Silver, who was not at the meeting, requested answers to two questions: What will the construction hours be? Mr. Brody responded that they would be standard DC construction hours—7 am to 7 pm. And have you spoken with the neighbors about the type of stores they want? The answer was yes.

Ms. Phelps reminded the Commission about the long discussions that have been held on 5th and I Streets, and said it was exciting to see things starting to happen on that block because street activation is so important to creating a neighborhood.

Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Crews seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation that the ANC support the Applicant’s request for support of its HPRB concept application with these three caveats: 1/all windows be one over one; 2/eliminate or move the front-most window on the side elevation so that it is further sway from the front façade edge; and 3/ use the same materials on rear and side elevations.  The motion passed 6-0-0.

626 Lexington Place NE

This is a request for support of a Historic Preservation Review Board application for the addition of a basement entrance to a row house.  The hearing was scheduled for February 24th.

The applicant (Tim Chamberlin) is requesting approval to replace an existing basement window with a new exterior door.  Other than excavating for the steps, no other changes will be made to the front grade and landscaping of the property.  There are other properties on the block that have basement entrances so this is not a new statement for the block. HPRB has said they are pleased with the applicant’s plans and he is following their guidelines.  The door will provide access to a lower level recreation room and a bedroom.

Mr. Crews raised the issue of the house on Massachusetts Avenue that dealt with a projecting window, and had other problems. Joel Kelty, a committee member, said that this Applicant had made appropriate proposals, and did not dig a hole before coming to the ANC. The concern with that one is that it would be turned into an accessory unit.

Motion: Mr. Hamilton moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation that the full ANC support the Applicant’s request to add the basement entrance provided that the Applicant makes a good faith effort to obtain letters of support from neighboring residences.  The motion passed 6-0-0.

  1. Transportation and Public Space Committee

Committee Chair Joe McCann gave the following report:

Potbelly – 1275 1st Street NE 

This is a request for support of a public space permit for outdoor seating at a Potbelly at 1275 1st Street NE.  The Applicant has worked with the building’s landlord who has been very hands on with the design.

The hours will be Mon.-Fri. 7 am – 7 pm, weekends 11am – 5 pm. (The store is open for breakfast.) There will be no music.  When the store is closed, the furniture will be stacked and chained.  It is difficult to bring it inside.  There will be off-site storage during the winter months.

The site is 441 sq. ft. There will be five four-tops and a couple of two-tops. There will be no patio umbrellas, no trash cans outside, but trash boxes right inside the front door and the outside will be continually bused.  It’s ten feet to the edge of the sidewalk. There will not be any fence around the seating, but there will be planter boxes at either end of the outdoor space.

Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr Richardson seconded a motion to support the Committee’s recommendation that the full ANC approve the request for a letter of support for outdoor seating and send a letter to the Public Space Committee.  The motion passed unanimously.

2 M Street NE

This is a request for support for a Public Space permit for a curb cut and planter boxes for Site 2 of the Northwest One New Communities, a matter-of-right apartment building.  It is being developed by William C. Smith and the Warrenton Group and designed by Eric Colbert Architects.  Matt Ritz and Jeff Smith of William Smith attended the meeting.

This will be a 314-unit residential building with 93 affordable (60% of AMI) apartments.  The building has a warehouse feel, using brick, metal and glass.  It will be a Class A rental building, with many amenities including a fitness room, indoor basketball court, a café space, movie theatre, wi-fi and an interior courtyard.  It will have a 60% green roof with a roof-top pool.  They are applying for LEED Gold certification.  Nine apartments will be duplexes with a town house feel and direct access to M Street.  They also expect to have 4100 sq.ft. of building-based retail (e.g. dry cleaner, coffee shop, convenience store, etc.)

They are asking support for a new cub cut for garage entry and a trash loading dock on Patterson Street NE, which runs parallel to M Street.  They are doing this because of the “town house –like” apartments that will have front yards with trees and lawns on M Street.  There are currently two curb cuts on M Street that will be eliminated.  There is a lot across the street from the project on Patterson Street that is owned by the city as part of NoMa, and is currently black-topped.

While it is a matter-of-right project, the developers have met with the Office of Planning (OP) to discuss the project in relation to the NoMa Plan, and OP suggested they seek support from the ANC. As soon as the construction permits are issued, they will unleash Pepco and their own electrical contractor to take care of a “spaghetti” of old wires at a Pepco vault at the site, and as soon as that is completed, early this summer, they will begin digging for the building.  They expect it will be 24months to delivery of the building.

Mr. McCann asked about benches and lighting, and was told there were no plans for benches at this point, but that it was an interesting idea.  The lighting will track the current lighting, but will be upgraded to NoMa plan standards and be double globes, the existing traffic light will be replaced with a hanging teardrop light on North Capitol St.  In answer to a question, the Committee was told that there will be a bike room in the garage for 115 bikes, as well as a car charging station.  There has also been discussion about outdoor bike racks.  The car parking ratio is .6-.7, which is lower than most buildings.

The streets will remain open during the construction.  They can use the city lot across the street for a staging area, and while there may be closings for several hours or a day necessitated by construction, and while they may have to build scaffolding to make a covered pedestrian walk, there will be no street closings.  They will also have to lower the water table before they begin to build.

Mr. Ritz said they had been to the community, and a twice to the ANC.  He also said they have a blog—2mstreet@blogspot.com  to keep the community informed of developments.

Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to recommend that the ANC support the recommendation of the Committee  to send a letter to the Public Space Committee supporting the construction of a curb cut and planters and the removal of two curb cuts at 2 M Street NE.  The motion passed without objection.

360 H Street ne

This project did not come before the committee, but because of the hearing schedule, it was brought directly to the ANC.

This is a request from Guy Steuart for support of a Public Space permit for curb cuts, landscaping, bike racks and paving at his long-awaited project at 360 H Street NE.  He began by saying the project is “very close” to starting.  It will include a Giant supermarket, two floors of underground parking, residences, which will be rental, and neighborhood based retail other than the Giant.  There will be two floors of underground parking.  There will be two curb cuts on 3rd Street, one for access to the underground garage, the other for a loading dock.

The sidewalk will be 22’ wide, and will be paved and landscaped using the same “language” as the H Street Plan.  There will be a metal awning at the entrance to the apartment part of the building on H Street, which will be is matter did rental units.  The 15 RPP parking spaces will remain as they are.

Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to send a letter to the Public Space Committee in support of the application for a Public Space permit for 360 H Street NE.  The motion passed without objection.

  1. Grant Committee

Mr. Crews presented two grant proposals:

Capitol Hill Cluster Schools PTA

This is an application for a grant of $1000 to the Capitol Hill Cluster Schools for funding toward the student garden at the Peabody School Early Learning Center.  The funds will be used for soil amendments, tree pruning tools and new plant materials.  This year they will also be growing vegetables.  Gail Murdock, of the Peabody School was present, and, in answer to a question, said that the garden was open, and the community was welcome.  Motion: Mr. Crews moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to allocate $1000 to the Capitol Hill Cluster Schools PTA for use for the Peabody School Early Learning Center garden.  The motion passed without objection.

Mt. Vernon Triangle Farmer’s Market

The Mt. Vernon Triangle open-air market is requesting an extension of their grant and filing its report until March or April when the market will open for the season.  Mr. Richardson mentioned that the check for the grant had originally been written in September.  Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Crews seconded a motion to grant an extension of the grant to the Mt. Vernon Triangle open air market until March or April, subject to approval by the Auditor.  The motion passed without objection.

 10.Additional Community Comment

The members of the ANC were pleased to learn from Naomi Mitchell of Councilmember Wells office that she had visited with Commissioner Dixon in the hospital and he was much improved and going home the next day.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:34 p.m.