January 12, 2011
Present: Commissioners Dixon, Crews, Hamilton, Phelps, Richardson, Silver, Wilsey, and Wirt
The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m.
Ms. Wirt added a presentation by City Council Candidate Alan Page, and a discussion of the Chinese New Year’s Parade, as well an introduction of Brittney Wright of the Mayor’s Office. Motion:Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to accept the agenda as amended. The motion passed without objection.
- Election of Officers and Committee Chairs for 2011
Motion: Mr. Crews moved/Ms. Phelps seconded the nomination of Karen Wirt to be Chair of the ANC. Motion: Mr, Dixon nominated Tony Richardson for the position, saying that it is, after four years, time for a change. Mr. Richardson declined the nomination and Ms. Wirt was elected unanimously.
Motion: Mr. Crews moved/Mr. Richardson seconded the nomination of Mark Dixon as Vice Chair of the ANC. There were no other nominations and Mr. Dixon was elected unanimously.
Motion: Ms, Phelps moved/Mr. Crews seconded the nomination of Tony Richardson to be Treasurer of ANC 6C. There were no further nominations and Mr. Richardson was elected unanimously,
Motion: Ms Phelps moved/Mr. Dixon seconded the nomination of Bill Crews to be Secretary. Mr. Crews declined. Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Richardson seconded the nomination of Ann Phelps to be Secretary of the ANC. She was elected unanimously.
Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Dixon 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.
Committees and Committee Chairs
Mr. Hamilton said that the Youth and Education Committee hasn’t met and has no members. He said that while Mr. Dixon has worked diligently, there is no Public Safety Committee, a fact that is also true of the Grants Committee. He suggested either eliminating those Committees, or appointing liaisons to the ANC in those areas.
Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to establish liaisons for the Youth and Education and Public Safety committee functions, and that Tom Hamilton and Mark Dixon should be those liaisons, respectively. The motion passed unanimously.
Ms. Phelps said that there is a need for a Grants Committee. She said the ANC needs grants addressed in a timely fashion with accurate and vote-ready grant applications presented to the ANC.
Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to re-establish a Grants Committee. The motion passed without objection. Motion: Mr. Dixon moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to nominate Mr. Crews to chair the committee. The motion passed unanimously.
Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr, Dixon seconded a motion to nominate Joe McCann to be chair of the Public Space and Transportation Committee. The motion passed unanimously.
Motion: Mr. Hamilton moved/Mr. Silver seconded a motion to nominate Rob Amos to be Chair of the Planning, Economic Development and Mr.
Wilsey to be chair of the Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee. The motion passed unanimously,
- Treasurer’s Report
Mr. Richardson presented the Treasurer’s Report for December. The opening balance was $99,375.47, and there was an interest payment of $.82. There were disbursements of $3,000 to Allied Party Rentals for security barriers for the H Street Festival (Check #1187); $308 to Roberta Weiner for taking and transcribing the October minutes (check #1192); and $206 to Roberta Weiner for taking and transcribing the November minutes (Check #1195);. The closing balance was $95,862.43. Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to accept the November Treasurer’s Report as presented. The motion passed without objection.
Motion: Ms Wirt moved to allocate funds for business cards for Mr. Silver, Mr. Wilsey and Mr. Richardson. The motion passed without objection. Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Crews seconded a motion to approve a payment of $216 to Roberta Weiner for the transcription of minutes. The motion passed without objection. Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to allocate $25 as a payment to the ANC Security Fund. The motion passed without objection.
Mr. Richardson presented a draft budget for 2011, saying that it tracks the 2010 budget. Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Crews seconded a motion to approve the 2011 budget. The motion passed without objection.
Mr. Richardson once again raised the issue of the website for SMD 6C05, saying he had sent a memo on the project as he had been asked to do. Mr. Hamilton said that he had read the report and the word “branding” seven times, and he is not sure it counts as a legitimate purpose for public money to “brand” 6C05. Mr. Crews said that $3750 is a substantial amount of money and asked whether he is proposing that the ANC sign a contract. Mr. Richardson replied that he was not. Mr. Crews said that the ANC would be setting a precedent of spending about $4000 per ANC Commissioner on this. Mr. Richardson responded that if he had wanted to develop a pamphlet on the historic architecture of his SMD he would spend at least that amount, and the funding would be allocated.
Mr. Silver said that it is an allowable expense and he should be allowed to make it. Mr. Dixon said he wanted it done to help him get a similar program for his SMD. Mr. Hamilton allowed that while he maintains the website it’s not great and could be better. Mr. Crews stated that he isn’t sure that he wants to set that kind of precedent. If we’re going down this path, he said, he needs more information,
Mr. Richardson reiterated that people in his SMD want to know where his website is, and he needs to get information out to his constituents with so much going on. Motion: Mr. Dixon moved/Mr. Silver seconded a motion to allocate up to $3,750 for the construction and maintenance of a website for SMED 6C05. The motion failed by vote of 3-3-2, with Commissioners Richardson, Dixon and Silver in favor, Commissioners Crews, Hamilton and Wilsey opposed, and Commissioners Phelps and Wirt abstaining.
- Community Comment
Scope It Out 5K Race – March 20
Brandon Hammond presented the details of the Scope it Out 5K Race to be held on March 20 to benefit colon cancer. He presented a brief history of the race, which is in its sixth year and outlined the race course, which will begin on Pennsylvania Avenue between 12th and 13th Street and end in Southwest on D Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets. The race will have rolling closings, and be completed by 10:45 am, except for clean-up. Mr. Wilsey, whose SMD is affected, had no objections. Motion: Mr. Crews moved/Mr. Wilsey seconded a motion to support the Scope It Out Race on March 20th. The motion passed without objection.
Alan Page, a candidate for the At-Large City Council seat, introduced himself and gave brief remarks on why he is running, focusing on the City’s imminent budget cuts and promoting a progressive tax rate.
Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration – February 6
Raymond Wai Lee and Wan Yu Hsu of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association presented information on street closings and activities for the annual Chinese Lunar New Year celebration on Sunday, February 6. The event, celebrating the Year of the Rabbit, 4709, will take place on H and I Streets NW, between 5th and 9th Streets from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, except for H Street between 6thand 7th Streets, which will be closed until 5 p.m. Motion: Mr. Wilsey moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to for the ANC to send a letter support for the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration on February 6th. The motion passed without objection.
Brittney Wright, the new Ward 6 service coordinator for the Mayor’s Office introduced herself and said she would be available to work with the ANC on whatever problems arose. In answer to a question, she said that the Core Team would once again start holding meetings. She can be reached at 664-7512, brittney.wright @dc.gov.
- Transportation and Public Space Committee
Tynan’s Coffee and Tea – 1275 1st Street NE
Joe McCann, chair of the committee, presented its report:
This is a request for support of a public space permit for proposed outside seating at Tynan’s Coffee and Tea at 1275 1st Street NE. James Sullivan, Jr., the owner and Karen Quittman, the office manager, represented Tynan’s.
The establishment has been open since September 17th and is the 3rd store, the others being in Columbia Heights and Bethesda. They are seeking to install 12 tables, with 24 chairs on the 1stStreet side of the building, outside the front door. There will not be a canopy but they may have 8’ blue umbrellas with the store’s logo. They have agreed to bring the furniture inside at night. . There will be a low railing to separate the outdoor seating area from the street. Mr. Sullivan said that they have a very limited selection of alcoholic beverages and the fence will make sure they are contained. The terrace is 7.5” from the street, actually a “rock garden”, set off from the street. There will be no music and no additional lighting. Mr. Silver asked whether there were any residential concerns and was told there were none. Motion: Ms. “Phelps moved/Mr. Wilsey seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation to support the request for a public space permit to install outdoor seating at Tynan’s Coffee and Tea. The motion passed without objection.
600-699 North Capitol Street NE
This is a request for support of a public space permit for curb cuts and landscaping for a yet-to-be constructed building at 600-699 North Capitol Street NE. Mr. McCann said that the developers had not appeared before the Committee because of their time constraints. The developers were represented by Leo A Daley, as well as John Barbera of their architectural firm, Robert Sockwell, a consultant, and Chris Collins, of Holland Knight, their attorneys.
This space, behind the old Government Printing Office, is currently a parking lot. They are building a matter-of-right office building, with retail for tenant use on the ground floor. The project has been on-again, off-again since 2006. They have met with the Office of Planning and with DDOT, and they have agreed to all the issues that DDOT had with their plans. There will be curb cuts on the G Street side of the building to provide access to underground parking. The landscaping will be in panels against the building, and there will be a 12’ sidewalk.
Mr. Dixon asked whether they had discussed their plans with NoMa, and said they should because NoMa has a streetscape plan and others had run into problems by not following the plan. Mr. Silver added that they had not consulted with the community about the plans. Mr. Sockwell responded that the plans had been heavily scrutinized at Public Space, and DDOT had signed off the plan, and asked that it be shared with the ANC before signing off on it. Mr. Crews said that the plan sounds good, that they had been generous in making changes requested by DDOT, and he is ready to support it. Mr. Richardson said he is ready to support the plan if the developer commits to checking in with NoMa to discuss the landscaping with them. Motion: Mr. Crews moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to approve the writing of a letter of support to the Public Space Committee for the curb cuts and landscaping for 600-619 North Capitol Street. The motion passed 6-0-2 with Mr. Dixon and Mr. Silver abstaining. Mr. Dixon said they should have gone to the Committee before coming to the full Commission.
Changing the Name of the New York Avenue Metro
This was presented as a discussion, rather than a voting item. Jamie Bratt, of NoMa, presented the idea of the NoMa bid to change the name of the New York Avenue-Florida Avenue Gallaudet University metro stop to NoMa-Gallaudet University. WMATA, this spring, because of changes it is planning, will reprint the Metro maps. This provides an opportunity for name changes to Metro stops without incurring additional expense. Ms Bratt said that NY Avenue/Florida Avenue, because of the length of the streets, does not do anything to orient visitors to the neighborhood and doesn’t evoke a particular neighborhood. She said that both Metro entrances are within NoMa.
Ms. Bratt said NoMa would be coming to the ANC for support when the time came to submit the change to WMATA, possibly next month.
Mr. McCann said that the committee’s reaction is that the existing name of the stop is not particularly good name because NY Avenue and Florida Avenue extend across the city. They said there was some benefit to using NoMa, but it would be worthwhile to consider other names that would give the neighborhood a sense of place. Ms. Bratt said they had spoken with Gallaudet, who approved of the idea. Ms. Wirt said that Gallaudet’s name should come first on any Metro sign.
Mr. Dixon said that that neighborhood needs more buses and he is not going to vote for any other project, particularly having to do with public transportation, until more buses are provided for his residents. Mr. Crews asked when the M Street overpass would be completed. He is concerned with the dust and pollutants in the air. Ms. Bratt said it would be done by the end of February, and D Street will quickly follow. Ms. Phelps raised the issue that 2nd Street has not been reconnected to the street grid, and Ms., Bratt responded that construction is being funded with stimulus dollars and should be under way soon.
Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Silver seconded a motion to approve an extension of time to Innovative Tennis to allow them to complete their project and file their paperwork in May. The motion passed without objection.
Mr. Dixon asked for funding for trophies for his local Boys and Girls Club. He has not presented an application, nor have the details of the grant been checked with the Auditor’s office. He says, however, that he has a time deadline and cannot wait until next month for approval. Mr. Hamilton said once again that there has to a process for funding grants. Motion: Mr. Dixon moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to allocate the funds for trophies for the Boys and Girls Club. The motion passed 5-0-3, with Mr. Hamilton, Crews and Wilsey abstaining.
- Planning, Zoning and the Environment Committee
Committee Chair Rob Amos presented the Committee report:
428 Fourth Street NE
This is a request for support of a special exception application before the BZA to allow a single story rear addition to a one-family row house not meeting the lot occupancy, court and non-conforming structure requirements in the CAP/R-4 district at 428 4th Street NE.
Mr. Amos reported that the applicant wishes to remove an existing porch and replace it with a larger one-story addition (sunroom/dining area). The addition will create a net increase in the house’s footprint of four feet, and increases the lot occupancy from s66% to 69%. An existing wall between 428 and 430 4th Street will be used in the construction. The Applicant will replace an existing fence between the two properties as will the gate to the alley. The committee had no problems with the scope of the work but asked that the applicant obtain letters of support from the neighboring properties. Subsequent to the meeting those letters were obtained. Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation that the ANC support the applicant’s request provided that she makes a good faith effort to obtain letters of support for the project. The motion passed without objection.
This is a request for support for a special exception to mend an approved campus plan, and further processing under the amendment for construction of a mixed use academic and student residential building on property zoned R-4. Gallaudet is located just across the street from ANC 6C.
Gallaudet is planning to build a new mixed-use academic and residential building on the campus on the former site of the Mary Thornberry building which is located on the western side of the mall in the center of campus. It will be a 60,000 sq. ft. building, with 175 dormitory beds in a building that will also include indoor and outdoor gathering spaces for all Gallaudet students including work studios and study rooms, student lounges, a fitness center, kitchens and laundry rooms. The building does not add students, but makes up for space re-assigned to the high school for the deaf program. The applicant is seeking LEED Silver certification, and 35% CBE and First Source hiring requirements.
Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to support the Committee’s recommendation that the full ANC support the applicant’s request for the special exception to amend the campus plan and to construct the mixed use development. Ms. Phelps asked that ¶ 8 of the Committee report be included.*
*The Committee expressed their appreciation to Gallaudet University for being a “good neighbor” to ANC 6C and making sure we (*as the neighboring ANC) are included in matters such as this with the University.
Air Rights Project –Responses to Zoning Commission Requests of Developer
At the December 6th Zoning Commission hearing on the 1-395 the Commission asked for additional information on several issues and left the record open for the answers to those questions and the ANC responses. Three areas are of interest: a/the massing of the south block; b/ retail strategy and c/commitment to Massachusetts Avenue Park.
a/ Massing of south block: the Commission has expressed concern regarding the massing and density of the single building shown for the south block. The applicant has re-evaluated the block and presented changes that 1/reduces the gross floor area of the building, 2/ sets back the south block building along E Street to match the western building line and create a 10 foot sidewalk; 3/decreases the FAR of the south block from 9.85 to 9.5 and 4/provided several different possible plans for the south block development that would break down the apparent massing and perceived density of the development,
b/ Retail strategy: retail is an important aspect of the project and the applicant provided a detailed retail strategy from John Asadoorian (Columbia Heights, Penn Quarter, Dupont Circle, etc.). A minimum of 75,000 square feet will be devoted to retail that will serve the occupants, residents and visitors to the development. Areas of retail envisioned that would support the project and surrounding community included banks, valet service, FedEx/UPS, coffee shops quick service food, etc. Additionally, a draw for the larger community would be the inclusion of full service restaurants and markets – notable restaurants, wine and food markets. Issues such as ceiling heights (which was an ANC 6C concern), storefront design and the pedestrian experience were also discussed.
c/ Massachusetts Avenue Park: the Applicant is providing a $50,000 contribution to Casey Trees to assist in the support of the Massachusetts Avenue Park and the Zoning Commission requested additional information on how that contribution may be used to better the park- and not just to purchase more trees. Casey Trees has provided a letter stating that a master plan will be developed for the park in conjunction with the Mr. Vernon Square Neighborhood Association and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation to determine the best use of the contribution. Mr. Amos said he had spoken with the Mt. Vernon Square Neighborhood Association and it is willing to work on the park project.
Ms. Phelps said she is glad to see that the ceiling heights on the ground floor retail are above 11’. Mr. Silver said it’s highly commendable that they’re providing a contribution to Casey Trees.
Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation that the full Commission support the updates and responses to the Zoning Commission requests as presented, and that Mr. Amos be authorized to represent the Commission at the Zoning Commission hearing on January 24th. The motion passed 7-0-1, with Mr. Crews abstaining.
Mr. Amos said that answers had to be submitted to the Commission by the 18th.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:58 pm.
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6C
P.O. Box 77876
Washington, DC 20013-7787