July 2011

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Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6C

Wednesday, 13 July, 2011

Heritage Foundation

214 Massachusetts Avenue NE

Present: Commissioners Crews, Dixon, Hamilton, Phelps, Richardson, Silver, Wilsey and Wirt (Commissioners Dixon and Wilsey arrived late)

The meeting was convened at 7:00 p.m.

  1. Agenda

Ms. Wirt asked to move brief community announcements to later in the agenda because Mr. Wilsey would be late.  She announced that he was serving on a redistricting task force.  Ms. Phelps asked to make an announcement at the end of the meeting.   She also asked that the Transportation and Public Space Committee be moved to later in the agenda because the citizen chair, Mr. McCann, would be late.  Motion: Ms. Phelps moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to approve the agenda as amended.  The motion passed 5-0-1, with Mr. Crews abstaining.

  1. Minutes

Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to accept the minutes with the usual caveat that commissioners have one week to send any typographical corrections.  The motion passed 5-0-1, with Mr. Crews abstaining.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer’s Report

Mr. Richardson delivered the Treasurer’s Report.  It showed an opening balance of $94,931.47.  There was an interest payment of $.80.  A checks was written for $252 to Roberta Weiner for taking and transcribing minutes for the May meetings (Check #1209) leaving a balance in the checking account of $94,680,27.  Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report as presented. The motion passed without objection.


Quarterly Report

Mr. Richardson passed out a draft Quarterly Treasurer’s Report.  He stated that he had some minor documentation to add, but asked that the report be accepted pending the insertion of that documentation.  Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded the motion to approve the report pending insertion of documentation by the treasurer, which passed 6-0-0

  1. Community Outreach Committee

Mr. Crews announced that two grant applications have been received, but both needed review and discussion would be postponed until the September monthly meeting.  The applications are from The Perry Community Center for a GED program and from the H Street Festival for safety and sanitation equipment.

  1. Youth and EducationCommittee

Mr. Hamilton presented a statement outlining procedures for the Youth and Education Committee’s operation, developed by the committee.

  • Y&E will pursue goals and objectives consistent with its mission statement.
  • Application of these rules and procedures will be determined by the Y&E liaison.
  • Y&E will meet monthly or as often as the membership deems necessary to effectively pursue its goals and objectives.
  • Y&E decisions will be made by the consensus of its membership.   A vote will be taken only when consensus cannot be reached.   Voting will take place during regular Y&E meetings.  Between meetings voting may be conducted via email.
  • A membership vacancy shall exist whenever any single member district is not represented.  A vacancy may be filled at any time during the year with the approval of the full ANC.
  • All actions taken and decisions made by Y&E will be reported to the ANC at the ANC’s monthly meeting.

He asked for the ANC’s support.  Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Hamilton seconded a motion to accept the committee procedures.  The vote was 6-0-0 in support of the motion.

  1. Planning, Zoning, and Environment Committee

Chair Rob Amos announced that 704 Third Street N.W. on the zoning agenda would be moved to   September.

1251-1253 Fourth Street N.W.

This is a request for one year property tax exemption for a day care center with a surface parking lot.  The hearing date has yet to be determined. Sherry Woods, of the ONE Ministries/UNIQUE Learning Center, presented her request for support for a 1 year exemption from a vacant and blighted property designation.

UNIQUE Learning Center is a faith-based center that provides after school programs and care for approximately 40 K-12 students from the surrounding area. They are currently providing these services at Mt. Sinai (3rd and Q Streets).

Previous plans for the renovation of the property were approved three years ago and those plans were approved by the ANC and Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association. Since the approval, ONE Ministries has experienced financial hardships which curtailed the funding efforts for the building project, which is being categorized now as a blighted/vacant property that would add additional hardship on the redevelopment efforts.

They have been working with options for financing and with fund-raising resources to obtain the necessary funding for the project; these efforts will need time to explore and implement. Their Board of Directors has given notice that if these actions do not result in positive results, then the building will need to be sold.

The property has not been well taken care of over the past year and issues have been brought to Ms. Woods’s attention and have been addressed; neighbors would like there to be a more proactive approach to the management of the property and to keep it from looking overgrown and blighted.

Brian Lagerquist, president of the condo association across the street from the property, stated that there had been prostitution and people defecating on the property in the past so he supported development.  Rochelle Nigro, ANC 2C04 commissioner, stated the property has been used as a neighborhood outdoor toilet.  It has been blighted and not maintained for two years.  She recommended voting no.

Sheree Woods said she accepts responsibility, has cleaned up the property.  It has been a hardship, and she has even forgone salary for six months to serve the children in the One Ministries day care center.  Mr. Greurfrom the audience asks how long the property has been set at a triple tax rate.  Ms. Woods replied, one year.  He asked why couldn’t the property been kept up?  Ms. Woods replied she had gotten busy. Where is the garden?  Ms. Woods responded it is in the back, on the Fourth Street side.

Mr. Dixon (who had now come in, along with Mr. Wilsey) stated he had no problem approving the request. Mr. Greur asked if the permitting process had begun.  Ms. Woods responded it had not.  Motion Mr. Richardson moved/Mr. Silver seconded a motion to accept the committee’s recommendation to approve the tax exemption for six months, and then if the property is properly maintained, approve it for another six months.  Ms. Phelps added that the DC government might not accept a category of six months with a six months extension.  The motion passed 7-1-0, with Mr. Crews abstaining.

307 Constitution Avenue NE

Applicant proposes to replace an existing deck at the rear of the property with a single one story addition/screened-in porch. Some renovation work has already been completed on the front (replacement windows).  The addition will not be visible from the street or directly from the back alley; the addition stays within the lot occupancy ratio.

The addition is compatible in size with the existing property; there will be some excavation at the rear to provide a lower level walkout area from basement and a screened in porch will be built on top of the excavated area. Construction will use the existing retaining walls as well as new retaining walls and will build interior walls on the inside of those existing walls.

The screened-in porch will have additional architectural elements to provide interest to the rear façade; it will not be a typical flat-front addition.

Mr. Amos reported that the Committee had some general questions regarding the addition but was pleased with the owner’s plans.

Ms. Wirt asked if there were light and air issues.  Ms. Capen, the owner, said there were none; the neighbors are OK with the rear addition of a screened –in porch.   Mr. Crews noted that the addition now far exceeds 1-1/2 feet.  He asked if the residence to the west is occupied.  Ms. Phelps complimented the architect on the design.  Motion: Mr. Hamilton moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation to support the HPRB concept application, which passed 8-0-0.

450 K Street NW

This is a request for support for a modified concept for a thirteen-story residential building on vacant land.  The HPRB hearing date is July 28, 2011.

Modifications to this project are required now that Douglas Development has been able to recently purchase the two properties in front of their planned development (properties closest to 5th Street NW)  Sacha Rosen, R2L Architects, presented the modifications to the previously approved HPRB concept for 450 K Street NW.

Portions of the existing buildings will be demolished but the front facades of the buildings will be incorporated in to the new modified building. Incorporating these buildings/lots into the project provides a “squarer” building rather than the inverted “T” shape of the previous design.

Additional changes include:

  • Increase in residential units from 234 to 260
  • Additional retail space – from 7,000 square feet to 11,000 square feet
  • Other improvements made since the ANC last reviewed the project include:

o   3 floors of parking

o   Re-aligned truck entrance and bicycle storage  facility

o   New bicycle entry off K Street directly back to the bicycle storage facility – no longer need to take bicycles through the lobby.

Discussions with HPRB have already brought modifications to the modified plans, HPRB asked for changes to the setbacks of the property. The renderings presented did not show the new front façade changes but it will be more similar to what was originally presented to the ANC, and approved, several months ago.

The developers will return to the ANC with zoning changes in the 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2012.  Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Ms. Phelps seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation that it support the applicant’s HPRB modified concept approval request, with the understanding that the PZE Committee did not see the full renderings of the concept changes.  The motion passed 8:0:0.

  1. Community Announcements 

SOME Trot for Hunger November 24, 2011This is a request for support for SOME’s Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger.  It is a 5K Walk/Run on Thanksgiving Day beginning at Freedom Plaza and continuing in 6 C to 3rd Street and Pennsylvania Ave. NW. The time will be from 5:30 am to 11:30 am. Mr. Wilsey, in whose SMD the race occurs, said that it’s a great event.  In answer to a question, Mr. Crews was told that the police were charging for security.  Motion: Mr. Wilsey/Ms.Wirt seconded a motion to send a letter of support to Emergency Management supporting the Trot for Hunger.  The motion passed without objection.

Redistricting meeting

Ms. Wirt announced that a meeting to discuss ANC 6C redistricting would be held onThursday, July 14th at the Sherwood Rec Center, at 6:30 pm.  The meeting will solicit comments on the future shape of ANC 6C from the Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force.

Smart Meters Meeting

Ms. Wirt announced that a meeting to discuss the new Smart Meters program (pay by smart phone) would be held on July 21 at the Sherwood Rec Center at 6:30 p.m.

By-laws Change

Mr., Silver asked to reopen the discussion on the by-laws change on Committee membership passed at the June meeting.  He said that he had planned to offer an amendment grandfathering in all current committee members and chairs, but had determined it was unnecessary.  He said he wished to thank the present chairs and members for their hard work.

Ms. Phelps said that the current members would retain their votes, and Mr. Wilsey added that the current committee structure is in place until the next election.  Ms. Phelps added that the language in the by-laws does not address chairs, but only members.  Mr. Crews said that Mr. Sisolak and Ms. Krengel had served for many years, are representatives of the same SMD, and that Ms. Wirt has two representatives in her SMD as well. Mr. Amos said that the limit to one vote per SMD is done for equity to the other SMDs, and Mr. Silver said that it doesn’t change what people have to say.  Mr. Crews said that the ANC should look at the committee structures and their SMD representation.  Ms. Phelps said that things are changing.  Joe McCann said that his committee, Transportation and Public Space only has four members, and four members are required for a quorum.  Ms. Phelps said that people should be encouraged to appoint representatives to the various committees, and they should work within their communities to encourage people to get involved—reaching out, talking to residents and we’re fortunate in the quality of leadership we have people like Joe who have taken on responsibility.

  1. Transportation and Public Space Committee

Constitution Square

Committee Chair Joe McCann said that this is a request for support for two separate public space permits for Constitution Square, the development at 1st, M, N Streets and New Jersey Avenue NE.  TriniRodriguez, the landscape architect, of Parker and Rodriguez and Mark Allard, representing the developer were present at the meeting.

The first public space permit is for streetscape along M and 1st Streets, for a new residential building, 140 M Street NE, Harris Teeter is located on the 1st Street side of the block, Ms. Rodriguez said they were “pushing” a green agenda for the landscape and street scape for the building, and there will be bio-retention areas built in, as well as other green initiatives incorporated into the landscaping. The landscaping will not be the same as the 1st Street side and it will have blocks of granite that will serve as benches.   The street goes from very wide to about 8’ and it will be greener than 1st Street and more residential in feel. There will be additional planting around the building’s vaults,  The size of the residential lobby entrance has been reduced at DDOTs request.  There will be a possible Bike Share station at the corner.

The second space permit application is an office building, adjacent to the Metro station, and they are working with DDOT and Metro to create a plaza, a civic space, an open plaza. The building will continue the same vocabulary as the residential building and its lobby

The plaza was created as a “tabletop” that gradually rises up 6” and slows traffic in that area, it’s a gradual rise. The plaza has a sculptural element, with bike racks and non-security bollards—6’-8’ apart to control traffic—a DDOT requirement.   There will be three trees for the office building, with more added in the plaza.  There’s some retail space on the ground floor, possibly for a restaurant.

Ms. Phelps said that it is not yet a particularly friendly space.  Mr. Dixon expressed his concern about opening 2nd Street, where there was supposed to be a drop-off and turn-around for the Metro stop.  There is no street coming through there. Ms. Phelps said that the project has had an extraordinary impact on the neighborhood, except for the ability to reach 2nd Street.  She urged that the repair of the sink hole at the Metro be completed.  Motion: Ms. Phelpsmoved/r\Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation to send a letter of support to the Public Space Committee in support of each of the two public space requests, one for landscaping and streetscaping the residential building at 140 M Street NE, the other for a plaza at the Metro entrance for 175 N Street NE.  The motion passed 7-0-1, with Mr. Dixon abstaining.

801 New Jersey Avenue NE

Mr. McCann stated that this discussion of public space usage by JBG and Bennett developers at 801 New Jersey Avenue NE was brought before the committee for discussion, but no vote was taken.  Mr. Munoz said that at the end of May, they had applied for a Public Space permit for their block-square project, and they have been coordinating with the Office of Planning, Public Space Committee, and the City Arborist. He reported that Public Space believes the proper permitting etc. can be done by the Office of Planning without hearings. Subsequently, this was brought before the full ANC as a voting item.

Representing the project, which is a large mixed use retail and residential development that will hold a major big box retailer, were Rafael l Muniz, of JBG, Trini Rodriguez, of Parker and Rodriguez Landscape Architects; LuAnn Bennett of The Bennett Group, Marty Wells, transportation consultant, and Dan Duke.

The site is a block bounded by H, I, and 1st Streets and New Jersey Avenue NE, The site is directly behind Gonzaga College High School, They are planning to re-introduce 1st Street NE, which currently doesn’t exist, and open it to run continuously from the Capitol north to the Washington Hospital Center.  The street will be maintained privately but will be open to the public, and will have one northbound lane and two southbound, with one being a right-turn lane into H Street, NE.

The project will have two phases. Phase 1 will have two levels of parking, one residential with 180 places, the second commercial with 192 spaces.  This is based on the commercial ratio of 25 spaces per 1000 square feet, and a residential ratio of .6 spaces per residential unit.

The store will be 80,000 square feet on the building’s second floor, 40% will be groceries, and pharmacy.  People will be able to order things that are available only at their larger stores, but the grocery and pharmacy will be the drivers of the store.  It’s a “new generation” store, with wider aisles, and nicer finishes and architecture,  The store is “hidden” on the second level of the building, and there will be other, smaller retail on the  ground floor on H Street  It’s the only Walmart with a residential component, and it has the smallest footprint,

The New York Avenue area, they said, unlike NoMa or Mt Vernon Square, has no standards or guidelines for design.  They said that traffic cuts for 1st Street exist, and there can be access either from H Street or from I Street.  They also showed a large cul-de-sac, part of Gonzaga, that they have arranged to use for bringing in large delivery trucks on that side of the building through doors that match the rest of the façade and can be backed into the loading docks inside the building. Those deliveries will be limited to the hours between 7 p.m. And 7 a.m., according to their agreement with Gonzaga.  Most deliveries will be in smaller trucks and, along with residential move-ins will enter the building on I Street head first, and turn around. The curb cut is about 12’ at the alley. They are planning to incorporate lighting with the traffic signal on that corner, and there will also be indoor bike parking for residents, there will be new crosswalks and handicapped ramps. Gonzaga will continue to use the cu-de-sac in the same way it does now. There will be no other access on I Street.

There will be seven surface parking spaces, which will be metered by machine.  They said there are three options for paving at the building entrance but no decision has been made,

Their timetable is to begin construction in January and be done in by the end of 2013.  Phase 2, on the other side of New Jersey Avenue, will be an office building. They are now starting a conceptual design for the building.

They have prepared a traffic management statement, but it’s a matter-of-right project and haven’t released it. They looked at environmental impact (EISF) questions, the immediate intersections that border the site, and at a travel demand management plan.  Mr. Wells, the transportation consultant, said that truck management is subject to a truck management plan which will be done in due course.  He said he was mindful of public transportation, but he said it’s hard to overstate the importance of opening 1st Street, and the fact that there are an adequate number of parking spaces.  He also pointed out the short distance to Metro, and made the point that retail traffic is discretionary traffic—if the weather’s bad or the traffic is jammed, the shopping trip will wait.  He said that 1st  and I Streets have enough capacity to make traffic flow and he doesn’t think it will be overly strained at that intersection.

He said they had looked at 1st as potentially one-way but decided it would work better two way.  He also said there had to be an optional turn lane/park lane on 1st Street and the traffic light will have to be recalibrated to make it work. He said that if this were a PUD there would be traffic signal plan that goes through DDOT.

Ms. Wirt said that there is a problem supporting curb cuts without a traffic study.  Mr..Wells said that they are not substantial.  Mr. Silver said that there has to be a traffic impact study, that everyone is tap-dancing around it.  Mr. Wells said it has been submitted to DDOT and it’s a public document.

Mr. Dixon asked whether I Street would continue to North Capitol and was told that Gonzaga owns the street, which stops at the circle, and it’s not able to be extended.  Mr. Wells said that 1st Street

will be open, although it’s a private street it will be open to the public,  Ms. Phelps asked whether creating the street grid would be a permanent easement.  What assurance is there that it will remain open to the City.  Mr. Munoz said that the question of an easement has been explored and they would be happy to make it permanent,

Ms. Phelps asked whether Gonzaga had any comments and was told that the school is working on an agreement with JBG, but it has not yet been reached.  She also asked whether it was traffic study or traffic statement that was filed, and Mr.  Wells said that it is a matter-of-right project so it was a statement.  He said they are having discussions with WMATA about improving bus stops, etc.

Mr. Munoz said that Mr. Wells took counts on additional traffic, and that the traffic increases are
modest, and it will also help that they are modifying the  traffic light at 1st Street, the loading plans, the bike racks, possibly adding ZIP cars will all help mitigate the traffic flow.

Mr. Silver said that all the Commissioners will pay the price with their constituents. He said that all constituents have been on 3×5 cards and there’s been no direct contact and no communication.  He said there’s not been a traffic impact study, and he also wants to know who will cover the costs of the infrastructure and the new utilities and water mains.  He wants to know about disability access, and their plan for hiring DC residents and wants to know about the plans for affordable housing.

On that, he was told that 8% of the square footage of the residential component will be affordable—24-28 units at 80% AMI.

Mr. Crews wanted to know of the total number of customers, what percent will be driving and what percent using public transportation.  Mr. Wells said that in an urban store in Chicago 18% take public transit, and Walmart likes this site because it is similar. He said they studied four supermarkets for the number of cars, and found that 75% of customers walk.

Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Silver seconded a motion to oppose the granting of a public space permit because there is a lack of information, including no traffic study.  Ms. Phelps said that Mr. Wells has been before the ANC numerous times in the past and the vote is not a reflection on him or his work.  The motion passed 6-2, with Ms. Phelps and Mr. Richardson in opposition.


  1. ABL Committee

Tel’veh Cafe

This is a request for support for a Class C Tavern license for Tel’veh Café at 401 Massachusetts Ave. NW. It will be a café featuring breakfast and lunch with a bakery and small plates during the evening.  The seating capacity is 75 and there will be a summer garden with a capacity of 40.  The hours of liquor service will be Sundays: 10 a.m.-2 a.m., Monday-Thursday 8 am,-2 a.m., Friday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-3 a.m.

The owners made an extensive presentation to the full ANC.  They have signed a voluntary agreement with the Commission.  Mr. Wilsey said there were no objections to supporting the license. Motion: Mr. Wilsey moved/ Mr. Silver seconded a motion that the full ANC accept the Committee’s recommendation to support the granting of a license to Tel’veh Café.  The motion passed 8-0.

  1. New Business

Councilmember Wells

Motion: Mr. .Hamilton moved/Mr. Dixon seconded a motion to send a letter to members of the City Council urging them to reinstate Councilmember Wells as the Chair of the Council Transportation Committee.

Honorable D.C. Council Members

John A. Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20004

Re:  Reassignment of Council Member Tommy Wells to Committee on

Parks, Recreation, and Libraries

Dear Council Member:

On July 18, 2011, at the regularly scheduled, duly noticed meeting of ANC 6C, with a quorum of 8 of 9 Commissioners and the public present, the above-mentioned item came before us.  The Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt the following resolution:

We protest the abrupt and misguided actions taken on July 12, 2011 to strip D.C. Council Member Tommy Wells of his chairmanship of the D.C. Committee on Public Works and Transportation and to remove him from his position on the Washington Area Transit Authority Board.

At a time when the District is faced with severe financial difficulties and vexing management challenges, as well as serious ethical concerns about several of its senior political leaders, Ward 6 has counted itself fortunate in being represented by Mr. Wells, an experienced public servant who personifies professional stewardship and an unswerving commitment to good government.

We urge D.C. Council Members who took action against Mr. Wells at the July 12, 2011 Council meeting to reconsider and reject this wrong-headed assault against one of their most esteemed and accomplished colleagues.  We urge the immediate reinstatement of Mr. Wells to the critical transportation positions—chairmanship of the D.C. Committee on Public Works and Transportation and the WMATA Board—where he has represented Ward 6 and the entire District so capably.

Thank you for giving great weight to recommendations of ANC 6C.

The motion passed 8-0.

  1. Ann Phelps

Commissioner Ann Phelps announced that this would be her last ANC meeting and she was resigning because of family considerations, and her daughter was needing her attention.   She said that it was encouraging to have a record that has accomplished so much in her neighborhood, and she’s proud of her constituents.  Motion: Commissioner Crews moved/Mr., Richardson seconded a motion to express the appreciation of ANC 6C for the commissioner’s hard work and her accomplishments.  Mr. Richardson expressed his admiration for her success, and Mr. Hamilton said “There’s a time for every season under heaven.”  He said she had been a rational voice of reason for the Commission.

The meeting adjourned at 9:19 pm.

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6C
P.O. Box 77876
Washington, DC 20013-7787