Wednesday, December 12, 2012
214 Massachusetts Avenue NE
Present: Commissioners Crews, Dixon, Goodman, Price, Richardson, Silver, Wilsey and Wirt
The meeting was convened at 7 PM.
Ms. Wirt added Naomi Mitchell, of Councilmember Wells’ office to Community Commentsand Mr. Goodman moved/Mr. Crews seconded a motion to accept the agenda as amended. The motion passed without objection.
Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Wilsey seconded a motion to accept the October and November minutes as presented. The motion passed without objection, with the caveat that corrections will be accepted for one week.
- Treasurer’s Report
Mr. Richardson announced that ANC 6C’s funds, like those of 2C and 6E are being zeroed out and reallocated because of the changes in commissions due to redistricting. The amount of funds will be substantially reduced because distribution for each individual ANC will be based on percentage of population of the area covered by all three ANCs (6C, 2C, and 6E).
Mr. Richardson said that this would be his last meeting as Treasurer, but that he would certainly assist the new Treasurer, mentioning, as he had in the past, that the Auditor’s office has really tightened procedures, making compliance with the rules exacting. Mr. Crews gave his thanks to the Treasurer, saying that it is not an easy job. Mr. Silver said he had done a sterling job.
Mr. Richardson presented the following expense for approval. Roberta Weiner submitted a bill for $267 for transcribing the full ANC meeting for November and the minutes of the Public Space and Transportation Committee. Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/.Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to accept the expense. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Richardson delivered the Treasurer’s Report for October. It showed an opening balance of $84,029.74. There was an interest payment of $.67. Checks were written for $167.50 to Roberta Weiner for transcribing minutes for the October meeting, (Check #1256); for $51.40 to Scott Price for reimbursement for office supplies (Check 1257); for $855.52 to the Capitol Hill Cluster Schools PTA for a grant for football equipment (Check #1258); and for $500 to the H Street CDC for a community holiday event (Check #1259), leaving a balance in the checking account of $81,158.53. Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Mr. Goodman seconded a motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report as presented. The motion passed without objection.
- Brief Community Announcements
Mr. Dixon said it has been enjoyable working with ANC 6C, but he’s leaving for 6E at the start of the year. He also announced that he is going into Washington Hospital Center for a triple by-pass the following week.
Mr. Silver said there had been no scandals in the ANC and he appreciated that. He said it has been a tremendous joy to deliberate and debate, and the discussion has been enlightening. He said he will miss the fellowship.
2013 Meeting Dates
Ms. Wirt announced that the meeting dates for 2013 are on the ANC’s web site. The ANC will continue to meet on the second Wednesday of the month: January 9; February 13; March 13; April 10; May 8; June 12; July 10 (no August meeting); September 12; October 9; November 13; and December (TBA). The meetings will continue to be held at 7 PM at the Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue NE.
Mr. Goodman added that the committee meeting schedules for the PZE Committee and the Transportation/Public Space Committee are on the ANC 6C web site as well and that they will all be meeting at Kaiser Permanente, 700 2nd Street NE.
Naomi Mitchell of Councilmember Wells’ office announced that the swearing in for ANC Commissioners will be on January 2nd at the Convention Center. She also said that the Councilmember had moved his office across the hall from where it was, and he will have an open house after the swearing-in on the 2nd. She also said that the office was a good viewing spot for the inaugural parade.
Bright Beginnings 5K Race – March 2
This is a request for a letter of support to the Emergency Management Task Force for a 5K race for the benefit Bright Beginnings, an organization for homeless infants, toddlers and preschoolers, sponsored by the Junior League of Washington. Mr. Wilsey said that his constituents were against the ANC approving any more races on Pennsylvania Avenue, and would be in favor of the race if it used a different course, such as that used for the Police Week 5K. Sandra Strohm, who represented the Junior League, said that the latter course was already a fallback position for them and she was agreeable to the change. Motion:Mr. Wilsey moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to approve the Bright Beginnings 5K race using the Police Week course. The motion passed without objection.
Mr. Crews presented a suggested by-laws change on committees that he had given notice of a month ago, and circulated among the Commissioners two weeks in advance:
Amend Article VIII, Committees § 6 by striking the words: “Committees should strive to have a citizen representative for each SMD in the Commission. Each SMD shall be limited to one vote on matters before the Commission.”
And replace with the words: “Each Commissioner may be a voting committee member or select on citizen as a voting member for each committee in place of the Commissioner, Any changes to a Commissioner’s selected committee member shall be announced by the Commissioner at the full regular ANC meeting preceding the new member’s first committee meeting as a committee member.
“In addition, each committee may have up to three Additional at-large members, who may reside in any 6C SMD. At-large members shall be selected or removed from a committee by a majority vote of the ANC Commissioners present at a regular ANC meeting. A list of all committee members and any vacancies shall be posted on the ANC 6C website.”
Mr. Crews said that he was suggesting this because the ANC wants the participation of as many people as possible. Motion: Mr. Crews moved an amendment saying that a sentence should be added to the first paragraph saying that “At the first full ANC meeting of the year, rosters of the committees will be approved by the Commissioners,” The motion passed unanimously.
Motion: Mr. Crews moved/Mr. Silver seconded a motion to approve the bylaws change. The motion passed unanimously.
Motion: Mr. Crews moved/Mr. Goodman seconded a motion to approve Bill Sisolak as an at-large member of the Planning, Zoning and Environment Committee. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Goodman pointed out that a number of committee vacancies are available to be filled.
- Transportation and Public Space Committee
Committee Chair Joe McCann presented the following cases.
Starbucks – 1160 1st Street NE
This is a request for support of a public space permit for an outdoor patio at a new Starbucks at 1160 1st Street NE, at the southwest corner of M Street. The space is 425 sq. ft., and a quarter of the area is private property. They will have seven tables and 24 seats with no railings. The store hours are from 7 AM to 9:30 PM. The store is inside a building and is kitty-corner to Harris Teeter. Motion: Mr. Goodman moved/Mr. Wilsey seconded a motion to support a public space permit for Starbucks at 1160 1st Street NE. The motion passed unanimously.
700 2nd Street NE – Kaiser Permanente
This is a request for support for sending a letter to DDOT Director Bellamy urging safety enhancements for the garage area of Kaiser Permanente at 700 2nd Street NE. The Metropolitan Bike Trail runs down 2ndStreet alongside the garage, and there are concerns about safety for bikers and others as cars exit the garage. They are asking for the installation of a rubber speed bump to slow traffic and allow a 180-degree view at the garage entrance; improve the lighting under the bridge; they also ask for the installation of parking signs on the east side of the street, clarifying the illegality of parking; and the installation of planters and mirrors. Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Mr. Goodman seconded a motion to approve the sending of a letter to Director Bellamy supporting the installation of safety enhancements around the garage at 700 2nd Street NE. The motion passed unanimously.
Basis School – 8th Street NW
Mr. Wilsey introduced the problem with the Basis School, a new charter school on n the 400 block of 8th Street with 445 students and parking problems, including double parking, inadequate signage and student safety problems as they walk to and from Metro. He reported that he had met with representatives of the school and they had also come to the ANC 6CTransportation and Public Space Committee.
At present there is nothing indicating to traffic that it is a school zone, and they are requesting the installation of signage in the 400 block of 8th Street. They also want better enforcement of double parking and illegally parked vehicles during peak drop-off and pick-up hours in the morning and evening, and an increase in the size of the current drop-off zone. They wish to have other areas identified that can be used for drop-off. They would also like to have a crossing guard despite the fact that public schools take precedence in the assignment of guards because of the circumstances of having a large student body in the middle of a busy commercial district. And finally, they want to be enrolled in Safe Routes to School program, which usually only takes new schools at the start of the school year. Motion: Mr. Wilsey moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to send a letter to DDOT Director Terry Bellamy urging his action on the traffic and parking problems of the Basis School. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Price reported that DDOT is issuing rules for the installation of billboards in the city. Mr. Silver said that that is a violation of the Home Rule Charter because the Council and the people have had no input into whatever the decision was. Mr. Dixon said that DDOT should be meeting with the ANCs first. Motion: Mr. Crews moved/Mr. Silver seconded a motion to send a letter to Commissioner Bellamy stating that no one has been consulted and no rule should be implemented without public involvement. The motion passed unanimously.
- Planning, Zoning And Environment Committee
Committee Chair Mark Eckenwiler presented the following cases to the Commission.
Stuart Hobson School-410 E Street NE
This is a request for support of a Historic Preservation concept review for a three-story Arts Addition, to the west façade, and a Service Addition to the northern edge of Stuart Hobson Middle School at 410 E Street NE. While the Commission has not previously voted on the project, the committee, at its October meeting, voted to oppose the concept, saying the modern design was not in keeping with the neighborhood. In November, the applicant presented a revised concept, largely identical to the one currently before the ANC and HPRB, to the Committee that received a great deal of support from members of the community. The most prominent change from the prior proposal involves the window arrangement on the 4th Street Arts Addition. The current concept incorporates window openings aligned with the windows of the existing historic structure.
Ms. Wirt said the windows are needed by the school for light, but there will be translucent glass in the stairwell. It’s a non-intimidating space and helps with the school’s LEED certification. Mr. Richardson said there have been many letters of support. Mr. Dixon said that he hoped they wouldn’t make the same mistake as at Walker Jones Elementary School where the glass invited burglaries.
The president of the cluster school PTA said that last year they had gone through a Master Planning exercise and ended with a 900-signature petition of strong support. She said the ANC’s support is critical because there is an additional $10 million available.
Amy Bryant said she is excited about the process; the plans have really come about through consensus. Carolyn Serfass said she has a little bit of trouble with the views—winter views and summer views. Georgia Smith, representing the Student Government Association said that the materials are like those of the Phillips Collection building, and she supports the changes to Hobson. Vince Morris, who lives at 4THand E, said he sees the school and is aware of the light, He said he has three children at Watkins, and is excited about the project and finds it a great compromise, When things are renovated, he said, there is an opportunity to make things nicer. He said he was disappointed in CHRS because light is a balancing act, and they didn’t see that. Gabrielle Baskin said her family is really excited about the project, which will add a lot of aesthetic value and be safer.
Bill Sisolak said he was going to be the Grinch and say that the contemporary design is inappropriate. He said his sons went to Hobson. Mark Smith said the project merges the past with the future of Capitol Hill. Valerie Diablos said she has two children at Hobson and everyone is entitled to their own opinion and she loves the vibrancy of the city and sees Hobson as a reflection of that. Mr. Crews said he is troubled by the design and is at a loss to understand why they couldn’t have a different style of window in the historic district.
Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation and support the HPRB application for a concept review for Stuart Hobson Middle School. The motion passed 8-0, unanimously.
1235 4th Street NW
This is a request for support of a BZA variance from the off-street parking requirements to allow the construction of a new flat (two-family dwelling) in the R-4 district at 1235 4th Street NW.
In 2011 the applicant received the support of the ANC for its successful HPRB application to build a new three-story residence in the Mount Vernon Square Historic District, and now seeks relief from the requirement to provide on-site parking. The building has no street or alley access other than that along its frontage, and because it is within a historic district will not be allowed a curb cut. Identical relief has been granted to two other properties on the same block, including one the ANC had supported. Motion: Mr. Goodman moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation to support the BZA application for a variance from off-street parking for a new residence at 1235 4th Street NW. The motion passed 8-0, unanimously.
- Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee
Mr. Wilsey said he enjoyed serving as Chair of the committee.
Mr. Wilsey announced that establishments that applied for special inaugural licenses could have extended hours during the inaugural weekend.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:42 PM.