February 2012

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Heritage Foundation
214 Massachusetts Avenue NE

Present: Commissioners Crews, Dixon, Goodman, Price, Richardson, Silver, Wilsey and Wirt

  1. Agenda

Motion: Mr. Wilsey moved/Mr. Goodman seconded a motion to accept the agenda as presented.  The motion passed without objection.

  1. Minutes

Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Crews seconded a motion to table the January minutes as presented.  The motion passed 7-1, with Mr. Goodman in opposition.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer’s Report

Mr. Richardson delivered the Treasurer’s Report.  It showed an opening balance of $82,004.29.  There was an interest payment of $.69.  Checks were written to Karen Wirt for re-imbursement for the ANC post office box for $125 (Check #1224) and $148 (Check #1225) to Roberta Weiner for taking and transcribing minutes for the December ANC meeting, leaving a balance in the checking account of $81,731.95.  Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report as presented. The motion passed without objection.

Motion: Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Goodman seconded a motion to approve expenditures of $65 for business cards for Commissioner Price. The motion passed without objection.

  1. Brief Community Announcements

Update on trolleys on 3rd St. NE

A representative of the Public Engagement Team of DDOT said that the rumor that the streetcars were going to use 3rd Street NE as a turnaround were untrue, and it had been discussed and rejected as a possibility for emergency use. It will have no tracks on it.  There will be another public meeting in March or April.

Performance Parking on H Street NE

Desmond Harvey of DDOT said that Performance Parking will be instituted on H Street between 3rd and 15th Street NE.  What this means is there will be variable meters by the time of days.  He said it exists now in the ballpark district and in Columbia Height.  It will start in February and will be $.75 at its lowest use period and $2 at peak hours like 7-9 p.m. Residents will receive passes for visitors and there will be resident RPP parking on one side of the street.

Mr. Goodman said he strongly urge that two blocks on either side of H—G and F on the South, and I and K on the North, the areas coming back for streetscape improvement be included because of the amount of activity they get.  Mr. Harvey agreed and said that there should be more RPP parking.  He didn’t commit to anything.

Sun Trust Rock and Roll Marathon

Chris Browne, of the Greater Washington Sports Alliance, presented information on the March 17th race describing the route, which enters ANC 6C at Columbus Circle, goes out North Capitol St. to K Street and across K.  It will take place from 830 a.m. to Noon.  He apologized for things that went wrong last year, saying they had “missed the mark” on trash pick-up and had a new plan in effect this year.  He said that MPD prefers to have hard traffic closings, which could keep people from entering or leaving the area, but that “bump” traffic is possible if there are knowledgeable police at the corners.

He was asked how much money came to Capitol Hill, and didn’t answer. He was asked about the addition of music this year and said there will be local entertainers in public space including Lincoln Park, but not in residential areas.  Mr. Crews asked how their charity money was raised and was told that there’s a “match run” for charity that benefits the schools.

Motion: Mr. Crews moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to advise the District government not to go through Ward 6.  Ms. Wirt added that the ward doesn’t need that much disruption, and it’s too big for the community.  The motion passed 6-2, with Mr. Richardson and Mr. Goodman in opposition.

Jay Edelstein objected, saying the community had not had an opportunity to comment before the vote and he hoped there would be a follow-up meeting.

Walk for Lupus – April 21st

Penny Fletcher appeared for the Walk for Lupus on April 21st.  They had appeared in January before the Commission, and on the recommendation of Mr. Wilsey had met with the people from the Marriott Hotel about the use of Freedom Plaza early on a Saturday and also met with Joanne Neuhaus.  Mr. Wilsey said that they had met both conditions and he complimented their willingness to cooperate. Motion: Mr. Wilsey moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to send a letter to the Emergency Management Task Force in support of the Walk for Lupus on April 21st.  The motion passed without objection.

Fresh Farm Markets

Juliet Glass, Program Manager of Fresh Farm Markets came before the Commission for a letter of support for two markets: 1/The 10th year of the Penn Quarter market at 8th Street NW.  This year there will be a new charter school nearby and they will introduce a Matching Dollars Program to enable low- income students with SNAP, WIC, and other nutrition programs to use their program credit at the market. 2/The H Street Market will again be operating on Saturday mornings.  However, some time during the summer they will be beginning construction on the site of the market and it will have to move.  They asked for a letter of support from April 24 until they have to move.  They also made an appeal for help by the community in identifying a new location.  Motion: Mr. Wilsey moved/Mr. Goodman seconded a motion to support the Fresh Farm Markets on 8th Street NW and H Street NE for the 2012 season.  The motion passed unanimously.

DC Green Shop

A presentation was made by Cory Barnette on his proposal for a medical marijuana dispensary at 777 H Street NE, which is currently being considered by the City.  His background is with dispensing medical drugs in San Diego, and he has a carefully thought out plan, down to floor plans with security camera locations and security doors.  The DC Department of Health will make a decision about who and where his dispensaries will be located.

Washington DC Clean Energy Adult Public Charter School

Regina Williams gave a presentation about a new public charter school for adults that will both give instruction in basic core skills such as reading, mathematics, science social studies and writing skills and teach practical skills in clean energy job training.

Uline Arena

Chad Porter gave a presentation on a design fellowship program that each year undertakes a design project and this year will use the Uline Arena as their project to develop a sustainable community oriented project.

  1. Transportation and Public Space Committee

Committee Chair Joe McCann reported the following actions by the Transportation and Public Space Committee.

Trucks on 3rd Street NE

Nancy McCall, a resident of 3rd Street NE, is asking the ANC to try and help in mitigating the bus and truck traffic that illegally goes down her residential block, 3rd Street NE, and is cracking the old houses.  At 3rd and Pennsylvania Ave SE, a large sign tells truck traffic going west to turn around and go back to 8th Street, but in fact trucks and buses turn down her block.  She claims it is getting worse and nothing has helped to mitigate it.  Solutions she has suggested include signage, and a truck map, with new suggested routes using Massachusetts, and Maryland Avenues to Stanton Park.  Ms. Wirt said that Congresswoman Norton should be included in the letter since the Architect of the Capitol and the Capitol Police fall under her jurisdiction.

Motion Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Goodman seconded a motion that the full ANC support the Committee’s recommendation to send a letter to DDOT Administrator Bellamy and to Congresswoman Norton and the head of the Capitol Police urging a solution. The motion passed unanimously.

Florida Avenue Diet

Mr. Goodman said that DDOT has written a comprehensive NoMa transportation plan which has yet to be implemented.  However one of its pieces can be implemented immediately, and it’s an important one: the sidewalks between 2nd Street and West Virginia Avenue along Florida Avenue and Gallaudet should be widened. It’s an area that’s home to the premier deaf university in the world, and the street on which it’s located is too narrow for students and faculty to walk down the street communicating because they can’t walk two abreast.

Motion: Mr. Goodman moved/Mr. Crews seconded a motion that the ANC  support the Committee’s recommendation to send a letter to Transportation Administrator Terry Bellamy urging speedy action on the entire K Street diet portion of the NoMa Transportation Plan, but urging immediate action on that portion of the plan that will widen the sidewalk along Florida Avenue NE.  The motion passed unanimously.

NoMa Pole Banners

Mr. McCann reported on the presentation the NoMa BID gave the committee on the rhomboid-shaped banners with which will decorate the lampposts on 1st Street—there are six designs illustrating various NoMa activities—from communications satellites to daffodils— in different colors,   While a letter of support was not requested Mr. McCann suggested it would be nice to send one in case they need it.  Motion: Mr. Goodman moved/Mr. Crews seconded a motion that the ANC accept the Committee’s recommendation and send a letter to the BID recognizing the excellence of the poster designs if requested. The motion passed unanimously.

100 K Street NE Curb Cut

This is a request for support for a public space permit for a 20’ curb cut for entrance to a parking garage and a 24’ curb cut for use with a loading dock.

The developers have filed their application with Public Space but their request does not meet NoMa standards.  They have been working with Matt McCoo and hope they can get through without a hearing.  They do, however, have a tracking number.

The building lot is 20,000 sq. ft., with the tracks on the east boundary, a wall along K Street and an existing curb cut at 1st and K for WMATA use. The only place available is at the corner. The building will be 200 residential units; the garage holds .6 cars per unit.  They would like to make the K Street side into a sidewalk.  Because of its peculiar shape, the developer wants to have the curb cut okayed before he goes ahead with the design of the building.

Motion: Mr. Goodman moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion that the full ANC support the Committee recommendation of a public space permit for two curb cuts. Mr. Goodman presented the following motion: I move that ANC 6C support Archstone’s plans for new and relocated curb cuts at 100 K Street NE for a new residential building with the following stipulations:1/ The curb cut for the loading dock be reduced in width potentially by locating one of the required loading spaces off the parking garage driveway; and 2/The overall width of the curb cut area, as measured from the North property line to the edge of the Southern-most curb cut, be reduced as much as practical and in compliance with DDOT regulations from its currently proposed 58 feet.  Archstone has shown through their high-quality work elsewhere in ANC 6C to be a responsible developer that is helping grow NoMa and other areas of Washington DC in a positive way. The ANC is encouraged by their continued outreach to the neighborhood on this and other area projects.  The ANC is also looking forward to Archstone’s future application for landscaping and street furniture in the 1st and K Street NE public space areas.  The motion passed unanimously, 8-0.

Bikeshare Station, at 7th and Maryland Ave, NE

Mr. Price said that the nearest Bikeshare stations to the Northeast Library are at G and12th, and at Union Station.  The new Maryland Avenue traffic plan calls for extending the triangular park at Maryland and 7th Street.  He believes that the D Street side of the triangular park would be a good place for the stand.  He thinks it could be in the street, protected by bollards which would shield the bikes and clients from traffic–they would be safe.  Committee members had certain caveats—that it would be contingent on a user’s ability to access the station from the sidewalk side and coordinate with the Maryland Avenue side.  The Committee also felt that there should be further discussion and coordination with the Maryland Avenue planners.

Motion: Mr. Price moved/Mr. Crews seconded that read: I move we send a letter to DDOT that states that ANC 6supports a Bikeshare station at or near the intersection of 7th Street, D Street, and Maryland Ave. NE, provided that the station is not placed on the north side of the 700 block of D Street if station users are required to pull bicycles into on-coming traffic.  The ANC appreciates the outreach efforts undertaken so far by DDOT on this issue and understands that they will continue to coordinate with Commissioner   Scott Price, who represents the affected SMD, is working with DDOT to determine an appropriate location to provide safety for all roadway and station users, and preserve as much neighborhood parking as possible.  The motion passed unanimously, 8-0.

  1. PZE Committee

Opposing Raze Permit for 1232, 1234 and 1236 New Jersey Avenue NW

The PZE Committee recommends that the full Commission send a letter to the Mayor’s Agent opposing the granting of a raze permit for 1232, 1234 and 1236 New Jersey Avenue NW, an issue the ANC has been dealing with for several months.

According to the Committee’s report, presented by chair Mark Eckenwiler, the ANC’s opposition should be based on the following grounds:

  • The HPRB, in its report dated November 17, 2011, noted that the “conditions at 1234 and 1236 can largely be blamed on 20 years of deferred maintenance.”
  • By contrast, the HPRB notes that the applicant maintained 1232, performing  “a modicum of maintenance on the building” resulting in “floor joists free and clear of rot.”
  • The report clearly determines that the conditions of the properties are of the applicant’s own making, not the inevitable result of deterioration over time.
  • Under DC law, the burden of proof is on the applicant.  The applicant has not presented any evidence of economic hardship, as defined in stature, to the ANC.
  • Further, the ANC is not aware that the applicant has met requirements under DC law to submit evidence to the Mayor’s Agent, twenty days prior to the hearing, proving economic hardship as defined in statute, in particular, the applicant has not provided evidence showing the infeasibility of renovation or adapted use, which is also required under DC law.

The committee report noted that the HPRB recommended opposition to the raze request by a 5-0 vote.  Motion: Mr. Silver moved/Mr. Price seconded a motion to send a letter to the Mayor’s Agent opposing a raze permit for the three buildings.  The motion passed unanimously, 8-0.

700 Constitution Avenue NE


Motion: Mr. Crews moved/Mr. Price seconded a motion to send a letter to HPRB supporting the concept design of 700 Constitution Avenue NE.  He said that the developers had dealt with the provisos set by the ANC for its approval and it should move forward.  Joel Kelty said that the question of affordable housing should be investigated, as the building is matter-of-right and it could be an issue.  Mr. Crews said he was planning to request a meeting with the Zoning Administrator to discuss such issues as design review.  Mr. Goodman suggested that links be set up from the ANC web site to the developers’ web site.  The motion passed unanimously, 8-0.

The Crucible – 16 M Street NE

Mr. Goodman reported that The Crucible, a private club at 16 M Street NE had opened.  He noted that the ANC had voted to appeal the club’s building permit but that it would have been more appropriate to appeal its Certificate of Occupancy, since was not properly classified as a private club, but should have been classified as a sexually oriented establishment. Mr. Botsford, the owner once again said it is a private club and cited that he had 1409 members, and would have 2000 by the end of the month.  He also once again assured the Commission of his civic mindedness.  Motion:  Mr. Goodman moved/Mr. Crews seconded a motion to appeal the C of O and designate these two commissioners to represent the ANC in the matter.  The motion passed 7:1, with Mr. Wilsey in opposition.

  1. Grants Liaison

Mt. Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District

Mr. Crews presented a grant request from Bill McLeod of the Mt. Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District for $2500 to advertize with printed materials the second season of a Sunday Farmer’s Market at 5th and I Streets NW.  The Market will be a combination of food and crafts. Motion: Mr. Crews moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to approve a grant of $2500 for advertizing materials announcing the Mt. Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District plans for a summer Farmer’s Market.  Mr. Silver complimented Mr. McLeod as being great for the community and gave a brief history of the lot, which was offered to developers in February 2010 but after six weeks the City decided to return it to community use.  The motion passed unanimously.

Innovative School of Performing Arts

Motion: Mr. Crews moved/Mr. Silver seconded a motion to extend the grant through May because of school scheduling.  Mr. Silver said he would like to visit the program and see the kids at work. The motion passed without objection.

  1. Additional Business

 Zuppa Fresca – 250 K Street NE

This is a new restaurant in the Loree Grand, 250 K Street NE that is open for breakfast and lunch and is seeking a stipulated license until it has a full license so it can begin operations.  There are no bar sales, only wine and beer with food.  Motion: Mr. Goodman moved/Mr. Crews seconded a motion to support a stipulated license for Zuppa Fresca.  The motion passed without objection.

Uline Arena

Marcella Prieto of the National Symphony Orchestra gave a brief presentation on the National Symphony’s Around Town grant program which will, over the next two years, have programs in various locations around the country to bring the symphony into various communities, and the Uline arena is one of the sites they will be using.  This is an NEA grant program that will provide $50,000 for the grant.  Motion: Mr. Goodman moved/Mr. Crews seconded a motion to support the Around Town grant program.  The motion passed unanimously.

Liquor Licenses

  • Hikari Sushi and Sake Bar – 644 H Street NE

Mr. Wilsey said that a VA had been signed with the establishment.

  • Xclusive -707 H Street NE

It was announced that a VA has been signed with Xclusive.

Other Business

Mr. Goodman suggested that the ANC consider resurrecting the Public Safety Committee.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:14 p.m.