September 2012

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Thursday, September 13, 2012
Heritage Foundation
214 Massachusetts Avenue NE

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

The meeting was convened at 7 PM

  1. Agenda

The agenda was amended to include a presentation on the development 5th and I Street NW by the Mayor’s Office on Economic Development, Motion: Mr. Price moved/Mr. Wilsey seconded a motion to accept the agenda as amended.  The motion passed without objection.

  1. Minutes

Ms. Wirt moved/Mr. Wilsey seconded a motion to accept the June and July minutes as presented.  The motion passed without objection, with the caveat that additions and corrections will be accepted for one week.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer’s Report

Mr.  Richardson began by saying he had received notification of the 2013 budget allotment, based on the population of the ANC, and that he would be presenting a budget next month based on those figures.  He said he had distributed the letter from Gottlieb Simon containing the information.

He then presented the following expenses for approval; Roberta Weiner submitted a bill for $166.50 for transcribing the July 2012 minutes; $185 for transcribing the July 2012 minutes; $83.15 for transcribing the September Public Space and Transportation Committee meeting; and $64.85 for representing the ANC at an ABRA hearing that no-one else was able to cover, for a total of $479.50. Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/.Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to accept the expenses.  The motion passed unanimously. Mr. Price submitted a bill for $65 for the purchase of plastic wrap and tape to be used to post notices within His SMD.  Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/.Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to accept the expenses

Mr. Richardson delivered the Treasurer’s Report for June.  It showed an opening balance of $82,485.12.  There was an interest payment of $.69.  A check was written for $249.75 to Roberta Weiner for transcribing the May 2012 minutes (Check #1245); for $249.75 to Roberta Weiner for transcribing the June 2012muinutes; and $2,150 for a grant to Team Mom  Association for football uniforms (Check #1247), leaving a balance in the checking account of $79,836.56.  Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Mr. Goodman seconded a motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report as presented. The motion passed without objection.

Mr. Richardson then delivered the Treasurer’s Report for July.  It showed an opening balance of $79,836.56.  There was an interest payment of $.67.  A check was written for $210 to Andrea Ferster for legal services relating to an ABRA case (Check #1248); and $65 to Karen Wirt as reimbursement for PO Box rental (Check #1249} leaving a balance in the checking account of $79,467.23.  Motion: Mr. Richardson moved/Mr. Goodman seconded a motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report as presented. The motion passed without objection.

  1. Brief Community Announcements

Best Buddies Bike and Walk Event-October 20

ra (?) representing Best Buddies an organization that mentors mentally and physically disabled people will have q bike ride and 5 K walk on October 20 using the same route they have used in the past. They expect to be done by 9:45 or 10 am.  Mr. Wilsey said it begins at a nice spot AND ENDS AT a nice spot and it should be fine. Motion: Mr., Wilsey moved/Ms. Wirt0 seconded a motion to approve the Best Buddies event on October 20th.The motion passed without objection.

Annual AIDS Walk-October 27


Kevin Reynolds, Executive Director of Whitman Walker AIDs Walk—this is its 26th Year, said that it’s going to be at the same place, and the route has not changed in several years, Mr. Wilsey said that Marriott is concerned about the placement of tents at Freedom Plaza and they have discussed it,  Mr. Wilsey said that this is a great event, that it’s a great charity and he is happy to support it, Motion: Mr., Wilsey moved/Mr. Goodman seconded a motion to approve the Annual AIDS Walk on October 27h.The motion passed without objection.

National Race to End Women’s Cancer-November 4th


Betty Saylor of the Foundation for Women’s Cancer, presented information about the 8K Race to End Women’s Cancer that will take place on November 4th.  It’s the second year for this event, which takes the same route as the Jingle Bell Race.  Mr. Wilsey said they had talked about tents and “we’re cool.” Motion: Mr., Wilsey moved/Ms. Wirt seconded a motion to approve the Race to End Women’s Cancer on November 4th.The motion passed without objection.

5th and I Streets NW

Chad Donahoe of Donahoe Construction and Ty Simpson from Spector Development appeared to present preliminary information on the project they are planning at a current parking lot at 5th and I Street NW. They are working with the Mayor’s Office on Economic Development. And they introduced Ivan Matthews, who works with the office.  They’re planning a mixed use development with a boutique hotel, residential units and ground floor retail.  They have met with Commissioners Dixon and Silver on how to bring jobs to the community and to that end have met with hospitality industry job placement people, and with a group called Training Ground about the development of job training programs.  Mr. Price asked about whether this would have any connection to what Walmart is planning, and he was told that they were not going to do any training themselves but identify thither groups equipped to undertake successful program.  Mr. Dixon said he approved of what they are planning. They are returning to the ANC next month to present the project.  They said the timeline includes surplusing the property, saying it’s not needed for t he operation of the District. And then it can be offered for development.

Office of Aging Open House

Brenda Turner of the DC Office on Aging spoke about the Office’s new headquarters at 55 K Street NE, where they also have a wellness center for which Howard University Medical School is creating a creative program. The Center has a small park outside with tables for chess, and also has a playground where young families can come or grandparents can have an intergenerational experience with young kids,  There are plans to have an open house, probably on Friday, October 26, but the date has to be finalized,

Mr. Goodman said the building is in his SMD and the community is thrilled to have the building there, it’s a great amenity and there are people who went to school there who can now enjoy it as seniors, but the Office of Aging has not been taking care of the building, and there has been graffiti with profanity on the building and trash, and the Office of Aging could be more proactive in seeing that the grounds were kept clean and welcoming,.  He said that people know who the vandals are and have not gone after them. A police car has been there, but has been parked in the back parking lot and the officer has done nothing.  They have contacted everyone they can.  Ms. Turner said they had found out that it is the Department of General Services (DSG) that is responsible for the grounds and Dr,. Johnson, the office’s director, is meeting with them the day after the meeting; Mr. Goodman said he hopes Protective Services will get involved.

  1. Transportation and Public Space Committee

In the absence of Committee Chair Joe McCann, Mr. Goodman presented.

33 New York Avenue NE

This is the former site of Mirrors nightclub, and is an odd triangular shape with entrances on New York Venue and N Street. The hotel will have no on-site parking, using valetv parking instead,

which means there will be one les curb cut in the neighborhood.  The request is to put in landscaping and fences along N Street and New York Avenue., He said the Committee supported the Public Space request, and said he had requested that benches and bicycle racks be included in the streetscape. He asked the architect whether that happened.  She responded that it had been taken care of. Motion: Mr. Goodman moved/Mr. Dixon seconded a motion to support the request for a public space permit for the hotel at 33 New York Avenue, conditional upon the inclusion of benches and bicycle racks in the plans,.  The motion passed without objection,

  1. Planning, Zoning and the Environment Committee

654 Massachusetts Avenue NE

This is a request for support for a special exception for a for a rear addition to an existing one-family row house not meeting the lot occupancy requirements and non-conforming structure requirements for the R-4 district.  The applicants are constructing an enclosed porch where an existing deck is today, they have letters o support from all their neighbors.  Mr. Price said there was a similar request before the ANC a few months ago and he supported it, a                                                                                                  nd so he will support this.  Motion:  Mr. Price moved/Mr. Crews seconded a motion to accept the Committee’s recommendation to support the request for a special exception for a dwelling at 654 Massachusetts Avenue NE.  The motion Passed unanimously, 7-0.

1005 North Capitol Street NE

In July, the ANC voted to support a series of variances or thiss residential, retail and office building being developed by Be the Change. Subsequently, after a series of meetings with new staff at DDOT, the application has had to been revised. DDOT will not approve a 30’ loading area requiring Aa currrb cut., so the developers have presented an alternative.  The revised application now reads:

  1. A variance from the court width and area requirements under subsection 774.2 and 411.11 and 770.6,
  2. A variance from the off-street parking requirements under subsection 2101.1
  3. Variances from the loading berth depth and service/delivery space requirements under subsection 2201.1
  4. A special exception from the rear yard requirements under subsection 774.2 and 411.11 and 770.8
  5. A special exception from the roof structure setback requirements under subsection 411.11` and 770.6.

to allow the construction of a new building with residential, retail and office uses in the C-3-C district t 1005 north capitol street NE

Church is not raising any objection. He said that previously they had been to the ANC for support of a According to developer Chapman Todd, who appeared at the meeting with Jim Truby, St. Phillip’s DCHD grant for the construction, which, they just learned, they have received.

He said they have met with the church several times, most recently with Mr. Dixon present, as well as their legal counsel.  They have reworked the issues about which the church had concerns – e.g. parking in front of the church.  He said they believed they had answered all the concerns the church. had raised, and are working on an MOU with the church board that will be ready before construction begins

Mr. Dixon expressed his deep concern that the church is aware and involved, and his particular concern is possible damage to the building during construction.  Mr., Dixon mentioned the example of the Second Baptist Church in his neighborhood that was damaged during construction of condos next door and never received any compensation. Mr. Todd repeated that the issue was discussed with the church, and the answer was to remove underground parking from the project to avoid excavation by designing a foundation using augur piles that can be applied without vibration.

Mr. Goodman thanked the developers for bringing the project to the community, and for eliminating parking, which also reduces the construction impact on the neighborhood, He said he strongly abhors curb cuts, but he also doesn’t like loading things on the sidewalk, and prefers that loading should be inside the building. Motion:  Mr. Goodman moved/Mr. Dixon seconded a motion to accept the alternative application for areas of relief, but strongly suggest that the ANC would strongly prefer the solution with curb cuts and indoor loading.  The motion passed unanimously, 7-0.

Zoning Commission Changes

Mr. Eckenweiler announced that as part of the rewrite of the Zoning Code that is now taking place, the Zoning Commission has issued a document with changes in such areas as height limits, PUD procedures and public benefits criteria, as well as Zoning Commission procedure.  There is a link to the document on the ANC website.  The Capitol Hill Restoration Society has scheduled a meeting on the new zoning regulations on September 25th at 7 pm at the Hill Center.

1130-1150 3rd Street NE – Uline Arena

This is a request for a two year extension, to October 2, 2014, of zoning relief granted to Jamal.  This is the second extension requested by the developer. They have presented an affidavit that they have been unable to find funding for the project.  Mt. Goodman met with the applicant and agreed to make changes on list prepared by Mr. Goodman that includes eliminating graffiti from the building, ending illegal parking, eliminating a temporary dog run. Mr. Goodman said they have already painted over the graffiti, which is impressive because there was a lot.  He said that it would be nice to have a place, perhaps fenced in with some benches, but not a full-fledged dog park, for the neighbors to use’  He said he is not happy about the extension, but that two years ago when they got their first one, they agreed to make changes and they were taken care of quickly.  Motion:  Mr. Goodman moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to support a two year extension of the PUD for Uline Arena.  The motion passed unanimously, 7-0.  Mr. Price added that sometimes extensions prove to be useful.

601-645 H Street NE

This project was previously before the ANC for zoning relief and this is an informational presentation about improvements in the plans.  Kevin Roberts, of Jair Lynch spoke. They have a collaborative relationship with Insights Property on their H Street project—see below).  Mr. Richardson said they have had several meetings with the community as they updated the plan.  Changes include the use of dark brick, which they think is more in keeping with Capitol Hill; the new plan has eight or nine openings in the block which they hope to fill with CVS, a small market, hardware store and a restaurant on the corner.  Mr. Dixon asked if it was across the street from Murry’s and was told that they are not Part of the PUD on the north side.  Resident Leticia Dixon lives at 614 I Street and says she is new to the community and has a difficult time learning about Kevin’s meeting, and also finds it hard to visualize where this is,  He said that currently there is a one-story building and a vacant grocery store.  Another resident said she can find out about the meetings in the Hill Rag.

600 H Street NE

Trent Smith of THE Insight Property Group spoke, and reminded the ANC that Insight has filed a PUD application for the Murry’s site, and is completing the acquisition of H Street Storage..  There have been changes since then—there will be no hotel in the project,  Both Murry’s and H Street Storage are included in the PUD, and an alley closing application for the site will be going through the Public Space Committee,  There have been many meetings, and more meetings will occur. A neighbor asked how close to the project do you have to be to get notification of meetings and was told by Mr. Smith that it is 200’.  Ms. Butler who runs a daycare center with 126 children asked about her future, and was told the lease ends at the end of this year.  She wanted to know what happens when the lease expires; and; Mr. Smith suggested she talk to the lessor of her space.  Ms. Butler replied that Ms. Pikey (?) didn’t have any information. Mr. Smith said he wants to keep the nursery school as long as possible before construction begins.  Mr. Richardson said that Insight has made itself available from very early and Bill Sisolak asked what SMDs were involved in the project and was told 6C05 and 6C06.

618 l Street NE

There is a developer who has completed some projects and is beginning other projects, all of which have had potential or real zoning or public space violations. At  618 L Street NE, the contractor had received a permit for renovation and work on the rooftop; and then tore down everything but the front façade despite a Stop Work order, he told the neighbors he would destroy the front façade as well, and did so one night.  Councilmember Wells recommended that the ANC encourage DCRA to be more aggressive.  The developer is just now applying for a raze permit.  Joe McCann has written a letter to DCRA, which issued a Stop Work order on 618 L.  Mr. Eckenweiler said that these projects had been involved in other PZE Committee hearings.  The addresses, other than 618 L, include 915 2nd Street NE, 1100 7th Street, and 737 6th Street NE.  Mr. Crews said that 400 K Street should be added to the list where someone has put in an illegal parking pad on public space.  Mr. Goodman said there should be a separate letter for 618 L Street E.  Motion: Mr. Crews moved/Mr. Richardson seconded a motion to send two letters, one on 618 L Street, one on the other properties, to DCRA, using Mr. McCann’s letter as a template, urging that they are diligent in their enforcement of regulations.  The motion passed unanimously, 7-0.

The Crucible – 16 M Street NW

Mr. Goodman reported that he agreed to drop an appeal on the Crucible’s Certificate of Occupancy, contingent on an agreement to operate in a way that will reduce noise and other impacts.  Minor adjustments were made to the agreement originally presented last month and it was signed.  He said the Crucible has been a fine neighbor.  However, he said he would like it if they added landscaping.  Mr. Crews complimented Mr. Goodman for making the agreement and for the club.  Mr. Dixon asked why the Commission did not see the changes before it was finalized.  Mr. Goodman replied that he was authorized by the ANC to negotiate changes. Mr. Dixon said the issue needs to be brought to the community.  Mr. Goodman said that he would prefer that the Crucible would not be there, but they are being very good neighbors  The owner will have to renew their lease, which is up in two years and believes that Skanska, the landlord, wants to develop the site, will not renew the lease at that time.  Mr. Dixon said he has received emails on the Crucible, and Ms. Wirt  said he should give them to her to be archived.

  1. Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee

Hampton Inn – 901 6th Street NW


Mr. Wilsey reported that the Hampton Inn, 901 6th Street NW has applied for  a liquor license for a lobby bar. It is a Class C tavern license without a separate name.  They also want a summer garden open until 3 a.m., which the committee objected to. Steve O’Brien, representing the Applicant, said they wanted to do this to meet competition from other nearby hotel bars,.  There are no other bars in the hotel.  There will be no entertainment, no separate entrance. They only want to compete with other hotels that have similar services.  Construction is already under way, with minimal impact.  Mr. Goodman reported seeing the  construction through the windows on his way to work.  They also require a stipulated license so they can open soon.  Motion: Mr. Wilsey moved/.Mr. Goodman seconded a motion to support the license application for the lobby bar at the Hampton Inn Hotel.  The motion passed 7-0, unanimously,  Motion: Mr, Wilsey moved/Mr. Goodman seconded a motion that the ANC support the  Hampton Inn’s request for a stipulated license.  The motion passed unanimously.

  1. Grants Liaison

Mr. Crews presented two grants:

H Street Festival

Mr, Crews reprted that, as in past years, H Street Main Street was asking for a grant toward the infrastructure of the H Street Festival on September 16th.  They are requesting $5000–$1000 toard a first aid facility; $2000 for Porta-Potties; and $2000 for barrels,  Anwar Saleem spoke for H Sreet Main Street.  Ms. Wirt reminded him that the ANC will be smaller next year and the same level of funding will not be available, Motion: Mr. Crews moved/Ms, Wirt seconded a motion to grant H Street Main Street $5000 for H Street Festival equipment.  Mr. Richardson reminded Mr. Saleem that they would work on the billing, The motion passed 6-0-1, with Mr. Richardson abstaining because he serves on the H Street Main Street board.

Stuart  Hobson Middle School

Stuart Hobson School has had a football team for the past five years without a facility or equirment.  Today, according to coach Clayton Witt, they are one of  the top teams in the city.  They have partnered with an association of turf manufacturers and now have turf in the back of the school.  DCPS does not supply sleds, they have five from vendors.  They have gotten funds from vendors, and  the Capitol Hill Foundation.  They have gotten lots of training aids for their 35 member team, including two girls.  He said they have shared some equipment with other school teams.  They are requesting $870 of their total $8410 total requested from all sources.  The money will go toward stepover dummies, strength devices, etc. They are insured through DCPS and parents also have to fill out insurance forms. They currently have $3000 of what they need,.  Mr. Richardson said that the ANC could do more, and the coach suggested a piece of equipment that costs $100 each,   Ms.. Wirt reminded the commissioners that they could only approve what was in front of them, and it was suggested that Stuart Hobson come back next month with another application. Motion: Mr. Goodman moved/Mr. Price seconded a motion to approve the grant for $870 to Stuart Hobson School for football training equipment,  The motion passed unanimously.

  1. New Business

NoMa Parks


Mr. Goodman said there is not a single park, playground or plaza in NoMa.  There was an $18,000 line in the City budget that was removed.  Mayor Gray, however, announced a shift of budget funds of $490,000 for planning for parks in NoMa.  It will make it easier to get future funding, and there will be many meeting to assess needs and plan.  Motion: Mr. Goodman moved/Mr. Crews seconded a motion to send a letter to Mayor Gray to thank him for his support of NoMa.  The motion passed unanimously.

Crossing Guards at New School

Tim Abdulla, a local resident would like the ANC’s assistance in getting a crosswalk and crossing guard for the new Montessori school at 215 G Street NE.  He said he’s just asking for the basic things you would expect of a school. Mr. Goodman said that he and Mr,. McCann had taken a bicycle tour with DDOT and Omar Mahmud of ANC 6A and discussed a lot of changes.  Mr. Abdulla wants to send a letter and wanted to know who the letter should be sent to He said there was an incident recently with a driver being aggressive toward a family, and they need an immediate crossing guard.  He said the school requested the crossing guard a year ago. Motion: Mr,. Crews moved/Mr, Price seconded a motion to send a letter to Terry Bellamy at DDOT with a copy to Councilmember Wells asking to have the situation resolved,.  The motion passed unanimously.  Mr. Goodman said that they are working on improvements to G and I Streets–things llike sidewalk repair, striping    and we should make certain this is included.  He said another positive is it t here’s also construction going on in that area and that con be helpful as far as signage for a school zone in a work zone.

Extending the Historic District

Drury Tallent said he had met with the Office of Historic Preservation about the status of proposals to extend the historic district.  What they told him is that no application should have any opposition from individuals, and the opposition has to be ferreted out by the people making the application. Historic Preservation would consider doing it two blocks at a time, but won’t do it alone, and it’s hard to do.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 pm