December 2014

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ANC 6C Minutes
Monday, December 8, 2014
Heritage Foundation
214 Massachusetts Avenue N.E.

The meeting was called to order at approximately 7:00 p.m.


A quorum of five out of six commissioners was present (Mr. Eckenwiler, Mr. Kazmierczak, Mr. Price, Ms. Schiffman, and Ms. Wirt).

Approval of the Agenda

The agenda was approved without objection. Motion:  Mr. Price/Mr. Eckenwiler.

Approval of the Minutes

The minutes were approved without objection, with the caveat that commissioners would have one week to send in any corrections.  Motion:  Ms. Wirt/Mr. Eckenwiler.

Treasurer’s Report

Mr. Price presented the treasurer’s report for November as follows.  The beginning balance was $49,134.01.  There was an interest payment from the Bank of America of $0.40.  The closing balance was $49,134.41. The treasurer’s report and the expenses within were accepted without objection.  Motion:  Mr. Price/Mr. Kazmierczak.

Candidates for the Consent Calendar

There were no candidates for the consent calendar.

Brief Community Announcements

The commissioners thanked Mr. Kazmierczak for his service in the ANC 6C05 neighborhood and encouraged him to stay active in the community.

Alcohol Beverage Regulation Committee

Citizen committee chair Drew Courtney presented the following applications.

  1. ShopHouse, Union Station 50 Massachusetts Avenue N.E., application for a new class D license plus a stipulated license allowing the establishment to serve beer and wine before the license is formally heard at ABRA., application  # 097214.  The commissioners had no problems with this establishment’s application and voted unanimously to support both the license and the stipulated license.  Motion:  Mark Eckenwiler/Karen Wirt.
  2. Giant Food, 360 H Street N.E., renewal of a class B license.  The commissioners had no problems with the renewal of this license and voted unanimously to support the application.   Motion: Ms. Wirt/Mr. Eckenwiler.
  3. Po Boy Jim’s, 709 H Street N.E., class C license, change of license (hours) and request for an entertainment endorsement, application # 087903.  After some discussion regarding the negative effects with extended hours and noise, the commissioners voted unanimously to protest the license on the basis of disturbance to the peace, order, and quiet of the neighborhood.  Mr. Drew Courtney was designated as the representative in matters pertaining to this application. Motion: Ms. Wirt/Mr. Eckenwiler.
  4. Update on the protest regarding H Street Bar and Grill, 523 H Street N.E.—Mr. Kazmierczak reported that a settlement agreement had been reached between ANC 6C and the applicant. The establishment will close at 10 pm seven days a week.  It will apply for a public space license to accommodate outdoor seating.  The applicant stated that the restaurant is expected to open about December 10.

Appreciation for Service by Joe McCann

Ms. Naomi Mitchell read a letter of thanks from Council Member Tommy Wells for six years of service by Mr. McCann, during which time he chaired the ANC 6C Transportation/Public Space Committee.  The commissioners also thanked Mr. McCann for his excellent service and encouraged him to assist during the transition to a new committee chair.

Parks and Events Committee

Citizen committee chair presented the following agenda items.

  1. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Marathon—This event, which will occur on March 15, 2015, will affect ANC 6C streets from H to North Capitol and from 2ndto 13th Streets NE.  Mr. Price has assisted with numerous improvements in this year’s event, including informing MPD officers of full-time entry and exit routes, posting special operations officers at bump routes and bump outs, allowing traffic to go through at specific intersections. Motion:  Mr. Price/Mr. Kazmierczak.
  2. Cupid’s UndieRun—This run will occur on February 15, 2015.  The event organizers plan rolling closures of streets.  The route is one mile.  To minimize any adverse impacts on residents, organizers will alert the community about the event about two weeks in advance by flyers in mailboxes along the route.  Notices will be placed in a Hill publication, and churches will be notified so as not to inconvenience parishioners attending church that day.  The commissioners voted unanimously to support the event. Motion:  Mr. Kazmierczak/Mr. Eckenwiler.
  3. Proposed NoMa temporary dog park—Mr. Brian Chamowitzpresented a plan to build a temporary fenced dog run on the strip of land east of the Metropolitan Braanch Traqil and west of the Metro/train track fence between L and M Streets NE.  He stated the severe lack of parks and green space in NoMa, that the DC Council had voted in its 2014 budget to expend money for parks, but that this dog run could be arranged in the interim for the many dog owners in the area.  He asked for a letter of support to encourage DDOT and DPR to work with the owner/developer of the land to set up this dog run.  The commissioners voted unanimously to support the proposal.  Motion:  Mr. Price/Mr. Kazmierczak.

[Note:  At this point in the meeting, Ms. Schiffman arrived.]

Grants Committee

Ms. Ducote, citizen committee chair, announced that the DC Auditor had approved the revised grant guidelines, and that the ANC 6C website would display the next grant cycle beginning March 15 with a February deadline for submission.  An update was given on the ANC 6C grant to J.O. Wilson School to construct a shed for the school garden project.  She briefly described the new grant scoring system, with points assigned according to criteria including community impact, viability, and community support by others.  The committee is planning an outreach event to enable community members to learn about grant opportunities.  Part of this effort includes communication with the ANC 6A Grants Committee chair.

Transportation/Public Space Committee 

Mr. McCann briefly summarized the proposed Pepco-Exelon merger, Public Service Commission case # 1119.  The committee heard arguments from the Grid 2.0 Working Group, which included negative impacts of the merger including increased rates, reduced reliability, and  no renewable energy plans.  Mr. Price added there were no long-term benefits and insufficient benefits.  Ms. Wirt added the deadline for comments is March, and moved that ANC 6C invite staff from the People’s Counsel to address the ANC on these matters in January or February.  Motion:  Ms. Wirt/Mr. Price.  Mr. Eckenwiler stated the merger was complex, and it would take too much time for this ANC can spend to get up to speed on all issues related to the merger, during which time other community matters might not be adequately addressed.  Ms. Wirt stated that the matter was important because it could affect energy prices for decades. The vote to support continued discussion failed: 2:2:1. Ms. Wirt encouraged the community to write their own letters to the Public Service Commission.

Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development

  1. 710 A Street N.E., # HPA 15-089, application for rear addition—The applicant requested a postponement of its HPRB hearing and a return visit to the committee because of reconsideration of the material to be used in facing the addition.  No vote was taken at this time.
  2. 1270 4thStreet N.E., # ZC 14-07—Nonvoting discussion of an application for a Planned Unit Development.  The applicant obtained a postponement of its ZC hearing until February 19, at which time it will discuss an amended proposal.
  3. 646-654 H Street N.E., #BZA 18890, variances from  parking requirements, parking space requirements, and loading requirements; special exception from overlay requirements by increasing floor area of an existing building by more than 50 percent—The applicant requested deferring consideration to allow the applicant time to present a revised proposal to the committee at a future date.
  4. Proposed zoning regulation amendment, ZC 14-11 on definitions, maximum height and minimum lot dimension requirements in residential zones, and R-4 zone use permissions—The commissioners voted unanimously to support the following recommendations: (1) support reducing maximum matter-of-right height in the R-4 zone from 40 feet to 35 feet subject to light/air/privacy requirements to protect neighboring properties.  This would provide for BZA review and community input on “pop-ups” higher than 35 feet. (2) oppose defining mezzanines as occupying no more than one-third of a building level, with the remaining two-thirds open in the style of an atrium, and specifying mezzanines would not count as a story in determining compliance with restriction on the number of stories. (3) regarding converting pre-1958 buildings in R-4 zones, allow conversions of both residential and nonresidential pre-1958 buildings, but only as a special exception subject to light/air/privacy considerations, and with no provision for inclusionary zoning or special exception relief in units less than 900 square feet. (4) allow a mechanical or stairway roof structure to rise 18 feet 6 inches above the roof in residential zones, with the caveat that for buildings allowed full 18 feet 6 inches penthouse height, that the 1:1 setback requirement be applied to all walls of the building.  The commissioners voted unanimously to support these recommendations and to designate Mr. Eckenwiler as the ANC 6C representative in all matters pertaining to ZC 14-11.  Motion:  Mr. Eckenwiler/ Mr. Price.

Capitol Crossing, Request to Close a Portion of I-395

The commissioners heard an explanation of why the portion of I-395 must be closed between Massachusetts Avenue and E Street in order to allow the developer of Capitol Crossing to cut 18 months off construction time.  The developer explained that U.S. DDOT told them last week that it would take 1-4 years before approval because of a lengthy process required for federal highway changes, and that as a result Capitol Crossing was unlikely to pursue the closure request.  There were serious impacts on traffic, safety, etc.  It would change signal timing on neighboring streets and cause thousands of commuters to be inconvenienced.  The developer stated they would come back before the ANC in 30 to 60 days with plans on how they will proceed.                                         


Other Business

Mr. Price stated it was a criminal offense in DC and also a violation of federal law to have dogs off leash in Stanton Park and in Lincoln Park.  Returfing efforts are scheduled to be completed in June 2015. When the returfing fencing comes down, dog owners must be aware that the NPS director is issuing a warning that dog owners must comply with the no off-lease laws. Eleanor Holmes Norton is looking into creating a dog park where dogs can run off leash. ANC 6C meets with MPS every quarter through its Parks and Events Committee.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 pm.