ANC 6C Minutes
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
214 Massachusetts Avenue N.E.
The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m.
A quorum of five out of six commissioners was present (Mr. Eckenwiler, Mr. Goodman, Mr. Kazmierczak, Mr. Price, and Ms. Wirt).
The agenda was approved unanimously.[Motion: Ms. Wirt/Mr. Eckenwiler]
The January minutes were approved without objection with the usual caveat that any corrections can be submitted within one week of the meeting. [Motion: Ms. Wirt/Mr. Price]
Mr. Price presented the treasurer’s report for January. The beginning balance was $48,705.79. There was an interest payment of $0.41. Three checks were written: $1,844.34, a legal retainer fee for assistance with the Tru Orleans liquor license protest; a recurring PO fee of $165.00 for rental of a post office box for six months; and $25.00 for the ANC security fund. The closing balance was $46,671.85. The bank reported the closing balance as $46,861.85, which does not include the two checks that had not yet been cashed ($165.00 and $25.00 checks). The ANC reports the balance as checks are written; the bank reports the balance as checks are cashed. The treasurer’s report and the expenses therein were approved unanimously. [Motion: Mr. Price/Ms. Wirt]
New expenses were approved: $125.92, for legal consultation with Mr. Goodman regarding the Ibiza protest, and Hill Rag ads for the monthly ANC advertisement as well as an ad in the annual Community Guide. [Motion: Ms. Wirt/Mr. Goodman] The total amount for the ads, $2,187, was questioned by Mr. Price. Ms. Wirt stated she would raise this concern with the Hill Rag and report back to the treasurer if there was an error in the calculation of the total amount.
Mr. Goodman reported that a new restaurant, Moe’s Southwest Grill, opened at N and First Street N.E. He also stated that DDOT work has begun on the Florida Avenue traffic study. He and Joe McCann attended a preview meeting showing alternatives. Once the study is formally introduced, the ANC 6C Transportation/Public Space Committee can discuss. Alternatives being considered for Sixth Street are one way north, or retain two-way traffic but eliminate bike lanes and widening of the sidewalk.
Mr. Price reported on his work monitoring Medlink Hospital construction (now renamed Specialty Hospital of Washington, 700 Constitution Avenue N.E). There will be a community meeting to discuss progress on February 26, 7:00 p.m. at the N.E. Library. He stated that there are communication problems, but he has posted a summary of progress on his SMD email site. He is working with ANC 6A, CHRS, St. Monica and St. James churches, Union Square homeowners across the street from the hospital, and the Capitol Coalition for Senior Planning. He cautioned that only the first 100 people who show up for the February 26 will be allowed into the room because of fire capacity limits. The last meeting had about 80 attendees.
Alcoholic Beverage Committee
DC Harvest, 517 H Street N.E., new license—Chair Drew Courtney stated that a letter of assurances was received from the DC Harvest applicant, Arthur Ringel, regarding hours and trash collection. Upon receipt of the letter, the nearby residents’ concerns were addressed. The license request was approved unanimously, and the letter will be sent to ABRA for the record. [Motion: Mr. Price/Mr. Kazmierczak]
Admiral of the Bay, 444 North Capitol N.W., new license—Ms. Wirt, in whose SMD this applicant’s establishment is located, stated that a letter of assurances regarding noise from the rooftop garden had been received in response to resident concerns at a nearby apartment condominium. The letter satisfied the resident concerns, as confirmed by Ms. Rosen, the president of the condominium association. The license was approved unanimously, and the letter will be sent to ABRA for the record. [Motion: Ms. Wirt/Mr. Eckenwiler]
Mr. Kazmierczak gave an update of the status of the Tru Orleans protest. He stated that the settlement agreement calls for an enclosed second floor area, shorter hours, no patio D.J.s, and patrons must respect the neighborhood. The ABRA board can entertain a new applicant’s request for an entertainment endorsement, but the ANC can protest. ANC 6C has withdrawn its protest. The ABRA board will revisit the application at its next meeting.
Ms. Wirt reported that the ABRA board decision on Romeo and Juliet at 301 Massachusetts Avenue N.E was in favor of the residents regarding sidewalk cafe hours [11:00 pm weeknights; 12:00 midnight Friday and Saturday], but that the board allowed the restaurant to be open in the interior until 2:00 am weeknights and 3:00 am Friday and Saturday. The neighbors will be keeping an eye on how this works out.
Mr. Eckenwiler nominated David Prestwood to serve on the Alcoholic Beverage Committee. Ms. Wirt nominated Charles McMillion.
Transportation/Public Space Committee
Second Street N.E., safety concerns at E, F, and G—Chair McCann stated that his committee voted to request the speed camera at Second and G be moved to Second and F, a dangerous intersection for pedestrians going to and from Union Station. The commissioners agreed, voting unanimously to support a letter to MPD requesting the camera move and a letter to DDOT requesting signage between E and G alerting drivers that a camera is in the vicinity. [Motion: Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Kazmierczak] Mr. Goodman asked that a copy of the letter to MPD be sent to the DDOT Pedestrian Advisory Council.
H Street parking and loading zones—Mr. McCann stated that he would invite the DDOT ward planner to the March meeting of his committee to discuss H Street issues. The original streetcar plan called for follow-up studies for the area north of H to K and south of H to E Street. He also stated that performance parking was not working as expected.
Mr. McCann reported that Malia Salaam stated the street car safety inspection will occur in the spring. There will be no charge to ride the streetcars initially. Mr. McCann asked for a fee schedule.
Planning, Zoning, and Environment Committee
1140 Sixth Street N.E., Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, BZA 18291-A—The applicant asks for a two-year extension due to difficulty in finding financing, partly because of a troubled relationship with the general contractor. The commissioners voted unanimously to support the request for extension. [Motion: Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Goodman]
651 F Street N.E., BZA 18730—The applicant seeks a special exception to allow a rear addition to a single-family rowhouse not meeting lot occupancy and nonconforming requirements in the R-4 district. This project has no negative impact on neighbors. The addition consists entirely of filling in an existing nonconforming open court “dogleg.” The addition results in no increase in percentage lot occupancy. However, because the property is currently at 66.1 percent lot occupancy, extending the nonconformity by filling in the court requires a special exception. The commissioners voted unanimously to support the application. [Motion: Mr.Eckenwiler/Mr. Goodman]
Discussion turned to permitting and code violations at 507 K Street, where a structure has been gutted and is being redone with an additional third level. There are numerous violations and problems with lack of action. Fire safety for party walls is another concern. The commissioners voted unanimously to write two letters: one to the zoning administrator regarding the nonconforming court, and a second letter to the DCRA director outlining problems with the entire process. Mr. Price added a corollary that ANC 6C check with Gottlieb Simon to see of other ANCs are experiencing similar problems with DCRA permitting and code violations. [Motion: Mr. Kazmierczak/Mr. Eckenwiler] Mr. Price mentioned other permitting problems at Medlink Hospital. He stated that DCRA approved construction there without informing the Historic Preservation Office.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:58 p.m.