November 2014

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ANC 6C Minutes
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Heritage Foundation
214 Massachusetts Avenue N.E.

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

Quorum

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

Approval of the Agenda

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

 

Treasurer’s Report

Mr. Price presented the treasurer’s report for October as follows.  The beginning balance was $45,487.32. There were two Bank of America interest payments of $0.37 and $0.41. There was a semi-annual payment of the ANC post office box rental of $171.00 (check # 1292).  There was a grant payment of $3,180 to J.O. Wilson (check # 1293).  Received funds included a quarterly allotment of $3,337.28 and a reimbursement for previously cleared funds of $2,500.  The closing balance was $49,134.01.  The treasurer’s report for October and the expenditures within were accepted without objection. Motion:  Mr. Price/Ms. Wirt.

Consent Calendar

Ms. Wirt suggested the consent calendar include the October minutes, with the caveat that commissioners had one week to enter any corrections; the approval of liquor license renewals for corner markets: L Street Market, 1100 4th Street NE; The Corner Market, 400 East Capitol Street NE; Harris Teeter, 1201 1st Street NE; Capitol Hill Market, 241 Massachusetts Avenue NE; Travel Trader Retail, 400 New Jersey Avenue NW; and ABC Grocery, 522 K Street NE.  The consent calendar also included a voluntary agreement between the 6th and H Street Bar and Grill and ANC 6C regarding hours.  Other items on the consent calendar are 650 Massachusetts Avenue NE, BZA # 18882, rear addition to a row house; and Race for Respect, a May 30, 2015 event that is planned for one block to the west of ANC 6C with no traffic implications.  The consent calendar was approved without objection. Motion:  Ms. Wirt/Mr. Eckenwiler.

Community Announcements

  1. Mr. Goodman nominated two new 6C committee members: Jared Alves to the Alcoholic Beverage Committee and Sam Swiller to the Transportation/Public Space Committee as representatives of 6C06.
  2. Mr. Price thanked the community for reelecting him.  He mentioned a good meeting with MPD regarding improvements in the Rock n’ Roll event coming in the spring and the Maryland Avenue NE redesign to calm traffic.
  3. Mr. Kazmierczak thanked everyone who voted for him, although he did not win reelection.  He stated he will work with the 6C05 commissioner-elect, Chris Miller, to ensure a smooth transition.

Transportation/Public Space Committee

  1. NoMa Underpass Art project—Mr. McCann, chair of the committee, summarized the opposition to the project heard at the committee meeting, including narrow sidewalk space for pedestrian and bicycle passage, safety concerns including lights to distract drivers, water and oil leakage from the overhead railroad, and hazards for the deaf community.

Ms. Crenshaw, chair of the 6C Parks and Events Committee, reported on her committee’s comments, including lack of transparency and accountability on the part of planners, lack of total community input.  Her committee voted to not spend money on the project until all parties had been included, such as DDOT and Gallaudet.

Mr. Curtis Clay responded that all submissions had to met an 8-foot width minimum, that DDOT safety regulations had to be met, and that to repair the oil and water leakage would require the overhead railroad tracks to be out of service.  He added that more than 300 responses had been received from the community, and that withholding funding could jeopardize  the project because of grant timelines.

Mr. Eckenwiler addressed the failure of the project planners to engage with the community.  Mr. Goodman added that the 8-foot minimum was insufficient, that public safety should be the primary concern, and that DGS and DPR were not part of the discussion.  He emphasized that parks, not art, were to be the focus of the $50 million for NoMa parks.

The motion was to oppose the project and not move forward until all parties were involved in the process.  Motion: Mr. Goodman/Mr. Eckenwiler.  The vote was unanimous, 6:0:0 to oppose the project for the reasons cited.

  1. Bike lanes on the unit block of  E Street N.E.—The commissioners voted unanimously, 6:0:0, to support the DDOT proposal to add bike lanes on E Street N.E. to the one-block stretch between North Capitol Street and Massachusetts Avenue N.E.  These lanes will serve as a link between the 1stStreet N.E. cycle track at Columbus Circle and the existing E Street bike lanes that extend from North Capitol west to 13th Street N.W.  It was noted that the AOC was comfortable with this DDOT plan. Motion:  Mr. Goodman/Mr. Kazmierczak.
  2. Proposal by DDOT to remove signage at 2ndand E Streets N.E.—This initiative came from a DDOT response to the Heritage Foundation project on Third Street, which has a truck route going north on 2nd Street to east on E Street.  The commissioners voted unanimously, 6:0:0, to oppose removal of signage at 2nd and E to allow trucks to visit a local address that is permitted in D.C. regulations.   Trucks can diverge within a few blocks from the DDOT approved truck routes to deliver freight or  pick up in a residential area.  It was noted that a DDOT official had failed to respond to two emails asking for attendance to explain why the signs had to be removed.  Motion: Mr. Eckenwiler/Ms. Wirt.

Planning, Zoning, and Environment Committee

  1. 610 A Street—application for concept approval for a two-story rear addition. This is a scaled-down application from the one the ANC visited in October 2014.  It is not visible from the street due to removal of a third-floor rear deck.  The garage is retained.  The commissioners voted unanimously to support the revised plan, 6:0:0, contingent on the following: (1) the side walls of the addition facing the adjacent properties be faced in brick masonry, (2) the footprint of 610 be similar to that of 612 and 614, and (3) drawings of the revisions suggested at the November 12 ANC meeting be reviewed by ANC 6C.
  2. 609-611 Maryland Avenue N.E.—replacement of windows at Imani Temple. The applicant, Morningstar Community Development, seeks to replace 27 or 28 stained-glass windows in the church with clear “vision” glass to facilitate its conversion to multi-unit residential use.  The commissioners voted 3:2:1 to support the project on the following conditions:  (1) HPE and CHRS work together on this project to each agency’s satisfaction; and (2) there be no horizontal division of the windows.  Mr. Price was designated as the representative on any matters regarding the project.   His alternate is Mr. Eckenwiler.  Ms. Schiffman expressed concern on the effect of this vote on churches in her SMD. Motion:  Mr. Price/Mr. Goodman.  The vote was unanimous.
  3. 21 7thStreet N.E.—Neighbors of the property stated the rear deck improperly abuts their deck and will cause potential water problems.  They added that the vinyl siding placed over brickwork in the rear is unsightly.  They stated the applicant showed disregard for the permtting procsss throughout the process (there were four stop work orders) and did not consult with neighbors in adjacent properties.  Commissioner Schiffman echoed these concerns and added the history of the front steps, which the applicant tried to convert from historical wrought iron to cement.  The commissioners voted to oppose the concept for the rear wall and stoop.  Motion:  Ms. Schiffman/ Ms. Wirt: The vote was 4:1:1.
  4. 1270 4thStreet N.E.—This project should provide an extension of Neal Place and a street profile in sync with the Small Area Plan that includes wide sidewalks and travel lanes in each direction.  The west side of the property abuts D.C.-owned land that the applicant plans to use as a service alley.  The building face along this alley should have clear glass to contribute to a safer pedestrian experience. The project does not include community benefits.  Mr. Goodman asked for party status in opposition because the project does not comply with the Small Area Plan. Motion:  Mr. Goodman/Mr. Eckenwiler.  The vote was unanimous, 6:0:0.

Parks and Events Committee (Caroline Crenshaw, chair)

The Peace Corps Memorial at Louisiana Avenue N.E. was discussed.  The loss of pocket parks and green space in and around Capitol Hill is becoming disturbing, as groups cannot fit on the mall and seek other parks nearby.  This memorial could endanger two mature trees. But perhaps the worst problem for the commissioners is that there is no design to approve, and the commissioners cannot vote on an item without seeing it and evaluating its impact on the community.  The commissioners voted to oppose the memorial.  Motion:  Mr. Price/Ms. Wirt. The vote was 5:0:0.  (Mr. Goodman had temporarily left the room.)

The meeting adjourned at 9:21 p.m.