April 2015

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ANC 6C Minutes
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Heritage Foundation
214 Massachusetts Avenue N.E.


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


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

Approval of the Agenda

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

Approval of March Minutes

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

Treasurer’s Report

Mr. Price presented the treasurer’s report as follows.  The beginning balance was $47, 652.23.  Check # 1298 was written for reimbursement to Commissioner Wirt for payment of ANC business cards for Commissioner Chris Miller.  Check # 1299 was written for $64.74 reimbursement to the chair of the Grants Committee for photocopying materials for a Grants Committee outreach seminar.   There was a Bank of America interest payment of $0.42 and a DC allotment of $3,337.28.  The closing balance was $50,830.19.

The commissioners voted unanimously to approve an expense up to $200 for American Sign Language facilitation at a forthcoming community meeting in ANC 6C06, in response to a request by hearing-impaired attendees.  Motion:  Mr. Goodman/Mr. Eckenwiler.

Brief Community Announcements

  1. Bus route 96 change—Ms. Spring Worth described proposed changes in the bus stops along Massachusetts Avenue beginning in June.  She asked for community input.  It was suggested that she attend the May meeting of the ANC 6C Transportation/Public Space Committee to gather community input on the changes.
  2. Commissioner announcements—Mr. Goodman announced that Ibiza appears to be shut down because of ABRA violations.  Mr. Miller stated that the 6thand H Street Bar and Grill will soon open.   Mr. Eckenwiler asked for support to testify on behalf of ANC 6C in the upcoming hearing on extension of the Historic District between 2nd and 4th Streets, F and H Streets NE scheduled for April 23.  Mr. Eckenwiler was unanimously supported as the representative for ANC 6C.  Motion:  Mr. Eckenwiler/Ms. Wirt.

Consent Calendar

  1. First Street “Front Porch” park—The item was dropped from the consent calendar as the  projectwill not go forward along First Street NE, but elements will be incorporated on private property at the Story Park project construction site nearby.  The NoMa BID is conversing with DDOT regarding the trees along First Street.  Story Park will be the location for NoMa’s Summer Screen.  The NoMa BID will keep the Parks and Events Committee informed of progress.
  2. WunderGarten, 150 M Street NE, application # 098173 for a new ABRA license, has a protest pending successful negotiation of a settlement agreement with ANC 6C.  A stipulated license can be approved pending successful completion of a settlement agreement.
  3. Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, 300 Massachusetts Avenue NE, application # 00252, for a renewal, no opposition from ANC 6C.
  4. Bike lanes on 4thand 6th Streets at Stanton Park, no opposition to continuing bike lanes at this location.
  5. 44 M Street NE, public space application #106179, a new mixed-use development included in the NoMa Meander, no objection to curb cut, bike racks, additional seating.
  6. 301 H Street NE, public space application # 104916, mixed usedevelopment, curb cut, no objection, recommended bike racks.
  7. 333 F Street NE, special exception, two-story rear addition to existing one-family row dwelling, no objection.
  8. Micho’s, 500 H Street NE, public space application # 10177785, sidewalk café extension with landscape and additional gate for resident entrance adjacent to café, no objection.

The commissioners voted unanimously to accept the consent agenda. Motion:  Ms. Wirt/Mr. Eckenwiler.

Parks and Events Committee (Christine Healey, chair)

  1. Front Porch Project, NoMa—The project will not go forward along First Street, but elements will be incorporated on private property at the StoreyPark construction  site nearby.  The condition of the trees along First Street would have been a problem in authorizing the project. NoMa BID will also incorporate an area for a dog park, and the site will be the location for NoMa BID’s Summer Screen.  Stacie West, the new director of park projects for NoMa will keep the committee informed of additional developments.
  2. H Street Festival—Anwar Saleemand Ms. Wuiping Yap described the festival to the committee, including keeping numbers of attendees to the same approximate number as last year’s event.  Organizers asked ANC 6C to contribute to the  cost of safety measures for  the event.  The committee  recommended ANC 6C support  the event and referred event organizers to the ANC 6C Grant Committee to request the needed  funds.

Alcohol Beverage Regulation Committee (Drew Courtney, chair)

Po Boy Jim, 709 H Street NE, # 087903, application for entertainment endorsement—The establishment plans live entertainment, including karaoke and a DJ. Complaints have been received from nearby residents about noise from the establishment and trash in the alley behind it.  The commissioners voted unanimously to protest the application on the basis of disturbance to the peace, order, and quiet of the community and to work toward development of a settlement agreement.  Motion: Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Miller. The vote included designation of Commissioner Miller as ANC 6C representative for all matters pertaining to the application, with Mr. Courtney as an alternate.

Grants Committee (Sonte Ducote, chair)

Three grants were presented for support:  Capitol Hill Cluster School, to double the amount of porta potties for its annual race, $1,330; J.O Wilson PTA, $2,980 for costumes and Atlas Theater space rental for an annual school musical production; and Capitol Hill Group Ministry, $2,500 to launch a homeless assistance response team project.  All grants were approved unanimously.  Motion: Ms. Wirt/Mr. Goodman.

Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee (Comm. Eckenwiler, chair)

  1. 400 K Street N.E., BZA # 18979, application for a variance from nonconforming structure requirements to allow a substantially complete two-story carriage house to be restored to an artist’s studio in the R-4 District—The applicant illegally added a third story, with kitchen and bath on top of a two-story carriage house, stating it was done with bad advice from an architect. The commissioners found the structure did not meet the requirements of an “artist studio,” as a place of work, but rather appeared to be a dwelling unit.  A parking pad was illegally paved over in public space.  The commissioners voted unanimously to oppose the application as currently presented, 6:0:0.  The applicant is willing to change (remove the kitchen and close off the parking space.  The ANC looks forward to working with him. Motion:  Mr. Goodman/Mr. Eckenwiler.
  2. 501 H Street N.E., ZC 14-14, application for a consolidated PUD and related map amendment from the HS-H/C-2-A District to the HS-H/C-2-B Zone District—Amenities include playground equipment for Ludlow-Taylor School, repaving the alley behind the site, benches and bike racks  inpublic space, and an MOU regarding parking and sales of heavy goods. The commissioners voted unanimously, 6:0:0, to support the application with conditions: (1) Delivery trucks using the alley be restricted to 24’; (2) All 5 parking spaces be dedicated for the use of property residents, not retail; (3) Parking be enclosed; (4) Consideration of additional windows to the east elevation instead of a blank wall. Commissioner Miller is designated as the representative of ANC 6C on matters pertaining to this application.  Motion:  Mr. Miller/Mr. Eckenwiler.
  3. Proposed penthouse regulation amendments, ZC-14-13—The commissioners voted unanimously to support the Office of Planning’s proposal to limit rowhouse penthouses to 10’ (instead of the current 18’6”), and that a special exception be required.  The concern was that penthouses should not be a means of circumventing R-4 zone height requirements.  Motion:  Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Goodman.
  4. 410 E Street N.E., application of DC DGS to construct a trash enclosure in public space, to expand the recreation area abutting F Street, to regradethe area so as to increase the height of the F Street retaining wall, and other related work—The commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter to HPO expressing the views that (1) Expansion of the field is desirable and an appropriate use of public space; (2) The retaining wall should not be raised, as creating a blank wall of over 6’ tall would not be in keeping with the Historic District; and (3) Option 1 (enclosure of trash receptacle in public space) be soundly rejected, as construction of trash enclosures in public space is not in keeping with the Historic District.  The commissioners favor Option 3, which is to place the trash receptacle east of the transformer on the lot line.  Motion:  Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Miller.
  5. 1270 Fourth Street N.E., ZC 14-07—The commissioners voted unanimously to send a new letter to the Zoning Commission supporting the project and reaffirming the same conditions outlined in ANC 6C’s March letter:  (1) Add clear glass windows on the west elevation for the safety of the pedestrian and bicycle path; (2) Improve the “alley” west of the property to add a sidewalk, travel lanes and a landscaped pedestrian and bike trail; (3) Purchase a BikeSharestation 4thStreet in front of the building; (4) Fill in sidewalk gaps and add crosswalks on 4th Street; (5) Provide street cleaning on 4th Street from Florida to New York Avenue.  Motion:  Mr. Goodman/Mr. Eckenwiler.

Transportation/Public Space Committee (Mr. Kazmierczak, chair)

  1. Stuart Hobson School, public space # 106296, renovations on existing field and trash enclosure—The applicant presented revisions in response to ANC concerns:  The retaining wall along F Street will not be increased in height and will have proper drainage; the wall will not be covered with a brick veneer; and trash/recycling will not be located on public space, but rather on the school property line on 5thStreet next to the transformer and gated off.   The commissioners voted unanimously to support these revisions in addition to the following:  (1) Use of public space for parts of the playing field is supported; (2) The concrete pad near the curb cut at 5th Street will be removed (as planned); and (3) Chain link fences on the east and west sides of the field should be made taller or include netting or some other mechanism to ensure errant balls do not leave the school area. Motion:  Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Miller.
  2. Alibi, 237 2ndStreet N.W., public space # 10177205, application for a sidewalk café—The commissioners voted unanimously to oppose the application because of the following concerns:  (1) Pedestrian passageway around the proposed sidewalk café is insufficient as per DC regulations, and the applicant could not produce documentation showing DDOT plans to move the treebox and allow more pedestrian passage; and (2) The applicant did not provide evidence that the sidewalk cafe enclosure materials were removable within 24 hours, as per DC regulations.  Motion:  Ms. Wirt/Mr. Goodman.

New Business

  1. The Mayor’s Budget—The commissioners voted unanimously to send two letters to the D.C. Council regarding the mayor’s proposed budget:  (1) Support for J.O. Wilson ADA and other necessary improvements for the safety of the children; and (2) additional concerns, including support expansion of the H Street/BenningRoad streetcar line east and west, full funding for NoMa parks, replacement of the H Street bridge over the tracks and the New York Avenue NE Bike/pedestrian project.  Motion:   Mr. Goodman/Ms. Wirt.
  2. DDOT proposed rulemaking, local access streets, Title 18, DCMR, Vehicles and Traffic, Section 2217.1—The commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter to DDOT indicating support for the concept of protecting local access streets from commuter through traffic, especially residential streets such as 2ndand E Streets, 2nd and F Streets N.E. but expressing concerns about difficulty of MPD enforcement and requesting clarity on the definition of “local access,” time of day and days of the week on signage, and questioning if prohibition of all vehicles includes bicycles.  The letter asks for clearer explanation.  Motion: Mr.
    Eckenwiler /Ms. Wirt.

The meeting adjourned at 8:55 pm.