ANC 6C Minutes
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
214 Massachusetts Avenue N.E.
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm.
A quorum of six out of six commissioners was present (Mr. Eckenwiler, Mr. Goodman, Mr. Miller, Mr. Price, Ms. Schiffman, Ms. Wirt).
Approval of the Agenda
The agenda was approved without objection. Motion: Mr. Eckenwiler/Ms. Wirt.
The September minutes were approved with the usual caveat that commissioners will have one week to submit corrections before they are posted on the ANC website. Motion: Ms. Wirt/ Mr. Miller.
Mr. Miller presented the treasurer’s report or the month of September as follows. The beginning balance was $50,114.81. There was a quarterly allotment of $3,337.28 received from the D.C. government. Check # 1306 was written as a grant to H Street Main Street, contribution to the H Street Festival, approved at a previous meeting. There was an interest payment of $0.42 from the Bank of America. The ending balance was $51,652.51. The treasurer’s report was approved unanimously, 6:0:0. Motion: Ms. Wirt/Mr. Eckenwiler.
Brief Community Announcements
- Frank Maduro from the mayor’s office announced that trees are being trimmed on K Street N.E. and that he has been working with Lt. Collins of the MPD to improve lighting at J.O. Wilson School. A walk-through at Ludlow Taylor School revealed that ceilings were leaking. MPD is offering rebates for citizen-purchased exterior-mounted cameras that improve safety. If any commissioner wants a walk-through in a problem area, he can arrange for DCRA, DPW, or relevant agencies to send representatives.
- Mr. Price suggested that a tax credit might be better than a rebate. He nominated a citizen to represent his SMD on the ANC6C Parks and Events Committee—Joshua Chernikoff.
- Mr. Goodman recommended that Phil Tahtakran, who has been working to establish dog parks in NoMa, serve as an at-large member of the 6C Parks and Events Committee. At-large members must be approved by the entire 6C Commission. Mr. Tahtakran was approved without objection. Motion: Mr. Goodman/Mr. Eckenwiler. Other announcements by Mr. Goodman included new construction projects at 2ndand Parker, 911 2nd Street, 4th and Florida. A food truck corral has been established at 1st and N, lunchtime on weekdays. Union Social Restaurant, 100 Florida Avenue NE, opens tomorrow.
- Mr. Eckenwiler provided information on MPD numbers to call: Contact MPD at 911, even nonurgent complaints. If there is no good response, contact the 1D Watch Commander, First District, (202) 437-7632. In such instances when, e.g., an alarm went off at Logan School, DC Public Schools has a 24/7 number to call, (202) 576-6950. He provided an update of the 315 H Street project, wherein at the hearing 18 of the 20 6C requests were granted. Mr. Eckenwiler also reported he met with Amtrak police regarding a Union Station project.
- Mr. Miller stated that his representative on the Parks and Events Committee, Paula Reichel, can no longer serve, and Mr. Miller is looking for a replacement. Construction at 501 H Street N.E. is expected to be completed in April 2017. He has learned of a $30 million improvement package for Ludlow Taylor School. The school has been moved up the list in the D.C. Council budget. He is looking into the parking situation at Ludlow Taylor again. A Seven-Eleven market is coming to H Street (the building currently occupied by the Food Locker). He had a meeting with the owner.
Tori Lord presented the Grants Committee report in the absence of citizen chair Sonte Ducote. Three grants were approved unanimously by the committee: (1) $1,374 to Peabody School to purchase equipment to grow nutritious food, part of a science project to benefit 250 children; (2) $620 to Ludlow Taylor, a market project to benefit 380 children; and (3) $945.25 to J.O. Wilson School to purchase a database that allows children to do research online, benefiting second grade students, and working with the N.E. Library. A fourth grant application was turned down to Capitol Hill Montessori for tuition allowing a number of students to participate in a chess tournament. The Grants Committee will continue to work with Montessori School on other ways to support the chess effort. The commissioners voted unanimously to support the three grants. Motion: Mr.Eckenwiler/Mr.Miller.
400 K Street N.E., BZA # 18979, conversion of a two-story carriage house into an art studio in an R-4 district. The ANC 6C Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee voted unanimously to reject this project seeking to add a third story on top of the structure. It has an illegal parking pad that blocks the sidewalk. The commissioners voted unanimously to support the committee vote to oppose. They delegated Mr. Eckenwiler to serve as the 6C representative at the BZA hearing, with Mr. Goodman as his alternate. Motion: Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr.Goodman.
Alcoholic Beverage Committee
- Toscana Café, 601 Second Street N.E., ABRA # 097558, class CR sale of spirits plus request for stipulated license. Because there is no existing settlement agreement with this establishment, and to protect the community for change of operation with possible new ownership in the future, the commissioners voted to protest on the basis of disturbance to the peace, order, and quiet of the neighborhood. Once the settlement agreement is reached, which would cover such items as hours and trash pickup, 6C would withdraw its opposition and approve the stipulated license. The commissioners voted unanimously to approve this approach. Motion: Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Goodman. Part of the vote designated Jared Alves, a citizen member of the 6C Alcoholic Beverage Committee as the representative for 6C, with Drew Courtney, citizen chair of that committee, as the alternate.
- Po Boy Jim, 709 H Street N.E., committee request to retain an attorney to assist with legal issues pertaining to various problems with this establishment, including noise, trash, and an incident in which employees of the establishment followed and harassed Mr. Miller. The commissioners voted unanimously to set aside up to $5,000 for attorney fees, if needed, although ANC 6C would encourage the attorney to do with less on the part of the community. Motion: Mr. Miller/Mr. Eckenwiler. The voted included designation of Mr. Courtney, citizen chair of the ANC 6C Alcoholic Beverage Committee, to take the lead, with Mr. Miller as his alternate.
Transportation and Public Space Committee
- Removal of the D3 bus route. A number of 6C residents testified at the committee meeting that they would be negatively affected if the D3 bus was eliminated. Without E Street service, citizens would be denied access to the courts. The committee asked WMATA to provide statistics on ridership before the full-Commission meeting. The numbers showed significant ridership, passengers per trip, etc. The commissioners voted unanimously to oppose elimination of the D3 route. Motion: Mr. Goodman/Mr. Eckenwiler. One suggestion was to keep E Street service to the courts but stop the D3 route at McPherson Square or Dupont Circle if that would save money because people could transfer to other transportation modes there, including other buses. Mr. Goodman pointed out that a new residential building for 500 people will be completed in November, and those citizens likely would increase ridership on the D3. It was noted that although the comment period had closed for this route removal, the WMATA website was unclear and the change was not well advertised. DDOT did not notify the ANCs affected and had an obligation to do so.
- NoMa underpass, M Street N.E., art in public space, #115917. The commissioners asked for seating elements near the Metro Station side of the underpass; a baseline level of light, which is greater than current conditions; and M Street cycle track striping. The commissioners voted unanimously to support the concept, and to request that the project developers work with 6C representative for the project, Mr. Goodman, over the remaining months of installation as minor adjustments are worked out. Motion: Mr. Goodman/Mr. Eckenwiler.
- 1200 Fourth Street N.E., curb cuts, sidewalk, landscaping, #106262—The applicant asked for a postponement. The item will be on the November ANC 6C agenda.
- Square 756, alley naming, alley between C Street and Massachusetts N.E., bounded by 2ndand 3rd. The applicant asked for the alley to be named Walter Way after a family that had a carriage business in the alley at the turn of the last century. The applicant owns property in the alley, intended for residence. A fire marshall recommended the alley be named so that emergency vehicles could find it if called. A number of neighbors nearby signed a petition in favor of the alley naming. The commissioners voted unanimously to support the alley naming. Motion: Ms.Wirt/Mr. Goodman.
- The committee chair reported two items that were deferred until November: 6thStreet Bar and Grill, application for an enclosed sidewalk café; and 1000 block of North Capitol Street N.W., sidewalk improvement. The latter item was transferred to the Parks and Events Committee for discussion.
Parks and Events Committee
- D.C. Small Parks Study—The study, which aims to sort out which agencies have jurisdiction over D.C. parks, determined that Reservation 84 should be governed by the Department of Parks and Recreation. A member of the committee has been working on an application for that park to allow citizen participation in its care and upkeep.
- Use and disrepair of space the west side of North Capitol N.W.—Jerry Wald, committee member, suggested the sidewalk on this part of North Capitol between K and L is in need of repair and a fence protrudes on public space. The crosswalk at North Capitol and L is in need of restriping, and the light poles could be improved by replacing them with poles without the “push to walk” feature. He suggested that a use of the property behind the fence might be used for a dog park for NoMa. The commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter to DDOT requesting review of the sidewalk and fence. The location is just inside ANC 6E, so a copy should be sent to that commission. Motion: Mr.Goodman/Mr. Eckenwiler. ANC 6C will reach out to 6E regarding the possibility of a dog park.
- Other items included positive responses received about the H Street N.E. festival, and mention of the Rock n. Roll Marathon, which will be coming before ANC 6C in the near future. It was noted that ANC 6B opposed the marathon, among other reasons, because WMATA was not responsive to its concerns.
Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee
301 and 331 N Street N.E.—Mr. Eckenwiler presented an outline of the forthcoming PUD application at these addresses (nonvoting item). The project would contain residential units, two connected multi-family buildings; and retail units, possibly office spaces, and a boutique hotel. Benefits and amenities would include landmarking and preservation of 301 N; a large plaza interior open to the public during the day; and closure of the 300 block of N Street N.E. and its conversion to a pedestrian zone (in collaboration with the 301 Florida project, to be presented to ANC 6C in November). In addition, the committee recommended possible benefits to the Two Rivers School, whose playground on the east side of 4th Street would be put into shadow after 1-2 pm.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 p.m.