February 2016

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ANC 6C Minutes
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Heritage Foundation
214 Massachusetts Avenue N.E.

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 pm.

Quorum

A quorum of 6 out of 6 commissioners was present (Mr. Eckenwiler, Mr. Goodman, Mr. Miller, Mr. Price, Ms. Schiffman, and Ms. Wirt).

Approval of the Agenda

Two items were added:  The Council roundtable on the blizzard and a DCRA oversight hearing. The agenda was approved without objection.  Motion: Ms. Wirt/Mr. Eckenwiler.

Minutes

The January minutes were approved with the usual caveat that the commissioners will have one week to submit any corrections before they are posted on the ANC 6C website.  Motion:  Ms. Wirt/Mr. Goodman.

Treasurer’s Report

The D.C. Auditor has resolved problems with the online submission application.  The quarterly report covering October through December was approved without objection.  Motion:  Mr. Miller/Mr. Eckenwiler.  The January report shows an opening balance of $51,868.20.  There were two checks written: Check # 1312  for $175 to reimburse Ms. Wirt for the semi-annual payment of the ANC 6C post box and check # 1313 for $3,728.30, payment to Cooper and Crickman for legal assistance with a liquor license protest against Po Boy Jim’s.  There was a bank interest payment of $0.43.  The closing balance was $47,965.33.  The treasurer’s report was approved without objection. Motion:  Mr. Miller/Mr. Price.

6C01 Nominations for Committees

Ms. Schiffman, who was absent from the January meeting when commissioners nominated their ANC 6C committee representatives, named Bobbi Krengel to the Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee, Michelle Rivard to the Grants Committee, Brian Chamowitz to the Transportation and Public Space Committee, Christine Healey to the Alcoholic Beverage Committee, and Christine Healey to the Parks and Events Committee.

Brief Community Announcements

Mr. Miller announced that he was opposed to one item on the agenda, naming the 400 block of H Street after Cathy Hughes.  He said the naming was not consistent with current street names and the request did not come from the H Street CDC, rather it was from an individual. (Mr. Miller then departed because he was not feeling well.)

Mr. Price announced the Rock and Roll Marathon will not close the intersection of East Capitol and 8th Streets.  He also encouraged citizens to not be on cell phones on the street as this behavior presents opportunities for thieves, and endangers everyone.

Mr. Goodman provided an update of development at the Uline Arena, with tenants signing on and completion on track for fall.

Ms. Wirt announced a Boy Scout pancake breakfast February 20.  She asked for a vote to renew the contract for the ANC 6C administrative assistant, Susan Eads Role. The vote was unanimous, 5:0:0. Motion:  Ms. Wirt/Mr. Eckenwiler.  She also announced a first meeting held of the ad hoc ANC 6C outreach Committee to discuss ways to enhance the 6C website and provide constituents with more information.  She asked committees to start thinking about what they would post on their committee pages.   The Outreach committee should have more to report in March.

Mr. Eckenwiler announced upcoming oversight hearings of agencies to be held by the D.C. Council.

There were no announcements from the community.

Consent Calendar

  1. 1105 Abbey Place N.E., BZA19222—application to enclose a rear porch for an existing single-family dwelling in an R-4 District.  This is to enclose an existing porch.  Letters of support were provided from neighbors.  The Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development (PZE) committee recommended support.
  2. 629 L Street N.E., BZA 19211—application to construct a second-story addition to an existing single-family dwelling in an R-4 District. There were problems with light, air, and privacy for adjacent homes and questions about the proper licensing of the structural engineer.  The PZE Committee recommended opposition.
  3. 7thand C Streets N.E.—request for support of a petition to ask DDOT to conduct a traffic study of the intersection and possibly to install a three-way stop sign due to speeding vehicles and loading zone of new apartments on C Street.  The Transportation and Public Space (TPS) Committee recommended support.
  4. Stuart Hobson Middle School, tree box fencing—newly installed fencing is not according to regulation (too high, encloses too much), making passage difficult for pedestrians, especially on 4th Street, where the school loading zone is located.  The TPS recommended sending a letter to DDOT to remedy the situation.
  5. Proposed rulemaking for publisher boxes—These are the boxes on public space that store newspapers.  The TPS Committee recommended support to add accountability and maintenance but added that the box corrals should have the same dimension and spacing as the uncorraled boxes and that abandoned boxes should be subject to removal.

The commissioners voted unanimously to support the committee recommendations.  Motion:  Mr. Eckenwiler/Ms. Wirt.

Alcoholic Beverage Committee

  1. Hilton Garden Inn, 1225 First Street N.E., ABRA # 101381—new application for a liquor license at the hotel. The commissioners had no reason to protest the license.  The proprietors have been at this location for 4-1/2 years with no problems.
  2. Updates—XO settlement agreement has been signed.  Capacity has been cut.  No parties are permitted after hours.  Toscana failed to show for an ABRA hearing, and the ABRA Board denied a motion to reinstate.  Craft Beer on H Street is not willing to sign a settlement agreement.  Mr. Eckenwiler asked for a maximum of $5,000 be set aside for an attorney to assist ANC 6C in the protest against this establishment.  The commissioners voted 5:0:0 to support this expense.  Motion:  Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Price.

Parks and Events Committee

  1. NoMa parks update—Stacie West of the NoMa Parks Foundation stated there will soon be outreach regarding NoMa Green, the foundation’s land acquisition near Harry Thomas Way, the Metropolitan Branch Trail, and New York Avenue.  Negotiations among relevant agencies are under way regarding maintenance.  Light levels are being increased for the M Street underpass.
  2. There is no news on the DPR application to make improvements on Reservation 84.
  3. Efforts continue with relevant parties regarding community use of field space at Stuart Hobson Middle School. Discussions are ongoing regarding community volunteers to open and close field gates and the permit process for using the field.
  4. Capitol Hill Classic race event—This year the race is scheduled for May 15.  The route will change from First Street to Third Street due to an expected event to be attended by the president on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, but if the event is cancelled or the president’s plans change, the race organizers will reapply to return the route to First Street. The commissioners voted unanimously to support the race, with acknowledgment that the organizers were doing a great job of managing traffic, working with churches, and keeping everyone informed.  Motion:  Ms. Wirt/Ms. Schiffman.
  5. Capitol Riverside Youth Sports Park (CRYSP)—Efforts are under way to promote the development 40 acres of parking spaces north of RFK Stadium into playing fields and open space. The CRYSP plan would include walking paths and continuation of a local farmer’s market. The space is located in Ward 7, but within easy access of Wards 5 and 6.  Mr. Micheal Godec, president of CRYSP, was in attendance. The commissioners voted unanimously to support the CRYSP effort. Motion: Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Goodman.

Discussion turned to the need to update the NoMa Vision Plan.  The commissioners voted to ask the Office of Planning to update the plan and invite the head of OP to a PZE Committee meeting to hear how the agencies will implement the plan.  The commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter to OP.  Motion:  Mr. Goodman/Mr. Eckenwiler.

Transportation and Public Space Committee

  1. Request to name the 400 block of H Street “Cathy Hughes Way” as a tribute to her establishing a radio station on that block.  The T/SP Committee voted to oppose the request. Mr. Anthony Agnew stated he wanted to preserve the milestone work of Ms. Hughes who dared to start a business on H Street when no one wanted to be on H Street. Discussion included statements that the signpost requested would be out of sync with other District street naming conventions, that a plaque might be more appropriate, and that precedents for street naming have included significant history and a push from the larger community, rather than a request from one person.  The commissioners voted to deny the request. Motion: Mr.Price/Mr. Eckenwiler.  Mr. Price suggested an effort to explore other avenues to honor contributions of the past.  Motion:  Mr. Price/Ms. Wirt.  The motion failed:  2:3:0.  Mr. Price stated he was interested in following up.
  2. Council Roundtable on the recent Blizzard—Mr. Eckenwiler stated there was dissatisfaction with the way D.C. handled snow following the blizzard.  His complaints included clearing snow from roads, but piling it on sidewalks to make pedestrian crossing difficult. He said he wanted to testify at the forthcoming hearing on February 18 as the ANC 6C rep to comment on pedestrian safety.  The snow shoveling rule was suspended, but should not have been.  Ms. Wirt commented that the Mayor’s office contacted her regarding help shoveling snow for elderly and disabled constituents, and Mr. Price stated that efforts to pick up trash were commendable.  Nonetheless, the commissioners voted unanimously to designate Mr. Eckenwiler to testify at the February 18 hearing regarding pedestrian safety.  Motion: Mr. Goodman/Mr. Eckenwiler.

Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee

  1. Burnham Place project at Union Station—David Tuckman gave a presentation at the committee describing the three-year plan to develop air rights over Union Station into a residential/retail establishment involving the Commission on Fine Arts, Historic Preservation Office, and the Zoning Commission.  Burnham Place is working with the NEPA process.  The H Street bridge is sound and does not need to be rebuilt.  Mr. Tuckman will return to update ANC 6C.
  2. DCRA reform—Mr. Eckenwiler reiterated the concern that the DCRA permitting system is not in compliance with regulations.  He stated that he will testify to that effect at the February 29 oversight hearing of DCRA.  FOIA requests are also a problem.  The commissioners voted unanimously to designate Mr. Eckenwiler as representative at the hearing.  Motion: Mr. Eckenwiler/Ms. Wirt.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm.