ANC 6C Minutes
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
214 Massachusetts Avenue N.E.
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm.
A quorum of 5 out of 6 commissioners was present (Mr. Eckenwiler, Mr. Goodman, Mr. Miller, Mr. Price, and Ms. Wirt).
Approval of the Agenda
Two items were added: Stuart Hobson dumpsters and proposed Sunday operation of H Street streetcars. The agenda was approved without objection. Motion: Ms. Wirt/Mr. Price.
The December 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. Eckenwiler.
The reports for October through November are on hold until problems with the online submission application are resolved by the D.C. auditor. The December report shows an opening balance of $48,543.16. There was a deposit of the quarterly allotment, $3,337.28, and a bank interest payment of $0.42. Check # 1311 was written for $12.66 to reimburse Mr. Eckenwiler for water purchased for his zoning committee meeting and postage. The closing balance was $51,868.20. The treasurer’s report was approved without objection. Motion: Ms. Wirt/Mr. Eckenwiler.
New expenses were approved unanimously: $25 for the ANC security fund, $3,728.30 for Cooper and Crickman attorneys for the assistance with the protest of the Po Boys liquor license, and $175 to reimburse Ms. Wirt for the ANC mailbox renewal for six months. Motion: Mr. Miller/Mr. Eckenwiler.
Election of Officers and Committee Chairs
The current slate of officers was reelected without objection: chair, Ms. Wirt; vice chair, Ms. Schiffman; secretary, Mr. Goodman; treasurer, Mr. Miller. Motion: Mr. Price/Mr. Eckenwiler.
Committee chairs were elected without objection: Alcoholic Beverage Committee, Steve O’Neal; Grants Committee, Victoria Lord and Leslie Barbour, co-chairs; Parks and Events Committee, Christine Healey; Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee, Mark Eckenwiler, chair, Ryan McGinness, vice chair; Transportation and Public Space, Mark Kazmierczak. Motion: Mr. Goodman/Mr. Eckenwiler.
Current At Large committee members were reelected. Motion: Miss Wirt/Mr. Eckenwiler. Each commissioner named his/her representatives on each ANC 6C committee. Changes to committee membership were as follows: Heather Edelman was named to the Transportation and Public Space
Committee; Sonte Ducote to the Grants Committee; Eric Heilman and Joe McCann to the Parks and Events Committee, with Eric Heilman replacing Paula Reichel.
In the absence of Ms. Schiffman, 6C01, Mr. Eckenwiler nominated Christine Healey to chair the Parks and Events Committee temporarily until the February ANC 6C meeting when Ms. Schiffman would nominate her committee representatves.
Mr. Price thanked other citizens of his SMD:d Jay Adelstein for public safety; Bill Silagi for libraries; Chris Blanchard for alleys; Kathy Mailloux for senior citizens; Bob Dardano for a Bikeshare at 7th and Massachusetts; Todd Hettenbach and Beth Bacon for Maryland Avenue redesign; Bjorn Jernudd for transportation issues south of Maryland Avenue; and Meg Maguire of the Committee of 100.
Brief Community Announcements
Ms. Wirt announced grants from the D.C. Office on Aging of up to $10,000 to assist seniors and disabled persons stay in their homes by outfitting the homes with adaptations to prevent the risk of falls and reduce barriers that limit mobility. Frank Maduro from the Mayor’s office announced a meeting on January 26, 5:00 to 8:00 pm at the Carnegie Library to discuss the Mayor’s accountability report.
The commissioners voted on the second Wednesday of the month for their monthly meetings.
Parks and Events Committee
- NoMa parks update—Robin-Eve Jasper, NoMa Parks Foundation, briefed the committee on the foundation’s second large acquisition, two acres near Harry Thomas Way, Metropolitan Branch Trail and New York Avenue, to be called NoMa Green. Of the $50 million of D.C.parkmoney for acquisition and construction, only a small amount is uncommitted. There was discussion of the difficulty of pedestrian access to NoMa Green from the heart of NoMa and safety of the Metropolitan Branch Trail. Updates were also given of the M Street underpass project, the informal dog park, the 3rd and L Street property, and the beer garden site for the summer of 2016.
- D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation partners and other programs—Katie Rehwaldt, manager of DPR Park Partners and Community Engagement, discussed Reservation 84 and other issues related to small parks. DPR is about to make determination on the application for community involvement with Reservation 84. For the small parks in DC there are tentative plans for yoga classes, art projects, and concerts. Discussion also included the difficulty of working with DPR, DDOT, and the National Park Service on park improvements.
- Neighborhood use of the Stuart Hobson field—Neighbors expressed concern that the field notbe used for disruptive purposes such as early in the morning and after sunset. Discussion included neighbors volunteering to assist with locking and unlocking the field, attempts to contact the school principal, DCPS regulations regarding the field, use of the field by non-school groups, and the need to contact groups such as the Capitol Hill Cluster School PTA and Sports on the Hill as well as the Stuart Hobson principal.
- The Capitol Hill Classic race event will come before ANC 6C next month.
Transportation and Public Space Committee
- Vision Zero, the Mayor’s plan to reduce traffic fatalities—In general there was support for the plan and increasing fines for traffic violations, with specific recommendations for driving on the sidewalk, dooring, and running red lights (the last should be fined and considered a criminal offense when pedestrians are affected). The safety and parking situation on K Street was again raised with Sam Zimbabaweof DDOT, who stated at the committee meeting that he would look into it. Several editorial comments submitted by Mr. Eckenwiler were included. The commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter to the Mayor with these recommendations: Motion: Mr. Goodman/Mr. Eckenwiler. Discussion included the need for MPD Chief Cathy Lanier and the D.C. Council to be aware of the safety concerns regarding ATVs and dirt bikes racing on D.C. streets. The recommendation is for fines, better enforcement, and initiation of a tipster program.
- 301 K Street N.E., curb cut and driveway in public space, # 115880—Michael Templeman, owner of one of the condominiums at this address, did extensive research to determine that the curb cut had been in place for many years. The application is for the curb cut to be widened to access the parking pad on the property. After some discussion, the commissioners voted 3:2:0 to support the application. A friendly amendment was added to use pervious, permeable material for the driveway. Motion: Mr. Miller/Mr. Goodman.
- Street paving and crosswalk striping at Stuart Hobson School—No action was deemed necessary because paving and striping recently were completed.
- H. Street streetcars running on Sundays—The commissioners voted unanimously to write a letter in coordination with ANC 6A to recommend streetcar service seven days a week. The letter would go to the Mayor, DDOT, the D.C. Council, and ANCs nearby (5D, 6A, 7D). Motion: Mr. Goodman/Mr. Eckenwiler.
- Stuart Hobson dumpsters on the 5thStreet N.E. side of the school. Discussion addressed the improper placement of dumpsters and recycle bins on the school grounds, not in the enclosed area designated for them. The commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter to the DCPS chancellor regarding the situation. Motion: Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Goodman. (Note: It was subsequently learned that the school had rectified the situation, so the letter was not sent.)
Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee
- 416-428 C Street N.E., HPA 16-150, applicationfor concept approval for rear additions, penthouses, and roof decks—The site consists of five three-story row houses designed by the same architect and constructed together. The additions are to return these former commercial structures to residential use. There was concern that the rooftop structures would be visible from some points in Stanton Park, that the rear façade design was asymmetrical, that shadows from the additions would be on the Fifth Street side, and that the original weather vestibules at the front doors should be retained. Four members of the community testified. Comments included positive aspects of the project such as keeping the homeless people out and thus improvement of public safety, as well as negative impacts such as a window being blocked by the project at an adjacent structure. The commissioners voted 4:1:0 to support the concept but recommend that the rear façade receive further study to define the divisions between row houses and reflect the symmetry seen on the primary south facades; and the original weather vestibules be retained. Motion:Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Goodman.
- 631 Lexington Place N.E., HPA 16-100, concept approval for attic expansion and new basement entrance at front entrance of a single-family dwelling—The commissioners voted unanimously to support the concept with several conditions: the front windows be replaced as 6-over-1 and not 2-over-2 as proposed; eliminate the unnecessary and unsightly front basement entrance; plans should be corrected to show proper dimensions for the structure, especially the covered front porch and open courts; the rear façade receive further study; and replacement of the iron supports for the front porch with more appropriate materials. Motion: Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Goodman.
- 301-331 N Street N.E., ZC 15-28 (non-voting item)—This is a pending application for a PUD and rezoning at the site from C-M-1 to a C-3C district, with mixed useresidential and commercial retail. The applicant stated the project will no longer contain a courtyard accessible to the public as part of its amenities. The applicant is opposed to closing N Street N.E. to motor vehicles despite the fact that loading would occur on Third Street, but did support reducing N Street vehicle space to two lanes total, including any parking lane.
- 301 Florida Avenue N.E., ZC 15-22, PUD and related map amendment, rezone from C-M-1 to a C-3-C district—This project is across the street from the 301-331 N Street N.E. application above. This applicant supports the closure of N Street N.E. to motor vehicles between Third Street and Florida because it serves no transportation function. The commissioners voted unanimously to support the committee recommendations: Support for the project is conditioned on the following: greater clarity is needed on the applicant’s offer to pay $125,000 toward closure of N Street and/or vehicle restrictions; strong ANC 6C support for closure of N Street to vehicular traffic; a more definite statement is needed of specific transportation demand management (TDM) measures; and careful examination is needed of the potential for providing more convenient bike storage facilities on the ground floor or on upper residential floors. The vote included designating Mr. Goodman as the ANC 6C representative to continue discussions with the applicant. It was recommended that the letter be sent now to Council Member Allen, DDOT, and OP with ANC 6C’s strong recommendation to close N Street N.E. to vehicular traffic; and to send a letter to the Zoning Commission shortly before the hearing. Motion: Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Goodman.
- Recommendations for ANC action concerning DCRA construction permit review and zoning compliance practices—After discussion of deficiencies in the DCRA’s permit application intake and review processes, the commissioners voted unanimously to support the committee’s recommendation to send a letter to Council Member Orange, chair of the oversight committee, urging that he schedule a hearing specifically focused on DCRA’s policies and practices: building permit application intake and review, both for construction code compliance and zoning compliance; providing public access to building permit application materials and related records; and responding to ANC and/or citizen concerns and complaints about apparent violations of law, including but not limited to the issuance of unlawful permits. Copies of the letter are to be sent to the D.C. Council, the Mayor, and Council Chairman Mendelson. Motion: Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Price.
- Electronic copies of zoning notification—The commissioners voted unanimously to request electronic notification. Motion: Mr. Eckenwiler/Ms. Wirt.
Alcoholic Beverage Committee
- Alibi, 237 2ndStreet N.W.—Update: A settlement agreement has been signed between the applicant and ANC 6C. It protects the neighbors in the adjacent building from excessive noise between 7 am and 7 pm.
- Other updates: Po Boy Jim’s protest hearing was held. ANC 6C asked for limited hours and limitations on when doors and windows could be opened while entertainment is in progress. ABRA will send the final order. XO has agreed to hire off-duty officers to control crowds. ABRA dismissed the Toscana application because neither the applicant nor the ANC representative appeared for the hearing. It remains to be seen if the applicant will reapply.
The meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.