March 2016

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ANC 6C Minutes
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Heritage Foundation
214 Massachusetts Avenue N.E.

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 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

The agenda was amended to add one item under the Planning, Zoning, and  Economic Development Committee:  The DCRA permit status tracking database.  With this addition the agenda was approved without objection. Motion: Ms. Wirt/Mr. Eckenwiler.

Minutes

The February 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.

Treasurer’s Report

The February report shows an opening balance of $47,965.33.  There was check #1315 written for $5,000 to the law firm of Greenstein, DeLome, and Luchs for legal assistance with a liquor license protest against the nightclub XO.  There was a bank interest payment of $0.37 for February.  The closing balance was $42,965.70.  The treasurer’s report was approved without objection. Motion:  Ms. Wirt/Mr. Eckenwiler.

Brief Community Announcements

Mr. Goodman announced a new Korean Restaurant at 145 N Street, Seoul Spice, and new construction in his Single Member District at four locations:  911 Second Street NE, 55 K Street NE, 33 N Street NE, and 61 Pierce Street NE.  He also mentioned that REI is planning to open in October at the former Uline Arena.

Mr. Price announced the Rock and Roll Marathon event scheduled for March 12 has the same MPD operations as last year, according to Lt. Woodson, and there were no major complaints about the operations last year. PSA 107, which is the area south of Stanton Park, will move its meeting location next month (April 7, 7 pm) to the Southeast Library.  Council Member Charles Allen has a new regulation regarding rebates for security cameras.  Contact Mr. Price for more information at scott.price@anc.dc.gov. He also mentioned services for seniors, including free lunch and physical therapy, being offered at K and 5th Street, D.C. Office on Aging.

Mr. Eckenwiler announced a community meeting he is planning for his Single Member District, ANC 6C04, on March 23, 7 pm at Kaiser Permanente, 700 Second Street NE.

Naomi Mitchell from Council Member Charles Allen’s office announced his office hours the third Friday of each month.  April 19th is the next one, to be held at the Pretzel Café, 15th and G Streets SE from 8:00 to 9:30 am.  On April 21 the council member will hold a meeting at 645 H, 6:30 pm to address the city budget.

Consent Calendar

  1. Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan School is sponsoring a movie night for the community, Second and G Streets NE, April 30 with a rain date of May 7.  The event will be a fundraiser for the school.  Donations are accepted as admission  andpopcorn will be sold.  Mr. Eckenwiler put flyers out in the community and received no negative responses.  The school will make its bathrooms available during the event and a security guard will be present.  The commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter of support to the DC Department of General Services.  Motion: Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Goodman.
  2. Seoul Spice, 145 N Street NE, ABRAapplication #101493—A new Korean restaurant is seeking a new liquor license to serve beer and wine.  They also are seeking a stipulated license.  The 6C Alcoholic Beverage Committee is negotiating a settlement agreement that includes clearing the sidewalks during snow storms.  The commissioners voted unanimously to protest the license in order to negotiate a settlement agreement and to approve the stipulated license as soon as the agreement is signed.  Motion:  Mr. Goodman/Mr. Eckenwiler.
  3. 300 M Street NE, Public Space application #120775—This is a PUD proposed to have 10-ft. wide sidewalks, a mini “parklet”, benches, and bike racks.  The commissioners voted unanimously to support the public space enhancements.  Motion: Mr. Goodman/Mr. Eckenwiler.
  4. Stuart Hobson Middle School, parking signage issues—Signs need to be corrected at the Fifth Street loading zone and on the school block indicating hours when school staff can park and hours when RPP is in effect after 4 pm. Teachers are not heeding signs.  After the second warning teacher parking is to be revoked for violators.  There is consistent violation by some teachers.  Mr. Eckenwiler also reported that the illegal tree box fencing has been removed.  The commissioners voted to send a letter to DCPS and DDOT regarding the signage issues.  Motion:  Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Price.
  5. New York Avenue Pedestrian-Bike Trail—Douglas Development and DDOT are planning to build a trail parallel to New York Avenue that would connect NoMa to the Arboretum. Work would begin this year.  The commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter of support to DDOT and a letter to Council Member Charles Allen and the mayor to encourage funding be obligated.  The $10 million in funding includes land acquisition.  Motion:  Mr. Goodman/Mr. Eckenwiler.
  6. 649 Constitution Avenue N.E., HPA # 16-42, concept approval for a new deck on top of an existing garage—The applicant has the support of adjacent neighbors, although there was some concern about the precedent it would set and the potential for noise.  The drawings were in need of correction.  The commissioners voted unanimously to support the application with notation of the need for correction of drawings.  The vote included designation of Mr. Eckenwiler as the ANC 6C representative at the HPO hearing.  Motion: Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Price.
  7. 631 Lexington Pl. NE, HPA #16-100, concept approval for a new basement entrance—The applicant failed to appear at the 6C Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee meeting to discuss this case, despite clear previous notice. There were problems with the plans submitted and a guard rail visible from the street.  The commissioners voted to oppose the application.  The vote included designation of Mr. Eckenwiler to represent ANC 6C at the hearing. Motion:  Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Price.
  8. 518 Sixth Street NE, HPA #16-199, concept approval to remove an existing one-story rear addition to construct a two-story rear addition.  The applicant failed to appear at the Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee despite clear previous notice.  Plans were emailed to the committee chair nearly half an hour after the committee meeting began.  The applicant has a history of stop work orders and building violations, and submitted plans had a number of problems.  The commissioners voted unanimously to oppose the application.  The vote included designation of MrEckenwiler to represent ANC6C at the hearing.  Motion:  Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Miller.
  9. Square 897, application to close an alley, opening onto A Street between 7thand 8th Streets and transfer it to private ownership.  The applicant stated the goal was to park her car in the alley.  She had letters from DC Water, Pepco, Washington Gas, and the fire marshal.  Nearby neighbors were opposed to the alley closing.  Among the arguments were the neighborhood uses the alley for children’s sports and the CHRS statements in opposition to the privatization of alleys in the historic district.  The commissioners voted  unanimously to oppose the alley closing.  Motion:  Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Miller.

Grants Committee

Mr. Price represented the Grants Committee, stating that the committee has put out a call for more members.  There was a slight amendment to one of the grant documents on the website.  Ms. Schiffman thanked Michelle Rivard, who must leave the committee, for her help with the grants work.

Alcoholic Beverage Committee

  1. Bistro Italiano, license ABRA-023539, modification to allow wine and beer to be served at a summer garden to be opened at the rear of the establishment—Neighbors on this block were opposed to this summer garden because of the noise and hours.  During the discussion it became known that the certificate of occupancy was erroneously issued for 35 occupancy + 20 for a summer garden, when the original 1987 zoning order clearly states occupancy shall be limited to no more than 35 on premises.  The commissioners voted unanimously to protest the license, with Ms. Wirt designated as the ANC 6C representative in all matters pertaining to the application.  The vote included initiation of an inquiry of the Zoning Administrator to resolve the matter of the erroneously issued certificate of occupancy.  Motion:  Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Goodman.
  2. Mr. Eckenwiler announced that a settlement agreement had been reached with Craft Beer Cellar on H Street NE.

Parks and Events Committee

  1. Updates (informational)

Stacie West, NoMa Parks Foundation (NPF), informed the committee that there will be a major Community Conversation on Tuesday, March 29, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, at the Hilton Garden Inn, with a new format for community input.  The event will be child-friendly, with a kid’s design workshop, and will include a light dinner at 6:00 pm.  Further details and the RSVP are at nomaparks.org.   Negotiations are almost concluded between DDOT, DCAH, DGS and NoMa BID concerning maintenance for the M Street underpass light project.  The 4th and L Street park is in its first design phase; there are no known remediation issues to address.

DPR has given its initial approval of the application by a group of neighbors to make improvements to Reservation 84, the pocket park at Constitution, Massachusetts and 7th Street NE.  The group is working to put together its more detailed plans.

Efforts continue on facilitating community access to the new Stuart-Hobson Middle School athletic fields.  Dr. Nathaniel Beers, the chief operating officer of DCPS, informed Council Member Charles Allen that DCPS was working to develop by this spring a comprehensive policy on “casual” community use of school fields.  The chair of the committee, as a resident of Ward 6, submitted testimony to the DC Council Education Committee as part of its performance oversight hearings on DCPS, urging a plan for Stuart Hobson be adopted soon.

The Jump!Star application to DCAH last year was not successful but the Washington Project on the Arts is proceeding with the project, with an initial Cloud Seeing Session planned for the NoMa BID lobby on Thursday, March 3rd.  There may be a different source of funding for the project at DCAH and WPA may be seeking a grant from ANC 6C for the workshops involved.

  1. KIPP DC Prep school grounds and the Brentwood-Hamilton athletic field (non-voting item)

Ashley Harding, the community engagement official for the KIPP Schools, attended the committee meeting, in response to an invitation to discuss improvement plans and community access at the KIPP DC Prep School outdoor spaces on Brentwood Parkway across from Union Market.  Unfortunately, because the KIPP counsel most directly involved in the project had just left the organization, and another staff member involved in the project was ill and unable to attend the meeting, most of the committee’s questions were not answered.  Ms. Harding said, however, she would try to provide the site plan for the KIPP athletic fields and would return to the next meeting with her colleague and additional information.  The committee conveyed the interest of ANC 5D in KIPP’s plans.  Ms. Harding said work on the athletic field is supposed to be finished by September 2016.  Following the committee meeting, Paige Brodie, KIPP DC Real Estate Manager, provided by email additional information, including the site plan for the redevelopment of the DPR Hamilton field and the schedule for KIPP and community use of the facilities there once work is completed.

Transportation and Public Space Committee

170 M Street NE, public space application # 19517, Department of Justice, parking garage entrance curb cut—for construction of a building to house the Department of Justice.  The commissioners voted that they do not support the curb cut because there are already other curb cuts, but they understand the need and request the new driveway be as far as possible from the Metro entrance.  Mr. Goodman added a strong request to provide some space for retail. There was concern that the guard booth not be on public space. Two letters were proposed:  one to DDOT stating  the 6C position on the curb cut and that we are looking forward to seeing more detail on bike racks, benches, vault covers, etc., as well as bollards that will discourage current parking on the sidewalk; and a second letter to Council Member Charles Allen, Congresswoman Eleanor Norton, and the Office of Planning asking for designation of retail space.  The vote was 5:0:1, with Mr. Eckenwiler abstaining.  Motion: Mr. Goodman/Mr. Price.

Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee

  1. 734 Third Street NE, #HPA 16-261, concept approval, rear addition and façade repairs—There were gaps and inconsistencies in the submitted materials, including lack of front elevation drawings, lack of materials describing the proposed repairs to public space in front such as the lead walk and the fence.  The commissioners voted unanimously to support the application providing that the problems with submitted materials be indicated in the ANC 6C letter.  The vote included designation of Mr. Eckenwiler as the ANC 6C representative at the hearing. Motion:  Mr.Eckenwiler/Mr. Price.
  2. 222 G Street NE, HPA #16-260, concept approval, infill dog leg and replace window—The applicant proposes to enclose an existing dog leg and reconstruct the rear façade.  Several drawings had incorrect proportions that were inconsistent with drawings and photos. It was proposed that given the extensive alterations to the rear façade, it should be faced with brick rather than stucco over brick.  The commissioners voted unanimously to support with those conditions.  Motion: Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Price.
  3. 301 Florida Avenue NE, change in amenities package—This is a building with 60 apartments and ground floor retail.  It is a PUD with no parking and no loading.  The original amenities package had enhancements to the 300 block of N Street NE.  Changes include 8-ft. wide sidewalks, a park-like setting with tables, seating, and artwork, and better arrangements for bicycles.  The commissioners voted unanimously to support the new amenities package and reauthorized Mr. Goodman to represent ANC 6C in matters pertaining to this project.  Motion:  Mr. Goodman/Mr. Eckenwiler.  The applicant will return to the ANC in April with more details on the project.
  4. DCRA has taken down its permit status tracking database, which was a valuable tool for ANC 6C and the community.  The commissioners voted unanimously to press DCRA to fix the problems with the database and reinstate it.  A letter stating ANC 6C concerns should be sent to the director of DCRA, the mayor, and Council Member Vincent Orange.  Motion: Mr. Eckenwiler/Mr. Miller.

The meeting adjourned at 8:50 pm.