ANC 6A Report

2014 Board, Committee Members Elected

In a 5-1 vote, ANC 6A commissioners elected a new board for 2014. Outgoing Chair and newly elected Treasurer David Holmes passed the gavel to Commissioner Nick Alberti, Commissioner Omar Mahmud is Vice Chair and Commissioner Calvin Ward will be Secretary.

The commissioners unanimously voted to elect Committee Chairs for 2014. Elizabeth Nelson will remain chair of Community Outreach Committee, Commissioner Jay Williams will still be chair of Alcohol, Beverage and Licensing Committee, Dan Golden will remain chair of the Economic Development and Zoning Committee and Commissioner Mahmud will keep his seat as chair of the Transportation and Public Space Committee. The Commissioners unanimously voted to not nominate a chair for the Public Safety Committee, since public safety issues are not discussed at ANC meetings.  

There was also 6-0 vote to authorize the Treasurer to write a $25 check to participate in the ANC survey fund.

Minutes Mayhem

Commissioner Sondra Phillips-Gilbert requested that her Single Member District Report be included in the September minutes. She said that she felt she was being “silenced,” and that residents should not have to look at different websites to see what commissioners are saying.

Commissioners Holmes and Alberti said that SMD district reports are not included in minutes. Phillips-Gilbert contended that this would require a change in the bylaws. After referring to Robert’s Rules, Commissioner Holmes said that minutes reflect what was done at a meeting, not what members said.

In a 4-2-1 vote, the commission decided to add a summary of Commissioner Phillips-Gilbert’s SMD report to September’s minutes.

Lots of noise about Ben’s Chili Bowl

Several commissioners attended an ABC hearing regarding the Ben’s Chili Bowl coming to H Street. The ANCs and neighbors are in agreement to have the restaurant open, but are concerned about the proximity of the outdoor space to residences. On the ABC application, it listed that the outdoor space be closed at 3 a.m., which is outside of the norm for similar establishments in ANC 6A. Commissioner Williams presented the case to the ABC on behalf of the community.

However, Commissioner Phillips-Gilbert testified on behalf of Ben’s Chili Bowl at the hearing, even though she previously voted against the measure with the ANC. She left the meeting early, so the matter was not able to be discussed.

ANC recommends closing times for public space

The commissioners unanimously voted to support a recommendation that the ANC not change its current policy regarding the closing times for public space patios and rooftop decks, which is 11 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

In addition, Chair Alberti, who serves on the ABC Boards, announced that, since he is now ANC Chair, he  will recuse himself from all votes regarding matters coming before the ABC Board, if they involve Settlement Agreements negotiated with ANC 6A, since he is a member of the ABC board.

Sahra Lounge’s sidewalk café goes up in smoke

Commissioners Holmes and Williams attended a meeting with the owners of Sahra Lounge, located at 1200 H Street NE. The hookah bar had been operating an unlicensed sidewalk café, also beyond hours of the settlement agreement. In mediation, the ANC and the owners agreed reached a tentative agreement that one employee must be monitoring the outdoor patio at all times, that the last call for alcohol be 10:30 p.m. on weekdays and 11:30 p.m. on weekends, that furniture be secured on the patio deck to deter after-hours occupants and that there be no use of promoters to host promoted events.

The commissioners unanimously voted to authorize Commissioners Williams and Mahmud to represent the ANC when dealing with Sahra Lounge while negotiating a settlement agreement.

Economic Development and Zoning motions

Commissioners voted unanimously to recommend that the ANC write a letter to DCRA, suggesting that it issue a notice of violation based on what appears to be a violation of a lot line at 1110 G Street NE, by the construction of a retaining wall at the neighboring property, 1108 G Street NE.

It was a 5-0 vote to recommend that the ANC write a letter to HPRB in support of a HPA 14-094, which seeks approval for a planned rear addition and a partial third floor addition at 238 11th Street NE, since it does not impact the look and feel of the community and residents agree.

Commissioners voted unanimously to recommend that the ANC write a letter to BZA in support of BZA 18703, which seeks a special exception to expand the second floor of a rowhouse, 794 19th St. NE.  A special exception is needed, even though lot coverage will not change, since it is already a non-conforming structure., resulting in a lot occupancy of 69 percent. Since the addition is non-conforming, a special exception is needed and neighbors do not object to the construction.

Chair Alberti suggested that the commission table a vote concerning a recommendation that the ANC write a letter to BZA in support of BZA 18694 that seeks a variance from the floor-to-floor area ratio (FAR) requirements in connection with planned construction of a sports bar at 1362 H Street NE. The owner was not present at the meeting and commissioners had too many unanswered questions.  The ANC voted to request a postponement to further consider the matter. The spot is an existing vacant property that has been in the owner’s family for 25 years. However, the ED&Z committee unanimously had voted for the following stipulations: that all trash must be kept inside the building, all loading must be done at the rear of the property and that there be no amplified sound of the roof deck.

ANC6A meets on the second Thursday of every month (except August) at Miner Elementary School. The 6A committees meet at the following times:

Alcohol Beverage and Licensing, third Wednesday Tuesday of every month at the Sherwood Recreation Center.

Community Outreach, third Monday of each month, Maury Elementary School.

Economic Development and Zoning, third Wednesday of each month, Sherwood Recreation Center.

Transportation and Public Space, third Monday of every month, Sherwood Recreation Center.