ANC 6A Report

ANC Joins Initiative to Clean Up Anacostia River

Commissioners unanimously approved a motion to encourage the District Department of Environment (DDOE) to move forward with the Anacostia River Sediment Project, an initiative to clean up the Anacostia River. Representatives from the group United for a Healthy Anacostia River were on hand at the meeting, talking about the DDOE’s plan to clean up toxic sediments in the Anacostia. Dan Smith of the Anacostia Watershed Society explained that although the city is investing billions in fixing its combined sewer overflow system, there are still toxins flowing into the Anacostia at an alarming rate, adding to the significant deposits already there.

Chair Nick Alberti moved that the advisory neighborhood commission (ANC) write a letter to DDOE and the mayor requesting that as part of the plan they form a citizen’s advisory group and that they expedite the process to ensure that the planning phase is completed by 2017.

The group is putting pressure on the DDOE to finish a proposed comprehensive study of what toxins there are and to issue a record of decision by 2017 for how to do the cleanup, which could involve dredging and capping. There is also a social media movement and an online petition asking that elected officials include cleanup plans in this year’s budget. For more info, visit www.healthyanacostiariver.org.

ABC Board Sides with ANC over Ben’s Chili Bowl Outdoor Hours

Earlier this year members of the ANC protested the Ben’s Chili Bowl license for the establishment at H and 10th St. NE, requesting that the ABC Board limit the roof deck hours. On March 12 the board granted the ANC exactly what they asked for. From Sunday through Thursday, the roof deck must be closed by 11:00 p.m., and by 12:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, due to its proximity to residences. Chair Alberti commended Commissioners David Holmes, Omar Mahmud, and Jay Williams for putting so much work into the testimony.

New Transportation and Public Space Co-Chair

Commissioners unanimously voted in Transportation and Public Space Committee member Todd Sloves as co-chair. Alberti said he was “impressed with the work that he has done and is glad he is stepping up to do more.”

12 Restaurant and Lounge Stabbing

In early March there was a stabbing at 12 Restaurant and Lounge, located at 1123 H St. NE. The suspect was apprehended and the victim is stable. Commissioner Williams said that the Metropolitan Police Department closed the establishment for 96 hours. The ABC Board followed up with a summary suspension. The ANC is in the process of protesting the restaurant/lounge’s liquor license and will continue to do so.

ANC Votes on New Settlement Agreement Language

Commissioners voted to approve changes suggested by Commissioner Williams in the language of their standard settlement agreement. The changes improve clarity of the provisions and note that any references to the regulations within the settlement agreement are for information purposes only – the violation of a regulation is not also a violation of a settlement agreement. The ANC said that no double jeopardy was intended. One significant change would allow licensees greater flexibility to participate in pub crawls.

Sahra Lounge’s Public Space Permit Could Go up in Smoke

Sahra Lounge, located at H and 12th streets NE, which landed in hot water over its illegally operated sidewalk café and summer garden earlier this year, has new plans for springtime business. The owners have agreed to come before the Transportation and Public Space Committee with their new plans before they are presented to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). However, Sahra’s DDOT hearing is currently scheduled to take place the last week in March, before the ANC would be able to take an official vote on the plans. Commissioners unanimously voted that unless Sahra agrees to postpone its upcoming DDOT public space committee hearing until the end of April, the ANC will write a letter to DDOT opposing the application on the grounds that it is a large space with too many people in great proximity to a busy intersection and residences.

Alcohol Beverage Licensing Motions

Commissioners voted 5-0-1 to recommend that the ANC formally protest the C/T license for Halftime Sports Bar, located at 1427 H St. NE, unless a signed settlement agreement is submitted to the ANC prior to the protest date. Commissioner Williams said that the owner will likely sign the agreement.

In a 5-0-1 vote commissioners approved a motion to recommend that the ANC formally protest the Class A Retailer license application for Andy Lee Liquor, Inc. (trade name TBD), to be located at 914 H St. NE, unless a settlement agreement is submitted to the ANC before the protest date. The owner plans on converting a liquor store into a higher-end wine store, with open displays and a security guard at night if needed.

Economic Development and Zoning Motions

Commissioners unanimously approved a recommendation that the ANC write a letter to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HRPB) in support of HPA 14-80, which seeks design approval for the conversion of a church and two adjoining row houses at 819 D St. NE into a 30-unit residential development, provided that the developer incorporates HPRB’s pending comments into its design prior to the March 27 HRPB hearing. Commissioner Holmes added amendments: if the louvers are replaced by new louvers, any roof deck areas should not be visible from the street; no new window cuts on 9th or D streets; stained glass should be preserved, and any HVAC units, roof deck, or roof furniture should not be visible from the street; additional third-floor levels should not be visible from the street. Chair Alberti designated Commissioner Holmes and Dan Golden, chair of the Economic Development and Zoning Committee, to represent the ANC in this matter. This motion was unanimously approved. 

In a 6-0-0 vote commissioners voted to approve a recommendation that the ANC write a letter to BZA in support of BZA 18755, which seeks a special exception from lot occupancy and a variance from court width requirements for 504 12th St. NE in connection with a rear addition to the existing structure.

Other Business

The “Cross Traffic Does Not Stop” signs that Commissioner Holmes requested at the intersections of 10th St. and East Capitol St. and at 10th St. and Massachusetts Ave. will be installed by DDOT. The signs may be installed at other sites as well.

Commissioner Mahmud reported that as soon as the weather is warm enough to permit striping, DDOT will complete installation of bike lanes along G and I streets to provide cyclists an alternative to using H Street.

Commissioner Sondra Phillips-Gilbert made calls to follow up on a broken sign pole at the Rosedale Recreation Center, sidewalk repairs, and additional trash receptacles for the community center and surrounding areas. This will keep the area cleaner and safer for the upcoming warm weather.

Commissioners Calvin Ward and Phillips-Gilbert will co-sponsor a community watch meeting sometime in April for their single member districts (SMDs). Phillips-Gilbert said residents are concerned about crime and want to know what the police are doing and what neighbors can do to help out. 

Chair Alberti announced that there are eight proposed charter schools coming to the District. As usual the Public Charter School Board has not provided the specific locations.

ANC 6A meets on the second Thursday of every month (except August) at Miner Elementary School. The 6A committees meet at 7:00 p.m. at the following dates and locations:

  • 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, location to be posted on the website, www.anc6a.org.