ANC 6A Report - March 2017

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6A Chair Phil Toomajian called the meeting to order at Miner Elementary School (601 15th St. NE), with Commissioners Calvin Ward, Marie-Claire Brown, Patrick Malone, Stephanie Zimny, Sondra Phillips-Gilbert, Matt Levy, and Mike Soderman in attendance.

The meeting began with community presentations.

Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen

The DC Council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, which Allen chairs, is responsible for homeland security, emergency medical services, and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). The committee has been busy with confirmation hearings on the new police chief. They are also evaluating the Youth Rehabilitation Act to see if changes are needed. Allen noted that 97 percent of youth sentenced under the act do not reoffend (commit violent crimes) if they complete all the requirements. Many of them are able to move forward in ways that would be difficult otherwise. However, there are cases where the community has been negatively affected.

Allen is excited about population growth in the District but is aware that it increases housing pressure. He supports the Housing Production Trust Fund for its ability to preserve existing affordable housing and leverage financing to create more.

Referring to Congress and the Trump administration, he sees both as an “unprecedented threat” to the District’s autonomy and thinks it is “fundamentally unjust” that our budget and local laws can be overturned by Congress. He believes that “women’s health issues should be enshrined in local law” before they can be stripped away by repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Congress does not review emergency legislation, which takes effect as soon the mayor signs it. Although such legislation expires in 90 days, it may present opportunities to avoid congressional oversight.

In response to a complaint about unleashed dogs in Lincoln Park, Allen responded that it was a subject of concern. He believes that the National Park Service (NPS), which has jurisdiction over the park, will need to build a space for dogs in order to achieve a long-term solution; leash-law enforcement has not solved the problem. There is a dog park several blocks away and another one is in the planning stages at the new Virginia Avenue Park, but there is still not enough capacity. NPS has maintained a no-dog park policy. However, Golden Gate Park in San Francisco has a dog park on NPS land, so there is precedent.

Washington Gas Update on Pipeline Replacement

Doreen Hope, community district manager,reported on Washington Gas’s pipe replacement projects, with a focus on the work along the 17th Street corridor, although other areas are also affected. Customers will be contacted by a Washington Gas consultant to schedule the date of their service replacement and meter relocation. Washington Gas says that crews will restore damaged landscaping to the “as found” condition, although there have been reports of deficiencies in this area. Questions and complaints can be directed to dhope.projectpipes@sawhgas.com, 202-624-6400, or visit washingtongas.com; click on “View Major Projects” then go to “Resources.”

Transportation and Public Space actions

ANC 6A voted unanimously to send a letter of support for the Capitol Hill Classic Race. As Toomajian noted, this race enjoys broad community support and, unlike other similar events, does not generate complaints. Proceeds benefit the Capitol Hill Cluster School, a DC public school.

The commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter to the DC Council stating ANC 6A’s opposition to the Small Business Parking Permit Act of 2017. This act includes provisions for business owners each to obtain 10 residential parking permits (RPP) for the use of employees. The commissioners observed that in areas such as H Street NE this would be a very large number of parking passes and would be detrimental to the customer base, to say nothing of the impact on residents. Councilmember Allen is also opposed.

Economic Development and Zoning Actions

ANC 6A will send a letter of support to the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) for the owners of 1126 Constitution Ave. NE, who are seeking special exemptions from lot occupancy and rear yard requirements to permit the construction of a two-story garage. Commissioners voted unanimously to send a similar letter to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB).

The commissioners also considered the request for a letter of support to BZA from the owners of 619 Elliot St. NE. They have applied for a special exemption from lot occupancy requirements to permit the construction of a third-story addition with roof deck. The addition would extend over the “dog leg” between the two lower floors and the property line. The owners of the adjacent property, 621 Elliot St. NE, object to the addition as it would interfere with their chimney and planned solar panels, for which they have already requested permits. There are also objections to the loss of sunlight on neighboring properties and the damage to the streetscape, though this last concern has limited application in a zoning case. In response to other objections, the owners have agreed to extend brick treatment to partially cover the sides of the house and have eliminated a planned “penthouse.” As the recommendation of the committee was contingent on the support of the neighbors, and in the hope that additional time would allow the parties to come to at least a partial agreement, the matter was tabled until the April ANC meeting.

Toomajian reported the following with respect to a BZA appeal that ANC 6A unanimously sponsored in October 2016. The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) has issued notice of intent to revoke the building permit for 1511 A St. NE. The property's owner had filed plans to build a five-story, 18-unit condo building at that address, where there is currently a single house. DCRA's zoning administrator admitted zoning limits were misinterpreted and agreed with the ANC and neighbors that current zoning does not allow such a massive building. The owner can appeal. No construction has been started. Toomajian thanked Commissioner Ward, former Commissioner Nick Alberti, and other community members for their work on this issue.

Reports & Announcements

Toomajian announced that the Capitol Hill Classic race, an annual fundraiser for the Capitol Hill Cluster School, is scheduled for Sunday, May 21. Information including street closings can be found at capitolhillclassic.com.

There is a possibility that new development at 1207 H St. NE will include underground placement of the streetcar substation now above ground, across the street.

Zimny reported that neighbors are still concerned about traffic patterns generated at Chik-fil-A (in the triangle on the 1400 block of Maryland Avenue and G Street NE), but there are no further actions they can pursue until the business opens, at which time a traffic study may be requested.

New recycling rules prohibit placing plastic bags into recycling bins. Materials must be placed loose, not inside a trash bag.

Representatives of the Alcohol Beverage Regulatory Administration (ABRA) will attend the April 13 ANC meeting.

 

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

Alcohol Beverage and Licensing, third Tuesday of each month, Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th St. NE.

Community Outreach, fourth Monday of each month, Maury Elementary School, 601 15th St. NE.

Economic Development and Zoning, third Wednesday of each month, Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th St. NE.

Transportation and Public Space, third Monday of every month, Capitol Hill Towers, 900 G St. NE.

Visit www.anc6a.orgfor calendar of events, changes of date/venue, agendas, and other information.