ANC 6A Report - May 2016

May’s monthly Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) meeting started with a presentation of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s fiscal year 2017 “Fair Shot” budget from Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity Courtney Snowden. She highlighted the plans to invest around $5.2 million in workforce development at the University of the District of Columbia and its community college; the renovation investments in Ward 6’s Southwest and Southeast libraries; the $17.3 million to fix sidewalks, curbs, and alleys; and the month-long innoMAYtion initiative featuring business and entrepreneur efforts to develop the local economy. The commissioners did not comment on Snowden’s presentation.

The quorum: J. Omar Mahmud (6A01), Phil Toomajian (6A02), Mike Soderman (6A03), Matt Levy (6A04), Patrick Malone (6A05), Stephanie Zimny (6A06), Sondra Phillips-Gilbert (6A07), and Calvin Ward (6A08).

New Affordable Development

Commissioners voted to write a letter of support for Insight Development’s plans to apply to market the mixed-use apartments at 1300 H St. NE as affordable housing. The application is due on May 31 and will allow the developers to build 29 of the 33 units at 50 percent of the area’s average median income (AMI), about $109,200 for 2015, and four units at 30 percent of the AMI. To afford the change, the developer plans to eliminate the planned penthouse, but the site still includes at least six three-bedroom units, parking, and bicycle amenities.

BAB Korean Fusion Applies for a Sidewalk Cafe

BAB Korean Fusion wants to open a sidewalk cafe along the restaurant at 1387 H St. NE. The ANC voted 7 to 1 to write a letter to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) supporting the addition. One commissioner brought up concerns over having trash receptacles located next to the cafe, but others agreed the rest of the application was acceptable. The new cafe will close at 11 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and at midnight on Friday and Saturday. The settlement agreement with neighbors also stipulates no music outside, the servers must use actual plates (not paper or plastic) to avoid litter, fencing along the cafe must meet DDOT requirements, the owners must move the chairs to the side to lock up when not in use, and the nearby tree boxes must be maintained.

Protesting Ben’s Chili Bowl Alcohol License

Commissioners voted unanimously to oppose the renewal of the alcohol license for Ben’s Chili Bowl (1001 H St. NE) until the ANC and the owners reach a settlement agreement. The restaurant is one of a few remaining in the area that does not have a settlement agreement on file. The commissioners want to make sure the community has a chance to address concerns about the restaurant’s operation. Commissioner Toomajian agreed to work on negotiating with Ben’s Chili Bowl.

Handling Trash Problems at Sol Mexican Grill

Sol Mexican Grill (1251 H St. NE) failed to show up at the Alcohol and Beverage Licensing (ABL) meeting and the ANC meeting to discuss a request for significant changes to its current license. The commissioners agreed that they want to work with the restaurant but need assurances that the owners will seriously consider the issues neighbors have with trash. Sol Mexican Grill requested an increase in occupancy from 60 to 155; increases in hours on weeknights from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. and on weekends from 2 to 3 a.m.; and added entertainment hours on weekends from 1 to 2 a.m. Without an agreement to solve overflowing trash problems, the ANC won’t support the requests and will protest. “They can’t even handle the trash for 60 customers right now,” Commissioner Mahmud said. “I can’t imagine how they would handle the trash for triple that amount.”

Waiting on ABL for License Renewals

The commissioners decided to protest the alcohol license renewals of several H Street restaurants until the ABL meeting on May17 to discuss each application. They will readdress any concerns at the June meeting. The list of licenses includes Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St. NE), Granville Moore’s (1238 H St. NE), Imm Thai on H (1360 H St. NE), Maketto (1351 H St. NE), Redrocks (1348 H St. NE), Sally’s Middle Name (1320 H St. NE), H & Pizza (1118 H St. NE), and Smith Commons (1245 H St. NE).

Working with the Development at 920-922 H St. NE

Developers for 920-922 H St. NE requested new exceptions for the project, which the ANC agreed to support so long as the developers meet several other requirements: continue the exterior facade on the building’s side, restrict residential parking of the tenants, submit a shadow study to reveal affects of light on neighboring homes, provide a tenant transit subsidy to discourage cars, consider alternative parking for residents, and discuss concerns with neighbors. 

Other Actions

Commissioner Mahmud suggested the ANC consider writing a letter supporting Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen’s request that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) change the closure dates for the Stadium Armory and Potomac Avenue Metro stations. WMATA plans to close these stations for renovation from Aug. 20 to Sept. 6, which coincides with the start of school for local students that use Metro to get to school.

Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen presented a pilot program mainly for ANCs 6A and 6C to help pay for American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters at the monthly meetings. The proposed program would provide funds to hire interpreters. Commissioners voted unanimously to write a letter of support for the program.

Miner Elementary (601 15th St. NE) will be searching for a new principal. Principal Anne Evans will retire this year due to health concerns.

The owner of Master’s Liquor (1806 D St. NE) disputed the Hill Rag’s report in the May ANC 6A article that police are responding to increased drug activity at the intersection of 18th and D Streets NE. He said he has observed the activity farther east of his store, and reports any activity. Commissioner Ward agreed that Master’s fights the activity and said he will work with the local community to combat the concerns.

The ANC agreed to send a letter of support to DDOT for residential-permit parking signs along the 1000 block of 10th Street NE.

For the development at 1234 Duncan Place NE, commissioners agreed to write a letter to the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) in support of extending the brick along the sides that face the street.

For the development at 1018 Ninth St. NE, commissioners agreed to send a letter to BZA supporting stucco or stucco paneling along the sides of the development to match the current design.

Pedestrians near the intersection 18th Street and Benning Road NE often play “frogger,” dodging cars to get across the flow of traffic. The commissioners agreed to request DDOT to perform a traffic assessment at that intersection to improve pedestrian safety.

 

ANC 6A regularly meets on the second Thursday of the month at Miner Elementary School, 601 15th St. NE. The next meeting is on June 9 at 7 p.m.

The 6A committees meet at 7 p.m. on the following schedule:

Alcohol Beverage and Licensing, third Tuesday of each month, Sherwood Recreation Center.

Community Outreach, fourth 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, Capitol Hill Towers.

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