ANC 6A Report - September 2016

Vice-Chair Omar Mahmud of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6A called the meeting to order, with Commissioners Mike Soderman, Patrick Malone, Calvin Ward, Sondra Phillips-Gilbert, Matt Levy, and Stephanie Zimny in attendance. The meeting included the following community presentations.

Robert White, Candidate, Councilmember at Large

White said he anticipated being appointed to complete the remainder of the term of former At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange who resigned in August. He will be on the ballot for that position in November, having won the nomination of the Democratic Party. White listed his top concerns as affordable housing, schools, and job and career training.

In response to Commissioner Malone’s request for a specific plan for increasing affordable housing he said that the first priority is to preserve what affordable housing already exists. He also said that the District should improve enforcement of regulations and make developers “do what the law requires.” He favors rezoning along the Rhode Island Avenue, Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, and Georgia Avenue corridors to allow second-floor residences on what are now single-story commercial buildings. This would have the added benefit of increasing business diversity He would approach owners of older office buildings who are having difficulty finding tenants and ask that they refit the space for residential purposes.

Commissioner Zimny asked what White would do to improve public safety. He replied that while he doesn’t “want to over criminalize” he does want to be tough on violent crime, especially involving guns. He would press for federal prosecutors that are locally accountable; they are currently answerable only to the federal government.

White will ask to be appointed to the DC Council’s Education Committee and will fight residency fraud. He will also insist that DC Public Schools work with parents and community members, and argued that it had taken “an unreasonable amount of work” to get to the current level of quality in our local elementary schools.

He can be reached at Robert@RobertWhiteAtLarge.com.

MPD First District Commander Kane

Morgan Kane is the new commander in the Metropolitan Police Department’s First District, where she began her 18-year career. She said her focus is to “keep you safe and stay engaged.” She cited several successes. Violent crime is down. The bust of a “problem house” on the 600 block of 10th Street NE resulted in several arrests and the seizure of drugs, ammunition, and guns. The removal of seating from the corner of H and 11th streets NE made the location less attractive for loitering. Kane will send beat officers to the October ANC meeting so they can become better acquainted with residents.

Commissioner Zimny pointed to issues with violence near neighborhood schools, especially just prior to opening in the morning and closing in the afternoon. Kane said she would ensure that her officers are aware of those concerns.

She can be reached at morgan.kane@dc.govor 202-809-1275.

Transportation and Public Space Actions

A proposal to send a letter to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) requesting it use brick for the sidewalk on the 800 block of A Street NE was tabled because brick sidewalks have already been installed there.

The commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter to DDOT in support of petitions requesting safety evaluations of 1) the intersection at Eighth Street and West Virginia Avenue NE and 2) the intersection at 10th Street and Massachusetts Avenue NE.

ANC 6A will also send a letter to DDOT in support of a dedicated lane for the streetcar on K Street NW. The commissioners expect that this will improve service for all riders, including those who live in ANC 6A.

The ANC recently received a copy of the new residential parking regulations. Of particular interest are those outlining the proposed guidelines for residential parking permits (RPP). RPP restricts parking to residents during the listed times, and only on one side of the street. In the past, individual blocks could request RPP through a petition process. The proposal is to grant RPP on an ANC-wide basis. Commissioners voted to place the matter on the agenda for the September meeting of the Transportation and Public Space Committee and send comments based on that committee’s recommendation.

Economic Development and Zoning Actions

The commissioners voted to send a letter to the Zoning Commission (ZC) in support of a land-use designation change from the existing C-2-A to C-2-B, to accommodate development of the property at 1701 H St. NE.

ANC 6A will write a letter to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) in support of the concept/construction of a two-story carriage house with roof deck at 313 11th St. NE, pending receipt of letters of support from neighbors. As of the time of the meeting, such letters had not been provided.

The developers of 1116 Constitution Ave. NE asked the ANC to waive the 45-day administrative review period so they could proceed with a scheduled HPRB review of a proposed third-story addition at that address. The matter did not come before the Economic Development and Zoning Committee owing to the August recess. Some neighbors in attendance expressed concerns about the size of the project. Process concerns were also raised. The motion failed on a 2-2-3 vote.

A community member requested support for an appeal to the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) against the determination by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) of commercial zoning for an 18-unit, five-story apartment building at 1511 A St. NE. The development would replace a single-family home and several garages. The sites at 1511 A St. and neighboring single-family properties were rezoned from C2A to R4 in 2015. The ANC sponsored the successful rezoning and opposed a similar development proposal for 1511 A NE in the past. The issue was on the agenda of the September meeting of the Economic Development and Zoning Committee.

Decommissioned Pepco Benning Road Power plant

Former Commissioner David Holmes reported that the ANC received a satisfactory response from the Department of Energy & Environment to the letter sent in April requesting additional information about pollutants near the decommissioned Pepco powerplant on Benning Road.  Most of the toxic material has been removed. The letter will be posted on the ANC website. More information can be found at www.benningservicecenter.com.

Reports and Announcements

Many residents attended the meeting to voice their objections to the Maryland Avenue “road diet” – an effort to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety and traffic flow along that corridor. The chief complaint seemed to be lack of public input, although ANC 6A has been working on this issue for several years, in collaboration with ANC 6C, and the matter has been on the agenda many times. Meetings have been posted on the calendar and in print, and proposed plans posted on the ANC website. Still, many in the audience said they had heard nothing on the subject until very recently.

Beat officers from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Fifth District will attend the Oct. 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 dates:

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.orgfor a calendar of events, changes of date/venue, agendas, and other information.