ANC 6B Report

What’s With the Slab?

Although not through any official notice by DGS (the Department of General Services that oversees the Market), it has come to people’s attention that the concrete slab that provided a foundation for the East Hall, the building that substituted for the Market while it was being restored, has been cleaned up, fenced and provided with entrances. After standing forlornly—except for the regular contingent of skate boarders who used it for practice for the many months since the temporary building was sold and removed—it looks like something is happening there. But what exactly that is proved a matter for questions at the ANC meeting.

Brian Pate reported that Market Manager Barry Margeson, a DGS employee, had announced at an Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) meeting that it would be used during the holiday season for additional sales of Christmas trees, cider and other items that are regular holiday fixtures under the shed on the other side of the street. However, Pate said he’d earlier been told that the upgrades to the slab were made to meet liability concerns, and was not told about any plan for a sales venue.

The commissioners—and their constituents—are looking for answers. Ivan Frishberg saying that it’s pretty significant, and has a real impact on the 8th Street neighbors, said it’s a problem that has to be figured out and a plan developed that will work for the holidays and all uses until construction begins. A motion to that effect, to be delivered to DGS and the office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), was passed unanimously, with Dave Garrison exhorting the commissioners from the affected area to “Raise Hell, colleagues.”

17th – 19th Streets Study Will Also Affect 6A

The study being undertaken to modify and update the traffic patterns on 17th and 19th Streets between Potomac and Pennsylvania Avenues that affects the northern reaches of ANC 6A also affects the adjoining area of ANC 6B from East Capitol Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, and the consultants that are working on the study for DDOT presented their recommendations to the Commission, which was pleased with what it heard. The Commissioners share the concern that the area is not safe and that measures have to be taken to change and upgrade the traffic patterns. They passed a resolution strongly supporting the proposed changes, which include increased parking, reduced traffic lanes, bicycle lanes, raised crosswalks, and other measures that will increase safety for both drivers and pedestrians. The project will be fully designed and ready for construction within six months, and members looked forward to seeing it completed.

New Gourmet Additions to Barracks Row

Two items on the 6B agenda will add to Barrack Row’s growing reputation as a destination for gourmet eaters and shoppers.

First, a liquor license was easily approved on the consent agenda for DCanter, a wine shop, yes--a wine shop, opening in the space vacated by Backstage at 545 8th Street SE The store will focus on both domestic and international wines and beers, and feature tastings and other events highlighting stock.

The second new establishment, a trickier case, will bring something decidedly new and different to the street, Ambar, at 523 8th Street, the former site of Jordan’s, will be a Serbian restaurant, and along with Eastern European specialties, the owner has applied for a license that will have both an outdoor café, and an of inner summer garden. Most importantly, it also has an entertainment endorsement—permission to have live music, which the owner says, he wants in order to attract people to his restaurant. Several commissioners expressed reservations about the endorsement and the hours, which have been modified to meet those of nearby outdoor cafes such as Cava’s.

Several neighbors spoke about the potential for noise, and were concerned that while the Commissioners joined them in opposing parts of the agreement, they were not opposing the whole agreement. Finally, the ANC agreed with Commissioner Kirsten Oldenberg, who said she was “wary” of accepting the agreement, but said that compromise was necessary, and with reservations, voted to support it, 9-0-1, with Dave Garrison opposing.

In Other Actions…

In other actions, ANC 6B…

  • Because of actions taken by ABRA to end limitations on the sale of small quantities of alcoholic beverages, agreed to drop its limits for local establishments on two- and three-pack packages of less than 750 ml. In a separate move, because of the end of the sales limits, voted to drop a protest of the license of Chat’s, a Class A liquor store on Barrack’s Row.

  • Heard a report about the availability of street trees from the Office of the Mayor. The City has 6400 trees available for planting. There is a tree planting map at the DDOT web site that shows the locations where trees are scheduled to be planted and where they were planted during the last cycle. It also lists what type of tree is at each location.

  • Finally, retiring Commissioner Neil Glick, asked, as one of his final actions, for support of a resolution that does not involve his single member district, or even ANC 6B. He asked for support of a resolution to DDOT to rename the intersection in front of the Embassy of Bulgaria, 1621 22nd Street NW in honor of Dimitar Peshev, a hero of World War II who saved many Jewish lives during the Nazi rampage. The motion passed unanimously.

The next meeting of ANC 6B will be held on Tuesday, December 11, at 7 PM at the Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE


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