ANC 6C Report

Indigo Restaurant Sidewalk Cafe Application

Commissioner Mark Eckenwiler (6C04), acting on behalf of the chair of the Transportation and Public Space Committee, brought to the ANC an application for a sidewalk cafe at Indigo Restaurant on K St. NE. The vote to support this application failed at the Transportation and Public Space Committee, four to three. The application was for an existing structure. Concerns from the Transportation and Public Space Committee focused on the permanence of the structure, the number of seats allowed, and whether or not it was fireproof. 

Dinesh Tandon, the owner of Indigo, encouraged the ANC to approve support for his application, citing changes and improvements made to the structure based on their first meeting. Additionally many neighbors of the restaurant showed their support for Indigo, bringing up the changes that the presence of the restaurant had made on that corner of K Street. They also presented a petition with approximately 250 signatures of support. Tandon stressed that he wanted to make the structure safe and beautify the area. Although some commissioners expressed concern about the structure, the ANC motion to support the application passed with three commissioners for and two against. 

 

Union Kitchen Grocery Sidewalk Cafe Application

Eckenwiler, again acting on behalf of the chair of the Transportation and Public Space Committee, introduced Union Kitchen Grocery’s application for a sidewalk cafe. The provisions set guidelines for where outdoor seating would be located, on the north side of the building along F St. NE, and the hours of operation, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mon. through Sat., and 8 a.m to 6 p.m. on Sun. They also set conditions for how much seating would be allowed in the space, contingent upon the number of noise complaints from nearby residents. The provisions were introduced to accommodate concerns of neighbors about the application that had been discussed at the committee’s last meeting. 

Two attendees who live near the business expressed concern about what the sidewalk cafe meant for their area. Their complaints ranged from concern about noise and residents’ having to enforce regulations, to claims that Union Kitchen Grocery had not fully resolved outstanding citations from the Historic Preservation Office (HPO). Eckenwiler responded to concern over previous violations by saying that “they don’t get resolved instantly” and that the people in charge of oversight at the Union Kitchen Grocery were aware of the issues. 

Commissioner Tony Goodman (6C06) questioned the provision banning dogs from the sidewalk cafe, asked to strike the provision banning dogs, and amended the conditions to include a bike rack. Eckenwiler offered to be the ANC 6C designee who would work with the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) Public Space Committee to respond to potential complaints from neighbors. Goodman motioned to support the application with those additions, and the motion passed with three commissioners for and two against. 

 

315 H St. NE

The ANC considered MRP Realty’s application to develop a property at 315 H St. NE. MRP Realty had previously brought this development plan to the Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee (PZE) for informational meetings, and according to Eckenwiler members of the committee were “more than a little unhappy” that previous concerns had not been addressed.

Representing MRP Realty, Jon Begert admitted that at the PZE meeting the previous Wednesday there were comments that “we didn’t do a good job addressing.” Begert went on to state that, based on the last committee meeting, MRP Realty was committed to focusing on three issues. The first was alley safety, for which, according Begert, MRP had brought in a security consultant. The second was bike storage, where Begert said they had sacrificed an amenity to expand first-floor bike storage. The third was “massing,” or the size of the building. For this Begert said that “the design needs a little work” and that they could make some “small changes.” 

Clarence Mobley, a DC resident for 78 years and a deacon at Northeast Holy Trinity Church, expressed concern for the potential for parking obstructions caused by the construction of the property. Begert stated that they would be amenable to minimizing traffic concerns.

The ANC voted unanimously to oppose the application except for the provisions that the PZE committee supported.

 

Stuart Hobson Parking Plan 

Revisiting a parking agreement for neighborhood parking passes for teachers and staff at the Stuart Hobson Middle School, the ANC heard a request to change the parking hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Commissioners raised concern over school faculty using their parking passes in residential areas. They made their support for the changed hours conditional upon the school’s reporting and revoking parking passes for individuals who parked outside of the school’s spaces. A concerned former parent worried that these conditions would turn the school’s principal into a “parking enforcer.”

The proposition was amended to designate Commissioner Eckenwiler as the person to work with DC agencies to determine enforcement mechanisms. The motion to support the changes to the parking plan was approved unanimously. 

 

Other Actions andAnnouncements 

Commissioner Goodman chaired this meeting for Karen Wirt (6C02), who was absent.

Meti Zeyege is stepping down from the Parks and Events Committee. Anyone interested in that position should email the commissioners. There will also be information on the website. The issue will be voted on at the September meeting.

The Grants Committee is looking to fund “new and innovative” projects that benefit the community, especially those that engage children and encourage them to read. Residents who have ideas for the committee should please email them at anc6c.grants@gmail.com. 

Revisions to the grant application on the commission’s website were approved unanimously. The changes specified how the commission wanted receipts to be labeled and matched to budget line items.

The commission unanimously approved grant funding for traffic control signs and barricades for the H Street Festival. This year’s festival will be on Sept. 19.

NoMa commissioned the largest public art display in the city at 1st and L streets. It opened on July 8 and will be the site of NoMa Summer Screen, the neighborhood’s 13-week summer film series, which ends on Aug. 19. 

 

Next Meeting

There will be no ANC 6C meeting in August. The ANC’s next meeting will be on Sept. 10.