ANC 6C Report - December 2016

At the December meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C, the saga of the collapsed alley at 732 Sixth St. NE continued. Commissioner Chris Miller informed the ANC that nearly a year after the alley collapsed, the District agencies have finally assessed the damage for repairs. The homeowner responsible for part of the alley had refused to cooperate with the District, and the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) had to request a warrant to enter the home. A DDOT representative told the ANC that engineers surveyed the site, but because of construction at the building across the alley, District workers can’t fix the alley for at least another eight months. So it goes.

The quorum: Karen Wirt (6C02, chair), Tony Goodman (6C06), Mark Eckenwiler (6C04), Daniel Schiffman (6C01), Scott Price (6C03), and Christopher Miller (6C05).

More Little Libraries Coming to Northeast

Commissioner Price spearheaded a new partnership between the ANC and Two Rivers Public Charter School to buy and manage four new little libraries in the ANC 6C area. The ANC approved about $2,200 in funds to buy the little library stands and placards showing the ANC owns them. Two Rivers families will help manage and stock the libraries. “This is a way to get children’s books into the community as fast as possible,” Price said.

Alcohol License for Whole Foods Market on H Street

Commissioners agreed to protest the new alcohol license application for Whole Foods Market at 600 H St. NE. The market plans to sell through the grocery section and at the cafe inside. While commissioners didn’t oppose the sale of alcohol at the store, they wanted to pursue a settlement agreement for the cafe sales. Commissioner Goodman admitted that if Whole Foods did not apply for a liquor license, the ANC wouldn’t have a say in any other part of the store’s actions such as rules for delivery trucks, road use, or parking. Commissioners used the opportunity to start a new agreement with the store for future considerations. The store is set to open in the early summer of 2017.

New Development on Vacant Third Street Lot

A developer has won support for a new two-unit building at 434 Third St. NE. The lot is currently vacant. Commissioners supported the plans but requested a sightline study for the proposed roof deck, and a removal of the deck if it proves disruptive. Neighbors directly abutting the proposed residence argued against the plan, calling it financially detrimental to their own condo unit at 432. With construction already occurring on another nearby lot, the condo owners have lost tenants, and their building’s foundation has shifted. They also said the back of the new building would block the windows at the back of their unit, but Eckenwiler clarified that those windows are against code in the first place because they are too close to the property line.

The ANC supported the plan with an additional request to have the construction team monitor the neighboring house for more foundation shifts.

Carriage House on Eighth Street Wins Approval

The ANC supported plans for a three-story addition, new one-story garage, and attached studio at 108-110 Eighth St. NE. After months of changes based on neighbors’ concerns, the plans were modified to fit the recommendations and lowered the height of the supplementary buildings. Neighbors fought the development because they argued it disrupted sightlines and endangered an old walnut tree on a neighboring lot. But the ANC agreed that the latest changes met the requested considerations.

Repaving of Delaware Avenue

Delaware Avenue NE needs repaving around the 1100 block following damage done during the REI construction. Commissioners agreed to send a letter to DDOT requesting repaving and striping for a one-way northbound street on that section. They also requested a bike lane and contra-flow bike lane and consideration for the widening of the west side sidewalk for pedestrian safety. They want to add more parking along Second Street NE on that block.

Neighbors around REI want to change their residential parking permit (RPP) zones to include Saturdays and evenings. With so many people shopping at REI, residents are losing their parking spaces. The ANC supported this request.

Road Directional Changes on L, Pierce, and M Streets

DDOT placed a new light at the end of M Street NE, indicating it plans to turn the route into a two-way road. Goodman has fought this suggested plan and even worked with DDOT to run a pilot program that would keep the road as a one-way with a cycle track. “This runs absolutely contrary to DDOT’s own bike master plan and Move DC,” Goodman said. “This is something I have no idea why DDOT is entertaining it.” The ANC agreed to send a letter to DDOT again vigorously opposing the conversion of M Street into a two-way route, which would block a cycle track path from NE all the way to downtown.

ANC Opposes Proposed Commission Omnibus

Proposed changes to the Advisory Neighborhood Commission omnibus need more time and consideration before anything is signed into law, Eckenwiler argued. The bill, spearheaded by outgoing At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds, could have far-reaching consequences if not properly vetted with the community and current commissioners, he said. The ANC voted 5-0 with one abstention to oppose the legislation.

Other Action Items

Trader Joe’s confirmed it will open at 1240 Fourth St. NE, near Union Market. The estimated opening is sometime in 2017.

Commissioner Eckenwiler requested the ANC draft a letter of opposition for a development at 518 Sixth St. NE, which the ANC has opposed more than once because the architectural plans were inconsistent and the construction team had illegally demolished part of the property.

The ANC opposed the rerouting of the 2017 Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon through the neighborhood and away from H Street NE. Commissioners agreed the change would disrupt residents in their communities. They also opposed the proposed legislation before the DC Council to allow digital signs at Nationals Park in Southwest.

Commissioners supported a plan to request manned Capital Bikeshare stations at Union Station during high traffic times to help avoid jams. They supported the two-story rear addition plans for 18 Eighth St. NE. But they opposed a one-story sunroom addition at 725 L St. NE.

The ANC congratulated Goodman for his service and wished him well in his new role as chief of staff for At-Large Councilmember David Grosso. They also congratulated Schiffman for her service.

A reminder: residents who have a tree that needs removal or care should call 311 to report it to the Urban Forestry Administration for DC.

 

ANC 6C regularly meets on the second Wednesday of the month at the Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. The next meeting is on Jan. 11 at 7 p.m.