ANC 6C Report - February 2015

University of Georgia DC Campus

Caulder Childs, DC Operations Manager with the Office of Governmental Affairs of the University of Georgia, briefly addressed the commission. Construction of a University of Georgia’s DC facility, located off Stanton Park at 608 Mass. Ave. NE, is nearly complete. The building will serve primarily as a residence for up to 32 UGA juniors and seniors selected for a highly competitive program that places them in a variety of internship positions on the Hill and at law firms, think tanks and federal agencies. “The average incoming class of the students is a 4.2 GPA and a 1400 on the SAT’s,” said Mr. Childs. The building will also house two full time staff as well as visiting professors. 

Commissioner Price commended UGA for negotiating very fairly with the neighbors.  “There’s not going to be any keggers or smoking,” said Commissioner Price. Students will also be prohibited from bringing cars into the city and using any street parking. “I’m really thrilled to have UGA in the community and I’m hoping at some point that your operation could become part of the cultural part of Capitol Hill,” said Price.

Ward 6 Budget Engagement Forum

Frank Maduro, Representative for the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Services for Ward 6, introduced himself to the commission. Mr. Maduro invited community members and commissioners to attend the Mayor’s budget engagement forum for Ward 6 on February 23 at Dunbar High School. The purpose of the forum is to identify specific budget priorities directly from community members themselves. This model was chosen to ensure that the Mayor’s upcoming budget has strong community input.

Mr. Maduro encouraged community members to attend the event and to reach out to him with any concerns or requests for more information. He can be contacted at Frank.Maduro@dc.gov and 202 538-0313.

Grants Committee

On Saturday, February 7, the ANC 6C grants committee hosted its third grant writing seminar for community members. Sonte DuCote, Chair of the Grants committee, reported a turnout of about 40 members of the community representing local schools, PTA’s, community based organizations and individuals interested in starting a non-profit in the area. Councilman Allen was in attendance to greet the group. The Councilman reminded those present that not every ANC is fortunate enough to have a grants committee and emphasized that groups should take advantage of the opportunity to serve their community. 

The power point presentation used in the seminar will be uploaded to the ANC6C.org website and the grant application deadline for the first cycle is March 15.

Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Committee

Drew Courtney, chair of the Alcohol Beverage Regulation Committee, reported several applications before the committee. Sticky Fingers Bakery Bistro, located at 406 H Street NE, will be a bakery with both sweet and savory vegan products set to open in July, 2015. The Committee voted to protest the Bistro’s alcohol application due to some ambiguities concerning hours of operation and trash regulation. Mr. Courtney expressed that the committee voted to protest primarily so that they could draft a settlement agreement and it is expected to be a simple process. No other serious concerns were raised. Committee’s recommendation to protest was approved unanimously by the ANC.

Mr. Courtney introduced an application for a beer garden called “Vundergarten” at 150 M St. NE, a vacant lot between Flats 130 and the southern entrance of the NOMA metro stop. The beer garden is being proposed by a local resident and employee of NPR and the owner of L’Enfant Café in Adams Morgan. The proposal is being strongly supported by NOMA BID and the retailer REI. The beer garden will have an estimated capacity of 200-300 people and intends to open April 1. The committee discussed several potential complications facing the proposal including issues of noise. 

Commissioner Goodman is currently in the process of organizing meetings in March with the residents of Flats 130 to address any concerns residents may have. “People very much want a bar, but at the same time I do get a lot of emails from residents about noise from the trains,” said Commissioner Goodman.

Rock ‘n Roll Marathon

Christine Healey, chair of the Parks and Events Committee, discussed the a NoMa meander project set to be constructed later this spring on M St. NE, a NoMa Parks Foundation temporary parks amenities project on 1st St NE and the upcoming Rock ‘n Roll Marathon.

With the dates of the marathon nearing, the Parks committee expressed concern that race routes, street closures and general information regarding the race have not been publicized sufficiently. The committee unanimously agreed to request that the ANC urge the races organizers to more effectively prepare residents for the race.

Commissioner Eckenweiler expressed concern that organizers had yet to post a map and narrative on the races website specifically for Hill residents on how to avoid street closures, something they had previously promised to do.

It was discovered during the ANC meeting that the Capitol Hill Police had very recently not approved the marathon’s proposed route, thereby preventing the races organizers from disseminating information in a timely manner. 

“The route from last week left four lanes in bound and out bound for all of Capitol Hill,” said Commissioner Price. “The current version for this week is that all the streets on the west end of Capitol Hill would be open.”

Commissioner Price expressed that the problems facing the marathon organization have little to do with the races organizers and more to do with DDOT and the Capitol Police. 

“I’m not a big fan of this race but every year it gets managed better and better and the problems were having now have nothing to do with the management of the race, it has to do with management of Washington, DC government,” said Commissioner Price.

“What action needs to be taken tonight?” asked Commissioner Wirt. “I don’t know. Prayer?” responded Commissioner Price.

 

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Be Prepared for Delays

Planning your Capitol Hill travel for the morning of Saturday, March 14

As described elsewhere in this edition of the Hill Rag, more than 80% of the intersections between H Street NE and East Capitol Street, and between 2nd and 13th streets NE either will be closed or restricted from approximately 7:30 am to noon on Saturday March 14 for  a half and full marathon race.   These races can be joyous for our neighbors who like to run or cheer their friends, and frustrating for neighbors waiting in lines who need to drive their cars into or out of the restricted area. 

Based on communications with representatives of the race sponsor and Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), following is my understanding of the plan for this year.

  • As noted in the map, more streets in the western part of Capitol Hill will be open for traffic than in the past.  When in doubt, between H St NE and Independence Ave SE, head west.
  • Pedestrians will be permitted to walk across the race route.  People who need to drive their cars on race day might park outside the restricted area and then walk to their cars on Saturday.
  • The intersections of H and 8th streets, and East Capitol with 4th, 6th, 8th and 10th streets and a few other streets will be controlled by MPD officers who will allow traffic to flow when safe to the runners.
  • MPD officers will be better informed than in earlier years to help drivers navigate around street closures.  
  • The race sponsor will provide better information to people in the restricted area about methods to navigate around street closures.

Based on your experience on March 14, if you have good ideas about how race management can be improved, you might want to share your recommendations with your elected officials.

These marathons produce an odd consequence – some unexpected tranquility.  The neighborhood south of the restricted area is eerily quiet like during a heavy snowfall – but without the cold and wet.   I hope you will enjoy the day.

Scott.Price@anc.dc.gov

ANC 6C meets every second Wednesday of the month at the Heritage Foundation located at 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. Meeting start at 7 p.m. The next meeting will be held on March 11.