ANC 6C Report - February 2016

“Snowzilla” dominated the discussion at February’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C meeting. Commissioners expressed both disapproval and praise of the way the District handled the late-January snowstorm, but one conclusion stuck: the DC government needs to enforce parking and shoveling laws for snow events. All agreed that the decision to waive snow emergency parking tickets and not enforce sidewalk shoveling hurt the precedent for future events and the overall city budget.

The quorum: Karen Wirt (6C02 chair), Tony Goodman (6C06), Mark Eckenwiler (6C04), Scott Price (6C03), Daniel Schiffman (6C01), and Christopher Miller (6C05). Miller left after giving the fourth quarter report due to illness.

Snow Removal

Plows pushed snow onto sidewalks and obstructed crosswalks during the January storm, and the ANC expressed frustration at the lack of attention paid to pedestrian safety. Commissioner Goodman said the snow team worked hard to help the disabled shovel sidewalks, but added, “I don’t know what the elderly and disabled would do once they got to the sidewalk.” The commissioners voted unanimously to send Eckenwiler as a representative for a Feb. 18 hearing on how the city handled the snow. Eckenwiler will explain that the District should enforce parking fines and reevaluate the subpar care paid to bicycle lanes. 

Petition for Cathy Hughes Way Tribute

A group on H Street requested that the 400 block of H Street NE be renamed Cathy Hughes Way as a tribute to a prominent business owner on the street. The petitioning group’s representative said Hughes did not request the sign, but the locals felt they wanted to “pay homage” to her for her success. The committee struggled with their final decision to deny the request, because they saw the community benefit of supporting local inspirations. But Commissioner Price said the road sign is out of context, and several other commissioners suggested the group research other tribute ideas such as displayed artwork, plaques, and the DC Historic Trail. The final vote came to 3-2 to deny.

Capitol Hill Classic

Commissioners unanimously supported the Capitol Hill Classic race set for May 15. It requires road closures and restricted parking on residential roads. This year the runners will take a new route because an event involving President Barack Obama will block the area near the West Front Lawn of the Capitol.

Turning RFK Lots into Play Fields

Parks and Events asked the commissioners to weigh in on the discussion for turning some of the parking lots at RFK Stadium into a playfield, green space, and location for a farmer’s market for the Capitol Riverside Youth Sport Park group and the community. Commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter to the DC Council and Mayor Muriel Bowser to support the project and obtain possible funding help. “It would be a complement to the efforts to improve the river,” said Parks and Events Committee Chair Christine Healey.

Updating the NoMo Vision Plan

With increased development through the NoMa Business Improvement District (BID), the commissioners requested an updated plan for the projects in the growing community. The current NoMo vision plan came out in 2006, but Commissioner Goodman wanted a new version to reflect recent acquisitions including the two-acre plot near Harry Thomas Way, the Metropolitan Branch Trail, and New York Avenue NE. The commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter of request to the DC Office of Planning.

Other Actions

Commissioner Eckenwiler encouraged the community to attend or support the Feb. 29 DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) oversight hearing. He will testify at the meeting and send a letter to At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange stating that DCRA on several occasions failed to comply with and enforce policy. “They have rules and they straight up do not follow them,” Eckenwiler said. He added that DCRA also does not put public documents online per District government policy.

Toscana’s request for a liquor license is back to square one, after representatives for the restaurant on the 600 block of Second Street NE failed to appear at the Jan. 13 hearing.

The commission agreed unanimously on several measures:

  • They approved a petition to calm traffic by putting in a three-way stop sign at the intersection of Seventh and C streets NE. Residents have complained that cars speed through and pose a danger to pedestrians.
  • They agreed that Stuart Hobson Middle School’s new tree-box fences exceed the height regulation and disrupt unloading and loading of school buses. The commissioners agreed to send a letter of complaint to the District Department of Transportation and the Department of General Services.
  • The commissioners proposed new rules for maintaining newspaper and other publication boxes. Boxes that did not meet the rules would be subject to removal.

Commissioners discussed the opening of the REI store in NoMa scheduled for the fall of 2016 on the 1100 block of Third Street NE in the historic former Uline Arena.

After the District auditor’s office recovered the commission’s previously lost fourth quarter report, Commissioner Miller reported an account balance of $51,868.20 for 2015. As of February 2016, the ANC reported a balance of $47,965.33 due to regular payments and attorney fees for settlement cases.

ANC 6C meet regularly on the second Wednesday of the month at the Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. The next meeting is on March 9 at 7 p.m.