ANC 6C Report - June 2016

Toll Brothers property developers received a tongue lashing from Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C06 Commissioner Tony Goodman at the June 8 monthly meeting. With nine major construction projects in the NoMa community, residents are resigned to the fact they will be surrounded by dump trucks and noise for extended periods of time. Lately, Commissioner Goodman has been fielding phone calls from his neighbors complaining of dump trucks from the Toll Brothers’ site at 200 K St. NE starting before the allowed 7 a.m. start time and traveling down roads not authorized by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT).

After 15 minutes of back and forth between Goodman and the company’s representation, Goodman demanded they go back to DDOT and find a new path for the dump trucks. If the operation-hour and route violations continue, Goodman threatened to call the city government to issue a “stop work” order on the project.

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

Elections for ANC Commission

Starting July 11, community members can get petitions to run for a position on the ANC at the Board of Elections office (441 Fourth St. NW, Room 250N). The petition needs at least 25 signatures from registered voters in the petitioner’s single-member district (SMD) and is due on Aug. 10. Voters will cast their choices on Nov. 8. To learn more about the process visit www.dcboee.org.

Failed Transportation Study on Florida Avenue NE

The ANC voted to oppose DDOT’s multimodal transportation study on Florida Avenue NE between First and 14th Streets. DDOT changed the plan that was approved in 2014 and finalized in February 2015 without community or ANC input. The Transportation and Public Space Committee reviewed the new plan and found it severely lacking and without cause. It allowed for left-turn lanes that favored easy car flow at the expense of bicycle and pedestrian safety, and the road between Eighth and 14th Streets showed no bicycle lane plans at all.

“It’s very similar to what is happening on Maryland Avenue NE,” Commissioner Price said. “The community was told they would see 30, 60, and 90 percent of the project, but only saw 30 and 90. What we’re seeing is agencies removing important opportunities for community engagement on matters that are significant.”

Goodman suggested the ANC write a letter to DDOT about the issues on Florida Avenue and to include the Sixth Street NE bicycles design as well.

NoMa BID Park at Third and L Streets NE

The Parks and Events Committee started working with the NoMa Business Improvement District (BID), DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), and DC Department of General Services (DGS) to plan the public park space at Third and L streets NE. The park plans include a play area, dog space, seating, sanitation plans, maintenance-cost planning, and creation of a Friends of the Dog Park. A community meeting was set for mid-June, but Goodman argued that the ANC needed to write a letter of support to assert the community’s standing on the park plans. “We need to provide feedback. This is not something they can negotiate with these agencies, this is a community park,” he said.

Stuart Hobson Parking Saga, Continued

Commissioner Eckenwiler again brought up the issue of teachers at Stuart Hobson Middle School (410 E St. NE) failing to adhere to the parking rules. Eckenwiler has fought to get DDOT to install proper signage and for the school’s administration to revoke parking passes of teachers who park too early or in residential spaces. Both DDOT and the school refuse. In a new twist, Eckenwiler said DDOT claimed they had not been a part of the discussions despite strings of emails. The commissioners voted to support writing a letter to the mayor’s office, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen, and Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh to demand action.

Goodbye, Armand’s Pizza; Hello Heritage Foundation Expansion

The Heritage Foundation (226 Massachusetts Ave. NE) plans to expand into the space where Armand’s Pizza currently operates. The ANC supported the new development but requested the Heritage representatives to remain transparent about any terrace plans. The terrace on the opposite side of the building often has umbrellas, tents, and temporary structures that can potentially block views; the ANC doesn’t want the practice to continue on the expansion. Also, the commissioners asked the developers to set back the shrubbery in the design and put in bench seating near the sidewalk. One Heritage representative questioned the security of benches because the homeless often rest there, but Goodman argued that the benches must go in to help the elderly and disabled who need to rest.

Other Actions

Commissioner Eckenwiler pushed through a separate roundtable discussion meeting on the failures of DC’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), including the decision not to post permits on the department’s website. At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange agreed to host it on July 12.

The commissioners agreed to support the application of Tacqueria and Rosticeria Fresca (701 H St. NE) to extend hours to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and midnight on Friday and Saturday, and to continue their unenclosed sidewalk cafe. But the commissioners requested the restaurant remove the tables located close to the alley, move the trash receptacles out of public sight, and maintain the bicycle racks.

The property development at 301-333 N St. NE, across from Two Rivers Public Charter School (1227 Fourth St. NE), won the ANC’s support for a few changes to its planned unit development (PUD) application. The company increased the donations to the school and NoMa BID and agreed to work with the ANC on future design plans. 

Seoul Spice (145 N St. NE) won the ANC’s support for an unenclosed sidewalk cafe that includes 14 seats in the 160-square-foot space.

The ANC approved the $1,522 annual advertising expenses in Capital Community News’ Hill Rag newspaper and Fagon Guide, which comes at a 50 percent discount for local community organizations.

ANC 6C meets regularly on the second Wednesday of the month at the Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. The next meeting is on July 13 at 7 p.m.