ANC 6C Report - September 2015

ANC 6C dispatched 19 agenda items plus several informational points at its Sept. 10 meeting. With one exception, noted below, all votes were unanimous, 4-0, most following committee recommendations. The quorum was composed of Daniele Schiffman (6C01), Karen Wirt (6C02), Mark Eckenwiler (6C04), and Chris Miller (6C05); Tony Goodman (6C06) and Scott Price (6C03) were absent. 

Revised PUD for 315 H Street NE

ANC 6C voted to support a revised design for 135 new residential units at 315 H St. NE. MRP Residential's planned unit development (PUD), for a 90-foot building with ground-floor retail, goes before the Zoning Commission on Oct. 8. 

A previously scheduled zoning hearing was postponed after community members and the ANC's Planning, Zoning, & Economic Development Committee opposed earlier plans. In the intervening weeks developers met with project neighbors, including Capitol Place homeowners, to explore concerns. 

Changes to the PUD include acquiring Lot 48, east of the original property, and centering the garage on the alley to the south; putting the 70-foot rise at the back of the building with the 90-foot rise on the more commercial H Street; moving and expanding bike storage; adding safety elements to the alley; increasing affordable housing components; and using least reflective facade materials to reduce “oven effect” for nearby housing.

Despite revisions, two residents of Capitol Place asked the ANC to withhold their vote, citing remaining concerns, particularly around construction. The ANC voted unanimously to support the revised PUD on the condition that the applicant meet all points of concern outlined through the committee process, including those highlighted above, as well as issues raised by the Capitol Place homeowners' association.

Alcoholic Beverage Decisions

While expressing some concern over 60-oz cocktails, the ANC supported a liquor license for the Sugar Factory, a national chain site opening inside Union Station. The ABC report noted limited hours (closing by 9:00 p.m., at the latest) of the dessert and sweet drinks establishment. The ANC also supported the application of Alibi, a pub at 237 2nd St. NW, including a sidewalk cafe and entertainment endorsements. Both votes involved stipulated licenses, pending settlement agreements.

The commission supported a one-day Oktoberfest event extension for Wunder Garten, 150 M St. NE. 

Construction Support

ANC 6C supported Board of Zoning Adjustment applications for two projects: a second-story addition at 602 A St. NE and a third-story addition at 215 A St. NE. In both cases existing lot occupancy is higher than allowed and proposed changes do not increase the occupancy rate.

The ANC supported the historic preservation application for Capitol Hill Baptist Church, 525 A St. NE, to install an access ramp. 

The commission also agreed to support a change in planned curb cuts at 51 N St. NE. 

Additional Actions

The Transportation and Public Space Committee (TPSC) recommended supporting a pocket park at 100 K St. NE, a public amenity linked to a new 222-unit residential development. Benjamin Stoll, of Equity Residential, reported on challenges of providing WMATA access to equipment adjacent to the lot. He added that his company inherited the project when it acquired Archstone, the property's previous developer. Stoll said a number of solutions were explored before deciding to allow necessary vehicles inside the park. In the only divided vote of the evening, the ANC voted 3-1 to follow the TPSC recommendation supporting the current park plan, with appropriate safety precautions.

The full ANC agreed to send correspondence to the District Department of Transportation, prepared by the TPSC, concerning the need for streetcar signage and improved pedestrian signal lights.

The ANC also supported new snow-shoveling regulations: uncleared walks would incur fines eight hours after a storm, a change from the previous 24-hour window, and an additional fine would be levied for each 24-hour period without clearing.

Non-Vote News

During community announcements Diane Conocchioli asked why there was no public process around a health clinic opening soon at 1225 4th St. NE. Conocchioli, along with a number of others in the audience at 7:00 p.m., objected to the clinic, currently under construction. As a matter-of-right project the building had not formally come before the ANC, according to commission chair Karen Wirt. It had, however, been discussed a number of times in the course of other recent ANC business. The speaker and approximately 20 others left immediately following her short speech.

Frank Maduro, one of two Ward 6 representatives of the mayor's office, gave a brief update on Mayor Bowser's first six months. He stressed work on public safety, housing for homeless citizens, and efforts to improve Reservation 84 (a park on 7th Street NE at Constitution and Massachusetts avenues). Residents are invited to contact him directly at Frank.Maduro@dc.gov or 202-538-0313.

An update on NoMa underpass public art was postponed to the October meeting. 

 

ANC 6C meets regularly on the second Wednesday of each month, with another Thursday exception in November. Next meeting: Oct. 14 at 7:00 p.m., 214 Massachusetts Ave. N.E.