ANC 6D Report

The meeting began with a moment of silence acknowledging Roberta Weiner, a former Hill Rag reporter who covered ANC 6D meetings and passed away in June.

 

ANC Supports for Capitol Park Tower Redevelopment Plan 

Adam Peters, representing Perseus Realty, one of the two developers working on Capitol Park Tower, presented modifications to the original redevelopment plan for the site. ANC 6D was considering whether or not to support the project before it came before the Historic Preservation Review Board. The changes removed one of the two new buildings and worked to re-use many of the historic elements of the existing building. The new plan also called for about 300 units, eight percent of which would be designated affordable housing units. Capitol Park Tower was granted historic designation a year ago because it was one of the first integrated apartment buildings in DC and had unique architectural elements. 

Mike Williams, representing the Capitol Park Tower Tenants Association, expressed the concerns of residents that the new structure conflicted with the original design. Williams stated that the developers seemed “unsympathetic” to the concerns of residents. Other residents voiced displeasure with the development plan. Saadia Athias, a Capitol Park resident since the 1980s, said that residents “like Capitol Park the way it is.” Ken Ceccucci, another resident, noted the new design had a visibility issue, and citing the history of the design said the new plan was “antithetical to the original intent” of the architects.

Defending the proposal, Commissioner Rachel Reilly Carroll (6D03) motioned to support the new plan on the condition that the design had been revised to correct a zoning loophole that allows the height of the building to be measured from Southwest Freeway instead of the sidewalk. Rhonda N. Hamilton (6D06) stated that she and other commissioners “worked very hard” to address the concerns of residents. Commissioners Reilly Carroll, Marjorie Lightman (6D01), and Stacy Braverman Cloyd (6D02) stated that many of their constituents supported the new plan. The motion passed unanimously. 

 

SW Residents Want a DC Circulator Line

“Where is the Circulator?” demanded Commissioner Lightman, voicing the opinions of many ANC 6D residents unhappy over the lack of a DC Circulator route to and from Southwest. Steve Strauss, representing the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the DC Circulator, presented statistics on Circulator ridership and the new National Mall route. He stated that they were analyzing these statistics, as well as the age of the fleet, before they considered expanding into new lines. Chair Roger Moffat (6D05) called the statistics “bogus.” 

Residents and commissioners alike echoed the sentiment of Lightman, who claimed that they had been promised a Circulator line for years. Many residents stated that the lack of a Circulator kept them stuck in Southwest and prevented them from shopping in other areas of the city. “The people who live here need the Circulator,” said Braverman Cloyd. Although the ANC took no official action, members asked that the issue be taken back to leadership at DDOT.

 

The Wharf Construction Update

Elinor Bacon, representing ER Bacon Realty, a partner in The Wharf at Southwest Waterfront, gave the ANC an update on construction at the site. Bacon stated that construction was going well and that she would return to the ANC in October with further updates. Mass excavation was set to be mostly completed, and foundation piles were around 50 percent complete. Work on Waterfront Park would be underway by late July and was expected to be finished in early fall 2016. They were working with the Historic Preservation Review Board to get the historic fish market designated as a landmark. They were also working with the National Park Service about the Banneker Stairs and a dock at East Potomac Park. The developers were making an effort to employ the community in this project. Around 41 percent of new hires were DC residents, and 26 percent of them lived in Ward 8. 

 

Public Safety Report

Representatives from the 1st District of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) provided a public safety update and compared the past month to this time last year. There were no homicides in ANC 6D, which was lower than last year’s number, and the number of assaults with a dangerous weapon declined as well. There were no burglaries, which was down compared to last year, although the number of robberies and thefts increased slightly. There was one arson committed within the bounds of ANC 6D.

MPD closed arrests on many of the robberies, and most were incidents of phone snatching. There were incidents of juveniles throwing rocks at oncoming cars and at people, specifically around I St. SW. The department was trying to catch them in the act and asked that witnesses contact the police and provide descriptions.

 

Other Actions and Announcements

After 18 months of planning and meetings, the ANC announced that the Southwest Neighborhood Plan would come before the District Council. The plan, a community-based strategy to promote future growth in Southwest neighborhoods, was approved by the District Council on July 14.

DC Housing Authority (DCHA) was convening an advisory council to discuss turning Greenleaf Gardens into a mixed-use facility. Commissioners Reilly Carroll and Hamilton, who represent Greenleaf residents in their single-member districts, were participating in this and could each be contacted for questions.

David Meadows, representing Councilmember Anita Bonds (D-At Large), stated that they were in talks with each ANC in the city to craft an omnibus piece of legislation to “beef up” ANC processes. Residents with ideas on how to improve the ANCs should contact Meadows by email.  

Stacy Smith, general manager of Hyatt Place, announced that the hotel would be opening in November at Fourth and E streets SW. The hotel will provide career opportunities for residents as well as a new rooftop restaurant and bar. 

Representatives from the Nation’s Triathlon, the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure, and the Race to End Women’s Cancer presented their race routes and potential traffic interruptions. These events will occur on Sept. 13, Sept. 26, and Nov. 8 respectively. The ANC unanimously supported all three race routes and traffic interruptions.

The ANC unanimously approved a motion to designate the old US Department of Agricultural Cotton Annex building as a historical landmark.

The ANC unanimously approved a motion to support a town hall meeting on transportation with the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly (SWNA). 

The ANC unanimously approved a motion to form an advisory group enabling the community to give input on the new soccer stadium to be built on Buzzard Point.

 

There will be no ANC 6D meeting in August. The ANC’s next meeting will be in September.