ANC 6D Report - December 2016

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6D met on Dec. 12. Chair Andy Litsky (6D04), Commissioners Marjorie Lightman (6D01), Stacy Braverman Cloyd (6D02), Vice Chair Rachel Reilly Carroll (6D03), Roger Moffatt (6D05), Meredith Fascett (6D07), and Rhonda N. Hamilton (6D06) were present.

Farewell Address

This was the final meeting for Commissioners Braverman Cloyd, Lightman, and Vice Chair Reilly Carroll, who chose not to stand for reelection. Lightman spoke at length for all of them.

“I have learned more about Washington government and Washington non-government than one would believe,” began Lightman. “I feel like an expert in reading floor plans for development. I feel like an expert in zoning. And I even think about urban planning issues that were new to me when I came on board. For that I want to say thank you.”

She continued, “The two years have made clear to me how the ANCs are the bulwark of citizen voices in the government of Washington. I have sat at endless meetings where the powers of the city and the powers of developers were facing us; and we six or seven sat there without any support team, representing the community. We try to represent what is best for the long-term development of the community. We aren’t paid, so we won’t lose our jobs. We aren’t paid, so no one can bribe us. We aren’t paid, so there is no career advancement. We have no one but you to represent. It is an extraordinary experience in grassroots democracy. As a child of the 1960s, I knew we could get anything done. As a woman of a certain age in 2016, I know we must continue to make it possible for citizens to do anything.”

Braverman Cloyd and Reilly Carroll echoed Lightman’s sentiments in their remarks. Added Chair Litsky, “In my 18 years on ANC 6D, this has been the most extraordinary commission I have ever worked on.”

Nooses Found at The Wharf

As reported in The Washington Post, two nooses were discovered at different locations on Nov. 28 on the grounds of The Wharf construction site. They had been placed there by the employee of a subcontractor, Metropolitan Police Department Sergeant Daniel Thau told the commissioners.

Clark Construction Vice President Matt Haas informed the commissioners that the individual responsible was escorted off the site on the same day. The company met with staff and subcontractors immediately afterwards to make clear that this kind of behavior was “unacceptable,” stated Haas. “I am offended by it, the company is offended by it,” he said. Company officials admitted under questioning that they did not call the police when informed of the nooses.

“First thing you do is call the police,” stated Litsky. When police detectives heard about the incident in the press they conducted an investigation, stated Sergeant Thau. However, the US Justice Department chose not to pursue a prosecution, he added. “I am extremely disturbed by the lack of attention this story generated,” stated Reilly Carroll.

Family Housing Moves Forward

Plans for the seven-story, short-term family housing facility at 850 Delaware Ave. SW, now the site of the Unity Healthcare Clinic, have moved forward, stated Commissioner Braverman Cloyd. A licensed architect has been selected. The largest group of residents housed will be below age one. No operator has been selected. While a healthcare clinic is part of the plan, Unity Clinic is not guaranteed to return, Braverman Cloyd reported.

“We saw some sketches. We liked them a lot,” she stated. Lightman remarked that the commission was pleased with the exterior, play space, and green space in the proposed design. All was not sweetness and light, however. Along with Braverman Cloyd, Lightman expressed reservations about the lack of private bathrooms in every suite and the decision to provide only one elevator for the entire facility. She suggested the addition of alcoves or soft room dividers to allow some privacy. “These rooms are not conducive to traumatized people reconstructing their lives,” she stated.

Peninsula 88

The commission heard a presentation by Buzzard Point LLC, the developers of Peninsula 88, located on Buzzard Point at the intersection of First and V streets. The site, adjacent to National Park Service (NPS) land and the shuttered Pepco power station, is currently occupied by a flower garden. Developers are proposing to build 110 units of housing as a matter of right. Under inclusionary zoning, 10 units of these will be set aside for affordable housing. The apartments will offer a combination of one- and two-bedroom units, some with dens.

Commissioners raised traffic and transportation concerns. The developers stated they were working with neighboring property owners to obtain permission from NPS to improve the private road alone the east side of the property that lies on NPS land and connects to Half Street. Commissioner Lightman suggested they bring in a water taxi. Other commissioners asked for an increase in bike parking for residents and the provision of a bikeshare station.

Commissioner Moffat objected to the incursion of the project’s window bays into public space. He suggested that the design required permission from the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT). Added Lightman, “You must justify this use of public space.”

The commissioners will take action on the developer’s application for zoning relief from the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) at its February meeting.

Other Matters

Litsky reported that the ANC’s testimony at the Zoning Commission (ZC) on the Soccer Stadium planned unit development had gone well. “It was clear that our community concerns were understood,” he stated. The ZC questioned the applicants heavily on environmental and transportation aspects of their plan. “DDOT explained that it had no transportation plan,” stated Lightman, who also attended the hearing.

Sergeant Thau informed the commissioners that there has been a rash of thefts from cars in Police Service Areas 105 and 106. He urged residents to lock cars and not leave any items visible.

The new pastor at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, Rev. Andy Gonzalo, introduced himself to the commissioners. For more information on the church, known for its Nats Mass, visit www.stvincentdepauldc.org.

The commissioners took the following actions:

  • Unanimously approved both the agenda and previous meeting’s minutes.

  • Unanimously voted, on the recommendation of the ABC Committee, to send a letter in support for the application of District Hardware and Bikes, 730 Maine Ave. SW, for a liquor license. (The 50-year-old business is relocating to The Wharf and adding a full cafe to its hardware and bike-repair businesses.)

  • Unanimously voted to support The Race 4 Respect and Purple Stride 5K Run.

  • Agreed to send a letter to the BZA asking it to make sure Verizon’s plan for a temporary and then permanent cell tower on the grounds of the Randall Playing Field is the least intrusive solution, and insist the carrier provide a maintenance plan for the site.

 

ANC 6D will meet on Monday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m., at 1100 Fourth St. SW, Second Floor. Visit www.anc6d.org/ for more information.