ANC 6D Report - January 2016

At its meeting on Jan. 11, ANC 6D grappled with an agenda mostly focused on development. Commissioners Marjorie Lightman (6D01), Stacy Braverman Cloyd (6D02), Vice Chair Andy Litsky (6D04), Chair Roger Moffatt (6D05), Rhonda N. Hamilton (6D06), Meredith Fascett (6D07) and Rachel Reilly Carroll (6D03) were in attendance.

A Plan for Buzzard Point

Patricia Zingsheim, Associate Director of Revitalization and Design Division for the DC Office of Planning (OP), gave an overview of the office’s plan for Buzzard Point. [The details of this are discussed in a separate article elsewhere in this issue.]

Commissioners questioned Zingsheim closely after her presentation. They were concerned that existing transportation infrastructure could not handle its proposed residential density (5,800 to 6,200 apartment units) and the crowds drawn to future sporting events. The neighborhood’s ingress and egress routes were very limited, commissioners pointed out.

“How are you going to get there? How are you going to get out? These are the crucial questions,” stated Vice Chair Litsky.

“Where will people shop for groceries?” asked Lightman. The market drives the development of neighborhood retail businesses just as it did in NOMA and the Capitol Riverfront, replied Zingsheim. “After several years on the ANC, I have less faith in the market than you,” retorted Lightman.

“I want limited access to cars,” stated Chair Moffat.

Commissioner Hamilton urged Zingsheim to craft a plan that places less stress on narrow residential streets. She also asked if the plan takes into account the environmental hazards posed by the Pepco substation.

The Buzzard Point Plan will be presented by OP at a meeting of the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly to be held at 7 p.m. on Feb. 3 at the DCRA building at 1100 4th St. SW.

The Wharf

PN Hoffman’s Vice President of Development Matthew Steenhoek provided an update on developments at The Wharf. The pile driving is complete. The project has in one section made it to grade. Scaffolding is about to be installed on the Case Bridge to prepare for installation of the new lighting. Improvements are being made to the utilities, trash and fish cleaning facilities at the Southwest Fish Market. Hoffman is working with the DC Department of Employment Services on a training program to help employ residents of public housing.

Work has commenced on the new waterfront park. Mostly, this has involved site grading and utility work. The park will be delivered later this year. The entire project is on target to open in the fall of 2017.

Litsky asked Steenhoek about Hoffman’s request for special permits to allow 5 a.m. cement work. Trucks have been lining up on Maine Avenue SW at that hour, he pointed out. He asked for more notice in future on such requests. A number of residents in the audience echoed his sentiments.

Speaking of its plans for the harbor, Steenhoek stated Hoffman is committed to keeping DC Sail. Mooring balls will be included in the channel across from East Potomac Park, he added.

Later in the meeting, Steenhoek presented plans for the new 7th Street Recreational Pier. The facility that extends from the park planned at the intersection of Seventh Street and Maine Avenue will incorporate boat launches, swings, a fire feature and floating wetlands. A floating dock will provide a dry kayak launches. Hoffman is exploring options for kayak storage and rentals. It is slated to open in the fall of 2017.

The Soccer Stadium

DC United came before the commission prepared to discuss its submission to the DC Zoning Commission of a Planned Unit Development (PUD) for its new stadium. At the time of this article’s publication, the PUD has been filed.

2.      Commissioner Litsky voiced the general commission concerns that existing north-south transportation routes were inadequate for soccer events. He asked that this be addressed in the PUD’s transportation plan. He also requested that DC United incorporate a bicycle valet service similar to that offered at Nationals Stadium.

3.      Commissioners Hamilton and Lightman reiterated long-standing concerns over the health implications of the remediation and construction on the surrounding neighborhood. “Do you have a dust plan?” asked Hamilton. “How are you going to protect our health?” “We do not want our lives sacrificed to build this stadium,” she stated.

4.      “The city’s current plan to clean the stadium site is frankly put, pathetic!” stated a resident in the audience.

DC United representatives stated that they are working with the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development (DMPED) on coordinating a community health study with the Department of Health. Dust control plans have been adopted by both Pepco and DC United for their respective Buzzard Point construction projects, they stated.

There were some issues with the audio-visual display. So the commission elected to hear a detailed presentation at a subsequent meeting when the PUD would be under consideration. The PUD will be presented in either April or May.

2 South Capitol Street

Crescent Communities LLC and RCP Development plan a 13-story building at 2 South Capitol, currently the site of a McDonalds. The new residential building will contain ground floor retail. To facilitate the project, the developers asked for a reformulated curb cut, relief from side and rear yard requirements, for two 30 foot loading berths rather than a single 55 foot as required and roof structures of different heights.

In return, the commission requested it be kept informed of any request for after-hours construction. They asked a copy of the construction management plan be filed at their office. It required the developer to provide pet waste management facilities at the entrances the new building. It accepted the developer’s decision to provide a $25,000 grant to an affordable housing non-profit as the project is not subject to inclusionary zoning. Lastly, they required the developer to agree not to file an application with DDOT to permit residents to have Residential Parking Permits (RPP); and to place a notice in all its residential leases to that effect.

Hamilton expressed her disappointment with the developer’s decision not to incorporate any affordable units into the project, which is not required to do so under statute. “We cannot continue to be a diverse community, if we have projects like this,” she stated.

The commission voted six to zero, Litsky being absent, to send a letter to DDOT Public Space Community regarding the curb cuts. They voted four in favor and with Hamilton abstaining, Reilly Carroll and Litsky being absent, to send a letter to the DC Board of Zoning Adjustment (B) in support of the zoning relief.

JBG’s Half Street Project

JBG presented an innovative design for a residential project a Half and N Streets SE. The 400-plus residential structure will contain more than 65,000 square feet of retail on the first two floors. The building is incorporating larger units, a long term goal of the commission, with 20 percent of the total allocated to two-bedrooms and 10 percent allocated to three bedrooms.

What really caught the commissioners’ attention were the renderings of its curved façade that incorporated extensive green plantings along the terraces. The project hopes to secure a LEED Silver certification.

“I love this,” stated Braverman Cloyd.

JBG requested support for relief from lot occupancy, set back and compact car parking requirements under the Capitol Gateway Overlay as well as a 30’ foot loading berth. In return for a letter in support, the commission required pet waste disposal, no RPP for residents and adequate notice for any application of after-hours construction.

The commission voted unanimously to send a letter to the BZA in support of the zoning relief.

After-Hours Construction at Elliot

Forrest City came before the commission to ask for zoning relief for the District Winery project at the Lumber Shed in their Yards development. The Winery is a 20,000 square foot event space, restaurant and winery. They asked for relief from the requirements of floor area ratio, set lot occupancy, side yard and mezzanine height. The commission voted unanimously to send a letter of support of the relief to the BZA.

Forrest City also requested permission to extend construction hours for their project on the northwest parcel of the Waterfront development south of Westminster Presbyterian Church known as The Elliot. They need the flexibility to extend work hours until 9 p.m. for finishing work associated with concrete pouring. The commission agreed to send a letter in support to the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs for seven days excluding Sundays and holidays.

Miscellaneous Matters

  • There was a short, sharp discussion about placing the eastbound side between 430 and 600 M St. SW under the RPP restrictions. Green signs would be posted limiting non-residents to parking for two hours and allowing residents to park for an unlimited time. The approximately 10 spaces are currently un-zoned which allows anyone to park for an unlimited time period. Litstky asked the commission’s support for a letter to DDOT requesting the change. Moffat, Braverman Cloyd and Reilly Carroll remained skeptical. Lightman was concerned about limited parking for residents of the Lex and Leo, who are not eligible for RPP. In the end, the commission voted in favor of the sending the letter with Fascett alone abstaining.
  • The commission voted unanimously at the suggestion of Hamilton to send a letter recognizing the long service of Westminster Presbyterian Pastors Ruth and Brian Hamilton to the Southwest community.
  • The commission voted unanimously to send a letter of support of the 11th Street Bridge Park Project, which is due to begin preconstruction planning.
  • The commission voted unanimously to send a letter to the Center for Disease Control requesting a health study of the community surrounding the proposed new soccer stadium.
  • There was a brief discussion about the appropriateness of non-residents appearing as commission witnesses at alcohol licensing hearings. The matter was tabled for the chair to deal with outside the meeting.
  • The commission unanimously approved letters in support of the Marine Corps Marathon, The Race for Respect and the Walk to the Cure.
  • The commission voted unanimously to send a letter DDOT about drainage issues on unit block of P Street SW.
  • Lightman thanked Executive Director of the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions Gottlieb Simon for his long service to the community both in his present job and during his previous service on and for the commission. She also thanked Moffat for his two recent terms as chair. She presented each with a gift. The audience greeted the announcements with standing ovations.
  • The commission approved the agenda and December minutes unanimously. The commission voted unanimously to authorize participation in the ANC Security Fund and its $25 cost. It also approved the 2016 meeting schedule.

Election of New Officers

The ANC held elections. The new officers were voted in by acclamation: Chair Litsky, Vice Chair Reilly Carroll, Secretary Braverman Cloyd and Treasurer Fascett.

 

ANC 6D will meet next at 7 p.m. on Feb. 8 at 1100 Fourth St. SW, second floor. For more information, visit www.anc6d.org.