ANC 6D Report - May 2016

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6D met on May 9. Commissioners Marjorie Lightman (6D01), Stacy Braverman Cloyd (6D02), Roger Moffatt (6D05), Meredith Fascett (6D07), and Rhonda N. Hamilton (6D06) were present. Vice Chair Rachel Reilly Carroll (6D03) was present for part of the meeting. Chair Andy Litsky (6D04) was absent.

A Deputy Mayor Visits

Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Brenda Donald visited the commission to discuss Mayor Muriel Bowser’s new budget. She pointed out the $3.2 million for Amidon-Bowen Elementary School; $86 million for Elliot-Hine Middle; $72.4 million for Jefferson Middle; $14.4 million for Watkins Elementary; $23.5 million for the Southeast Library; $26 million for a park in NOMA; $12 million for the I-695 freeway; and $100 million for the Housing Production Trust Fund.

Commission Lightman asked whether an expansion of the DC Circulator to Southwest had been funded. Both that and funding for Jefferson have been delayed to make way for other priorities.

Commissioners asked about plans for the DC Children’s Trust, of which Donald is a trustee. The trust was unable to raise private funds, especially after a recent scandal involving former Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. The trust will honor all current commitments, Donald promised. The District plans to find a nonprofit or foundation partner to continue the grants.

Commissioner Cloyd asked Donald about the facility problems at Unity’s Southwest Clinic. The DC Department of General Services, Donald stated, is responsible for the building’s maintenance. She promised to follow up.

The city will file a planned unit development for the proposed Delaware Avenue Shelter on May 27, Donald stated. She expects the Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on the matter in October.

Old Coast Guard Building Repurposed

Douglass Development is transforming the old Coast Guard office facility at 1900 Half St. SW into a residential property of 444 market-rate rental units. The efficiencies are 450 square feet and three-bedrooms are 1,200 square feet. Five percent of units are one- or junior- bedrooms; 10 percent are two-bedrooms. Five percent are three-bedrooms. The project includes 24,000 square feet of ground-floor retail – restaurants and service businesses. Amenities include a dog park.

The building is not subject to inclusionary zoning, nor does it require a planned unit development. It is only subject to design review under the guidelines for the Capitol Gateway Overlay, for which Douglass wishes the commission’s support.

As part of its project, Douglass is constructing a public riverwalk along the property’s southern edge. This will include dedicated bike and walking lanes. Douglass also plans to renovate the neighboring Earth Conservation Corps property. It has committed to DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) to build nearby sidewalks and a triangle park.

Commissioners expressed frustration with the lack of affordable housing being planned for Buzzard Point and their inability to do anything about it. Representatives of Douglass stated that whatever funds were available for public amenities were being used to build the local streetscape and the riverwalk.

The commissioners voted unanimously to let Commissioner Hamilton testify on the matter before the Zoning Commission.

Park Riverside Phase III

Toll Brothers’ Park Riverside Phase III, located at 1010 Half St. SE, came before the commission to ask for support for a public space application. The developer is engaged in a dispute with The Velocity, 1025 First St. SE, the project’s immediate neighbor.

Toll Brothers believes it has the right to an easement that would allow the residents of its new development to access its parking garage from The Velocity’s existing entrance. This would entail breaking down the walls between the two buildings’ underground garages, which is opposed by The Velocity’s board. As a result, the public space application contained no curb cut.

The commission declined to examine the grounds for the easement, stating that it was beyond its purview. If DDOT or the courts determine the easement is valid, commissioners expressed concern about the traffic congestion generated by a single egress. They also advised the developer’s representatives that K Street SE would be a better location for the building’s loading dock as opposed to L Street.

Commissioners were also concerned about the manner in which the balconies proposed for Park Riverside extended into public space. The developer stated that the bay windows were within the building’s floor-to-area ratio (FAR).

The commissioners unanimously supported the public space application for Park Riverside Phase III despite their concerns.

Public Safety Report

Sergeant Architzel gave a public safety report to the commissioners. In Police Service Area (PSA) 105 there were three assaults with deadly weapons, four robberies, four property thefts, five stolen vehicles, and 22 regular thefts. Two of the robberies involved juveniles, both of which were closed. The police also recovered two firearms.

In PSA 106 there were three assaults with deadly weapons, five robberies, five burglaries, five stolen cars, 14 thefts from automobiles, and 17 regular thefts. Police are working to close an abandoned home at First and Q streets SW that has been taken over by heroin addicts, stated Architzel.

Architzel is being transferred to a newly formed Crime Suppression Team. Commissioners and community members stated their admiration for his hard work.

Other Matters

The commissioners voted unanimously to support slight facade modifications to the movie theater planned for a parcel across First Street SE from Nationals Park. The site is currently used for parking DC Water trucks.

The commissioners voted unanimously to endorse the petition advanced against the Mayor’s homeless initiative and in favor of equipping all new shelters with private baths.

The commissioners unanimously supported a public space application for a larger building sign at 1111 New Jersey Ave. SE.

The commissioners voted unanimously to request DDOT to study the traffic at the corner of Fourth and M streets SE.

The commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter to the DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking asking that CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield be required to sue the $56 million overage in its reserves for community benefits including: the renovation of the Southwest Unity Healthcare Clinic; funds for Southwest Village; and an assessment of the health of the residents of Buzzard Point.

On the advice of its ABC Committee, the commission unanimously approved both the community agreement with and license renewal of Il Parco at 202 M St. SE.

Commission Treasurer Fascett gave her quarterly report. The commission is within budget and all books balance, she stated. The commissioners unanimously approved her report.

Commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter to DDOT protesting the continued parking of commercial tour buses on Buzzard Point.

The commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter protesting a 2.9 percent cut in funding to the ADRL nutrition program at Greenleaf Recreation Center.

The commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter of support for the Cancer Foundation 5K run/walk planned for Sept. 25.

Commissioners approved an amended agenda and April minutes unanimously.

 

ANC 6D will meet next at 7 p.m. on June 13 at 1100 Fourth St. SW, Second Floor. For more information visit www.anc6d.org.