ANC 6D Report - September 2015

At its meeting on Sept. 21, Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6D faced a full agenda Commissioners Marjorie Lightman (6D01), Stacy Braverman Cloyd (6D02), Rachel Reilly Carroll (6D03), Vice Chair Andy Litsky (6D04), Chair Roger Moffatt (6D05), Rhonda N. Hamilton (6D06) and Meredith Fascett (6D07) were present.

The O Street Pumping Station

A representative from DC Water informed the commission that the construction related to the Clean Rivers Project at the utility's location at its O Street Pumping Station, 125 O St. SE, would have no impact on nearby residents at the Yards. The construction of two diversion chambers involves the interior of the structure only. Noise monitoring systems will be installed. Existing parking on the premises can accommodate all construction needs.

Commissioner Fascett asked the utility to notify the commission and Forrest City Development, owners of the Yards, about the working hours.

Later in the meeting, the commission turned its attention to the Planned Unit Development proposed by DC Water for the parcels next to the O Street Pumping Station. The agency plans to move its headquarters there from Blue Plains. The new seven-story structure, wrapping the pump house, will accommodate 300 employees, an increase of 200 at the site.

DC Water Sustainability Program Manager Maureen M. Hollman promised commissioners that all construction staging for the project would be contained on the site itself. She also stated the agency planned 125 parking spaces for employees, who will be told not to park on adjacent streets. DC Water may also negotiate additional parking facilities with the cinema planned nearby.

The commission voted unanimously to support of DC Water's PUD.

Voluntary Cleanup At Buzzard Point

Commissioners Litsky and Hamilton attended a public meeting on the Voluntary Cleanup Plan (VCP) of the Buzzard Point site of the new soccer stadium proposed by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED). There was no discussion of the impact of contaminates on the immediate neighborhood.

DOEE plans to use a consultant to manage the clean up, Litsky and Hamilton reported. Super Salvage is doing its own clean up until the site is taken over by the District. The water table appears safe from contaminants leaching in from the soil. The DC Department of Health has promised to assess the project's impact on immediate residents, stated Hamilton.

Litsky complained the approval process run by the DC Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE) lacked both transparency and accountability. The materials were not posted online. This after the commission was promised copies of the Executive Summary and quarterly meetings, he added. He particularly complained about the agency's decision to schedule the period for public comment in August, when the commission does not meet, as well as the absence of any community meetings.

“This is not an attempt by us to delay the project,”stated Litsky.

Both Litsky and Hamilton submitted individual letters commenting on the proposed VCP on Sept. 4.

“We beat them on the head and shoulders when we responded,” stated Litsky.

Portals Curb Cuts

Representatives from the Portals came before the commission to request some curb cuts to accommodate the residential building they propose at 1331 Maryland Ave. SW, adjacent to the Mandarin Hotel. The new structure will include 368 units. There will be 78 condos. The remainder will be market rate rentals. The development is being done as a matter of right.

Pedestrians will enter over a platform built from the Maryland Avenue SW traffic circle over the existing CSX railroad tracks to the apartment building. The circle, the developers stated, is a private street.

Parking for the apartment building will be accessed from the 14th St. service road and Maine Ave. SW. Currently, the parking lot that exists on the site has four curb cuts. The developer proposes to close three of these and narrow a forth for the entrance to the new structure's parking garage designed to accommodate 360 spots. Commissioners expressed a concern that the placement of the parking entrance will contribute to existing traffic problems.

Commissioner Hamilton asked the developers whether they planned to provide any affordable housing in the new apartment building. There would be none, they replied. “You don't have to; and you are not required to; but it would be nice,” Hamilton retorted.

The commission did not vote on whether to support the curb cuts, since the developer does not need a letter of support before November.

Commissioners discussed whether the Portals had completed payment on community benefits promised during the development of the existing parcels. Commissioner Litsky asked them to provide an accounting before the commission votes on the curb cuts in October.

Square 700 at 10 Van St.

The developers of 10 Van Street presented their plan for a residential apartment building just to the south of the planned National Broadcasters Association. The 13-story structure will include 163 units, eight percent of which will be affordable. There will be six three-bedroom and 36 two-bedroom apartments. Several two-level townhouses are also planned. The remainder of the units will be one bedroom, one bedroom with den, and studios. 90 parking spaces for cars and 60 spaces for bicycles are planned.

Commissioners were concerned the townhouse owners, whose units face South Capitol, will temporarily park for pickup and drop off on that street. The main entrance is located on Van Street, the developers countered.

The commission will vote on the project at its October meeting.

ABRA Actions

ANC 6D voted unanimously to appoint Coralie Farlee as Chair of its ABRA Task Force. Farlee brought forward a voluntary agreement (VA) to be added to the stipulated Class Four license applied for by the new Buffalo Wild Wings, located at 1220 Half St. SE, www.buffalowildwings.com. The establishment had posted its placard on Sept. 4. It is expected to open on Nov. 16, its owners present at the meeting stated. The commission voted unanimously to support in support of the restaurant's application and VA.

Wharf Report

There have been constant traffic jams on Maine Avenue SW near the entrance to the Southwest Fish Market. PN Hoffman has hired off-duty police officers to ticket illegally parked cars on Maine Avenue and supervise the surface parking lot, stated The Wharf's Director of Retail Merchandising and Communications Bob Rubenkonig. Fifty cars were ticketed on Sept. 20. They have also pressured the Captain White's Seafood to remove their illegally parked crab trucks.

Rubenkonig promised to join Commissioner Hamilton in an inspection of the Maine Avenue traffic pedestrian crossing near the Fish Market.

The copper beech tree that The Wharf had relocated from the St. Augustine's Church site has suffered drought stress this past August, reported Rubenkonig. The developer has a team of arborists working on the issue. The tree is expected to survive and flourish.

Other Actions

Shahara Anderson-Davis, representative of the 11th Street Bridge Park, informed the commission that the organization is formulating an “equitable” development plan to mitigate any displacement created by the project. The park is expected to open in 2019.

Commissioner Litsky asked the ANC to authorize the writing of a letter to DC Dept. of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs demanding the investigation of the commercial rental of a residential townhouse on 400 block of O St. SW. A resident at the meeting complained that the property had become a nuisance and that its owner had proved recalcitrant. The commission voted unanimously to approve the letter.

Noting that there were no operating monies allocated for the Randall Recreation Center in the 2016 budget, Commissioner Braverman Cloyd requested that the ANC 6D write a letter to DC Department of Parks and Recreation requesting such funds. A motion authorizing the letter passed unanimously.

A representative of the arts space Blind Whino, 700 Delaware Ave. SW, thanked the commission for its support. For more information about the organization, visit www.blindwhino.org.

Frank Maduro, one member of the Mayor's Office of Community Relations and Services responsible for Ward 6, introduced himself to the commission. Commissioner Reilly Carroll quizzed him on how the executive was bench-marking recent public safety initiatives. Maduro answered obliquely by pointing to the mayor's new programs providing businesses with refunds for the installation of cameras, and allocating funding for the training of neighborhood watches. Commissioner Hamilton urged Maduro to ask for operating funds for Randall Recreation Center and to provision more Roving Leaders in the community. Maduro can be contacted at 202-442-4686, 202-538-031 or frank.maduro@dc.gov.

The commission voted unanimously to send a letter in support of a historical designation for St. James Mutual Homes, whose residents had voted overwhelmingly in favor of the application. Built in 1937 and 1938, St. James was one of the first cooperatives in the District. It consists of 107 units of affordable housing located on the 200 block of O St. SW. The District's Historical Preservation Review Board will rule on the application on Oct. 22.

The commission voted unanimously to send a letter to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) protesting its proposed changes to Southwest bus lines, in particular, WMATA's plans to reduce service to the area by removing the No. 34.

The six commissioners voted in favor of sending a letter to the DC Department of Transportation opposing the elimination of the Circulator stop at Fourth and M St. SE.

ANC 6D approved its July minutes with six votes in favor and Commissioner Hamilton abstaining.

Announcements

The Annual Parade of Lighted Boats will take place the first Saturday in December.

On Oct. 10, the First District of the Metropolitan Police Department will hold a Drug Take Back at its headquarters, 101 M St. SW, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents can surrender excess and old pharmaceuticals for safe disposal.

Friends of the Southwest Library will hold book sales on Oct. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Oct. 18 from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

There was will be community meeting on the redevelopment of Greenleaf Gardens on Oct. 24 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 Eye St. SW, at 1 p.m.

The October meeting of ANC 6D will be held on Oct. 19 at 1100 Fourth St. SW on the Second Floor.