ANC 6E Report - February 2016

Homewood Suites Receives ABRA Support

A representative of the Homewood Suites hotel chain joined the meeting to ask the commissioners of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E to support an Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) license. The hotel is located at 465 New York Ave. NW and will open for business on April 20. It is requesting support to serve alcohol between 4:00 and 9:00 p.m., seven days a week. The hotel will offer manager’s receptions, for hotel guests only, four or five times a week, when beer and wine will be served between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. The hotel has a total of 88 parking spots reserved for hotel guests only, which should help alleviate parking concerns in the neighborhood. Homewood Suites is hiring employees and reaching out to the community with job opportunities by publicizing its workforce development. The commissioners voted in favor of supporting the liquor license and will communicate that support to ABRA.

Zoning Request for Ground-Floor Retail

A representative of a two-story property located at 1525 Ninth St. NW requested a special exemption to the first floor of the building that will allow the use of ground-floor retail. The first floor was originally used as office space and has been vacant for over a year. The second floor is residential; the applicant is asking for retail use on only the first floor. Neighbors to the north of the property support the application, but neighbors on the south side are not supportive and attended the meeting to share their concerns. ANC 6E01 Vice Chairman Alexander Padro provided a list of restrictions that the retail space tenant would have to abide by to receive the commission’s support. The restrictions include hours of operation, where no business transactions can be made past 10:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The tenants will not be able to obtain an entertainment endorsement if an alcohol license is associated with the property. Sound-proofing measures will have to be installed on the property; daily trash removal and delivery restrictions from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. are also part of the agreement.

The tenants who live on the south side of the property and who also share a common wall with the proposed retail space stated their concerns of sound, rodents, and odor transferal. They also noted that the front of the property is on the sidewalk, and they are worried about the extra foot traffic and people hanging out on their steps. Despite the list of restrictions they feel that this will not be good for their living situation and property values. The neighbors also noted that when they purchased their homes the first-floor zoning status was considered office space only, and they were assured that it would stay that way and not be used for retail. They requested that the zoning status remain the same. The commissioners noted that the District Zoning Board has permitted use for other businesses in the neighborhood and that the character of the block is changing. The commissioners of ANC 6E believe that the two properties can co-exist and voted in favor of supporting the zoning request, provided that the retail space tenant agrees and obeys the aforementioned restrictions. The tenant stated that they are installing sound-proofing material, taking extra precautions to eliminate rodents, and taking other measures to alleviate issues of concern.

Zoning Request in U Street Historical District

A third-story addition will be added to a home located at 919 R St. NW; the property has approval from the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB). The renovation follows historic guidelines, and the addition will not be visible from the street. The interior renovation plans include turning a single-family home into two condo units that will each have three bedrooms, and the rear of the building will receive a patio. Project representatives noted that they have letters of support from neighbors on each side of the building. The commissioners voted to support the zoning request and communicate their decision to HPRB.

Next Meeting

ANC 6E will meet again at 6:30 p.m. on March 1 at the Northwest One Library on 155 L St. NW. Visit www.anc6e.orgto view the newsletter; follow on Twitter @ANC6E and on Facebook by searching ANC6E. Steve Holton can be contacted at ssholton@gmail.comand followed on twitter @ssholton.