ANC 6E Report - June 2017

Prior to the June meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E, Commissioner and Secretary Lily Roberts (6E04) resigned for personal reasons. An announcement of the vacancy has been placed in the DC Register and a successor will be determined at a later date. Commissioner Anthony Brown volunteered to serve as the new secretary, and the commissioners recorded a unanimous vote in favor of it.

Commissioners Alex Padro (6E01, chair), Anthony Brown (6E02, secretary), Frank Wiggins (6E03, vice chair), Alex Marriott (6E05, treasurer), Alvin Judd (6E06), and Kevin Rogers (6E07) made up the quorum.

Commission Rejects Cloakroom Settlement Agreement

In March, a representative of the Cloakroom Gentlemen’s Club, located at 476 K St. NW, requested support for a change in its liquor license, to serve alcohol until 2:00 a.m. during the week and 3:00 a.m. during the weekend, for a new rooftop garden. The addition will be 1,600 square feet and accommodate up to 49 people. The commissioners motioned to protest the license change to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) and suggested the business operators conduct sound tests and consult with architects on the parameters of a partial or full enclosure that would mitigate the sound.  

The Cloakroom’s representative returned with a settlement agreement that calls for a retractable roof enclosure that would close at 10 p.m. and not let the sound escape outside. Commissioner Marriott said that in addition to over 50 emails against the agreement, 128 residents signed a petition to protest it. He also noted that residents put in a lot of time and effort by hiring a lawyer and sound engineer to be a part of the settlement agreement process, but were carved out of it. “This agreement is full of vague terms and I ask the commission to reject it,” said Commissioner Marriott.

The commissioners passed a motion, to reject the settlement agreement and communicate their concerns to ABRA, by a vote of 4-2. In a separate motion Commissioner Marriott moved that he be selected to represent ANC 6E at the ABRA hearing. That motion also passed by a vote of 4-2.

Apple Plans to Lease and Renovate Carnegie Library

An Apple Inc. representative requested support to lease and renovate the Carnegie library at 801 K St. NW, as an Apple Legacy Store. The library originally opened in 1903 as the city’s central public library and was vacated in 1977. The Historical Society of Washington, DC, has since occupied the building, and Events DC uses it as a venue for some functions as well. Apple’s vision is to make it the city square by offering free programs to inspire the community and increase skill levels in artistry, music, and photography. Apple has launched this program in other cities and refers to it as Today @ Apple.

The space will be converted and separated into a performance hall, classrooms, and community space. The program will also focus on small businesses and give kids access to technology that many schools can’t offer. The Historical Society will remain and operate in the building, and Apple’s renovation designs will be in accordance with them. Events DC will also be able to program events at certain times throughout the year. The representative said that Apple is looking at nearby lots to facilitate extra parking and will be responsible for funding the renovation. Although the Carnegie library is not in 6E’s jurisdiction, its proximity will affect the area.

The commissioners unanimously passed a motion to communicate support for Apple’s leasing of the property to Events DC, the Historical Society, the DC Council, and Mayor Bowser. For more details on the Apple @ Today program visit www.apple.com/today.

Four Developers to Bid on K Street Project

Lee Goldstein, project manager of the office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), spoke on the subject of the city’s New Communities Initiative project, which will add mixed-income housing at North Capitol and K streets NW. The site, a parking lot, was formerly Temple Court, which housed 200 low-income families before being demolished in 2008.

Eight developers participated in three workshops to discuss housing and public space for the project. The city narrowed the list of developers down to four to bid on the project. Representatives from the firms were at the meeting to discuss their proposals and request support before being heard by the DC Council. After the presentations, the commissioners ranked the proposals.

  • Monument Realty.Proposal calls for 442 single and family-size affordable units. The property will be broken into two rental buildings and one building with for-sale units. The project includes a dog park, central green space, and pedestrian promenade on the K Street portion. There will also be a Knowledge, Innovation, & Technology Center where people can meet up for training classes, gaming labs for kids, WiFi area, and a TV room.
  • Community Builders.Proposal calls for 600 total units among three buildings. Up to 400 will be affordable housing with the remainder at market rate. The building will have family-size units and the ground level will open into courtyards. The proposal also calls for 311 underground parking spaces and 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.  
  • MRP Realty.Proposal calls for 722 total units with 518 being affordable housing and 204 listed at market rate. It proposes 682 underground parking spaces beneath K and L streets. There will be over 50,000 square feet of retail and community space. The community space will be based on community input, which will center around spaces for kids, pets, and green space. Playgrounds will only be accessible to residents.
  • Harmony Place Development.Proposal calls for 605 total units with 387 being affordable housing. Townhouse-style units will be offered as well as 101 family-size rentals. The design shows that 23,000 square feet will be available for retail and community space. A childcare center, coffee shop, and restaurant are mentioned in the retail space plans.

Each proposal set aside at least 211 replacement units for former tenants of Temple Courts who earn up to 30 percent of the area median income. After a tally of each commissioner’s ranking, Harmony Place Development took the top spot followed by Monument Realty, MRP Realty, and Community Builders. The commissioners unanimously passed a motion to communicate their ranking to DMPED.

Zoning Relief Requested for K Street Project

A representative of Douglas Development requested zoning relief support for a 190-room hotel project located at 601 K St. NW. The Historic Preservation Review Board requires that 75 percent of the property must be behind the property line, with 14-foot ceiling heights to promote retail. The developers said that they are a little short of those expectations and will not be able to make them. Upon completion, a valet service and a nearby lot will accommodate parking.

The commissioners unanimously passed a motion to communicate support for the zoning relief request to the Board of Zoning Adjustment. They also requested Douglas Development to do a traffic study at the northwest corner of Sixth and K streets.

6E Quick Hits

The commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the following agenda items:

  • A third-floor addition at a private residence located at 1805 Wiltberger St. NW. The homeowner said that he plans on using fire-suppressant materials to build the addition.
  • A Class C Sidewalk Cafe License for Capital Burger, located at 1005 Seventh St. NW. The 48-seat outdoor addition will offer no entertainment.
  • An entertainment endorsement and summer garden for French Quarter Brasserie & Oyster Bar, located at 1544 Ninth St. NW. The second-floor entertainment will consist of jazz and comedians.
  • A grant application in the amount of $3,000 for the Perry School Community Services Center, located at 128 M St. NW. The funding will be applied to a summer camp that will serve 25 children from the Shaw and Mt. Vernon Triangle communities.
  • Support for a permit to the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation for the Grace Community Church to hold a service festival at the Kennedy Recreation Center on July 8.

ANC 6E will meet again at 6:30 p.m. on July 5 at the Shaw/Watha T. Daniel Library, located at 1630 Seventh St. NW.

Steve Holton can be contacted at ssholton@gmail.com.


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