TruOrleans and Ibiza Protests, Update

December ANC 6C Report

Commissioner Mark Kazmierczak (6C05) reported that before October's protest hearing against TruOrleans the restaurant entered into a settlement agreement with the commission. The agreement granted the majority of the commission's suggested restrictions, including no entertainment endorsement, an enclosed second floor, removing the H Street entrance, and keeping all doors and windows closed after 10:00 p.m. The Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board approved the agreement with one change: the commission could not ask an applicant to lose or not apply for an endorsement. The ABC Board will issue its final order in January.

Commissioner Tony Goodman (6C06) gave an update regarding the commission's protest against Ibiza Nightclub's license renewal. At last week's roll call hearing ANC 6C, along with a group of 11 landowners, were certified as valid protestors. The mediation is scheduled for the end of February.

Down Syndrome Event

Gena Mitchell, president of the Down Syndrome Network of Montgomery County, presented her proposal for an awareness 5K event scheduled for March 30. She hoped that the event would help promote both information and respect for those with the disorder. Mitchell and her organization are working with five other Down syndrome awareness organizations around the DC area, as there is no such group in the city. While the event will take place west of ANC 6C, participants do come into the Union Station area. The commission voted 5-0 to support the event.

DDOT Issues

Transportation and Public Space Committee Chair Joe McCann explained that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) created a comprehensive map in 2004 that diverts bus and truck traffic from the main streets; however, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) created a different map based on signage. Eulois Cleckley of DDOT stated the department is conducting a comprehensive analysis of freight movement within the city in order to create better bus and truck routes. He also stated that it would be no issue for DDOT to study 6th Street. The commission unanimously voted to send a letter of support to DDOT, MPD, and the mayor regarding restrictive signage on 6th, particularly the area between K Street and Florida Avenue, along with the 800-900 block of H Street.

On Dec. 13 DDOT announced new loading zones on H Street. With the new streetcars traveling throughout the corridor Cleckley stated that DDOT is looking at turning portions of side streets into commercial loading zones. Working with DC Streetcar, DDOT discussed their plans with carriers and business owners. However, as Commissioner Mark Eckenwiler (6C04) pointed out, DDOT did not consult the community or other ANCs in the area before making a decision. In fact, he called the plan “far from perfect,” citing space, locations, and loading hours as issues. The commission agreed, voting unanimously to send a letter of opposition citing a lack of outreach to the community.

6th Street Reconstruction

Currently 6th Street is one-way except for a section between K Street and Florida Avenue. However, the commission considered the possibility of converting that section from two-way to one-way. McCann stated that this is important, especially since the surrounding sidewalks are not compliant with the American with Disabilities Act and there is no green space. Since DDOT is assessing Florida Avenue, the Transportation and Public Space Committee recommended the commission send a letter asking DDOT to improve the two-way section of 6th Street. The commission voted unanimously to adopt this recommendation.

Beatles 50th Anniversary

Rebecca Miller, director of the DC Preservation League (DCPL), announced plans for the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' first North American concert at Uline Arena. Partnering with Douglas Development and others, this event will occur on Feb. 11. DCPL expects about 3,000 people to come to the charity event, which has garnered national attention. To accommodate it the organization plans to close 3rd and M streets as well as two feet into 2nd Street. They also engaged the surrounding community by providing alternative parking and giving them free tickets.

Commissioner Goodman called the event “the best of all worlds,” as it speeds up the cleaning and construction process of getting rid of asbestos and mold, while creating an historical event. Since DCPL has meetings planned with the neighbors and the Department of Homeland Security in January, the commission voted unanimously to support the event.

Pop-ups” Discussion

Commissioner Eckenwiler reported that the Planning, Zoning, and Environmental (PZE) Committee discussed issues about “pop-ups,” or building additions. Some PZE members expressed concerns, including zoning and building code violations as well as damage to adjacent properties. While Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells wrote a letter to the Office of Planning voicing his concerns on pop-ups, it did not offer any solutions. Commissioner Eckenwiler proposed that PZE members who are well-versed in building codes draft a letter to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs seeking better enforcement while identifying issues under current law. He hopes that the commission will vote on the letter during January's meeting.

Other News

  • Joseph Slovinec introduced himself as a candidate for Ward 6 councilmember.

  • Commissioner McCann addressed residents' concerns about streetscape destruction along H Street as the first streetcar begins testing in the corridor. He said that the DC Streetcar team promised to make improvements, including replacing stones along tree beds and placing caps on streetlight bases.

  • Commissioner Eckenwiler gave a summary of upcoming developments discussed during the PZE meeting, including the previously-approved Apollo project.

  • According to Commissioner Kazmirczack, J.O. Wilson Elementary School won a RiverSmart grant, which allows them to expand their school garden.

The next ANC 6C meeting is Jan. 8, 2014. For more information, visit anc6c.org.