ANC 6A Report – November 2017

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ANC 6A Chair Phil Toomajian called the meeting to order at Miner Elementary, 601 15th St. NE, with Commissioners Calvin Ward, Sondra Phillps-Gilbert, Marie-Claire Brown, Mike Soderman, Patrick Malone, Stephanie Zimny, and Amber Gove in attendance

The meeting opened with a moment of silence for Dana Wyckoff, a community activist who passed away recently. She was the co-founder and Chair of the Friends of Rosedale Library, the Chair of ANC 6A’s Community Outreach Committee, an Executive Board Member for the Federation of Friends of the DC Public Library, and a staunch advocate for the Rosedale and Kingman Park neighborhoods.  She was instrumental in the redevelopment of the Rosedale Recreation Center and creation of the Rosedale Library. Both Ward and Toomajian spoke of her dedication to the people of ANC 6A – in Ward’s words “she was an angel at heart.”

Followed by these community presentations:

Micah Feigelson, Community Solar Associate, IP Sun Power
Felgelson outlined the services provided by the company he represents and answered questions from the commissioners and attendees regarding the benefits of solar power for District residents.

Jennifer Smith, Director, DC Department of Forensic Sciences

  • The Department of Forensic Sciences is now an independent agency with three components: crime lab, which processes finger prints, firearms and digital evidence; crime scene sciences, a function formerly performed by the police but now mainly by civilians; and a public health lab that handles diseases such as zika and rabies. Internships are available to both high school and college age students, generally those in STEM programs.
  • Smith reported that the District is one of the few jurisdictions without a backlog on rape kits. Sexual assault cases must be processed within ninety days but most are done within forty-five.

Sean Moore, District Department of Transportation (DDOT)

  • Moore presented information on the plans for Benning Road Bridge improvements. Details at benningproject.com.
  • There is a public awareness campaign aimed at reducing problems on H Street NE with drivers opening their car doors into oncoming street cars or bicycles. Drivers are encouraged to get in the habit of opening the door with their right hands (rather than left) so they are in a better position to see what’s coming behind them.

Community Outreach actions

  • In a 7-1 vote (Phillips-Gilbert opposed), ANC 6A approved a grant of $1,000 to the Eastern Senior High School (1700 East Capitol St. NE) PTO in support of the school band – the Blue and White Marching Machine. The money will pay for uniforms and equipment that DCPS does not provide. The band’s needs are ongoing; they practice year-round so equipment wears out quickly. They also participate in many local, national and international events requiring that uniforms be in good condition. The PTO had asked for additional funds, which the ANC did not feel it could afford so early in the grant cycle. Brown and an audience member each made pledges to offset the difference. Donations to support this important community resource can be made, by check, to Eastern PTO with “Band” in the memo. Send to: Eastern PTO , c/o Caprice Casson,1700 E. Capitol St., Washington, DC 20003.
  • The Commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter to Mayor Bowser requesting improvements to the Miner Elementary School outdoor campus. The playground has experienced continuing vandalism, including a fire that destroyed much of the equipment. The school is working hard to balance community access to the space with the need to protect it from damage. The letter asks for both improved facilities and assistance with security concerns.
  • The ANC 6A Community Outreach Committee will not meet in December. Beginning in January 2018, they will meet at Eastern Senior High School.

Alcohol Beverage Licensing actions

  • The commissioners voted, unanimously, to take no action on a request from On the Rocks (1242 H St. NE, formerly Da Luft) for a change to their settlement agreement. The current agreement does not allow use of the third and fourth floors – a condition management wants changed. These floors were constructed without proper permits by a previous owner who did not obtain a certificate of occupancy (C of O). The space can’t legally be used without a valid C of O. There is a long history of problems at this address and purported violations of regulations by the new owners, in advance of their acquiring a license.
  • The commissioners also voted, unanimously, to take no action with regard to the renewal of licenses for the following establishments:

1101 Convenience Mart’s license (1101 H Street NE)
China house (1601 Benning Rd. NE)
DC Supermarket (539 8th St. NE)
The Cupboard (1504 East Capitol St. NE)
Economy Market (1804 D St. NE)
J & K Market (234 15th St. NE)

There was some discussion of problems associated with J & K Market. There are two settlement agreements – one with ANC 6A and the other with the neighbors, the second being more restrictive. At the ABL Committee meeting, neighbors alleged that the business is in violation of their agreement but the evidence presented was insufficient to build a strong case for opposition to renewal. Two audience members spoke in support of the store saying that the problems at the site were the fault of the clientele, not the owners. Gove, the commissioner for that Single Member District (SMD), will work with police, as have past commissioners, to reduce crime at that location. The neighbors have been advised to document any future violations so that a protest can be sustained, if necessary.

Economic Development and Zoning actions
ANC 6A voted unanimously to send a letter to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) in support of plans to redevelop the church at 1015 D St. NE into two residences. Each unit will be 2,300 sq. ft. and have one off-street parking space. The developer presented drawings that showed the façade largely unchanged although the profile will be altered by the addition of dormers on the east side of the building. The stained glass windows in the front will be repaired. There will not be any changes to the “foot print”. Small additions at the rear of the property will be removed to make space for a single multi-story addition.

Reports & Announcements
Chris Laskowski from CM Charles Allen’s office was in attendance and extended an invitation to the annual Brickie Awards, Wednesday, December 6 on the SW Wharf. Visit charlesallenward6.com for details.

Gove issued a reminder that Maury ES (1250 Constitution Ave. NE) students and staff will relocate to trailers on the Eliot-Hine MS campus over the winter break so that a renovation project can begin. This will be more extensive than many other recent school renovations as the entire east building will be razed and a new, three-story structure will take its place. The historic west building will remain. Demolition will begin early in 2018. More information is available at mauryelementary.com/mod/.

Gove also reported the following pedestrian safety improvements:

Raised crosswalks will be built on Constitution Avenue at 12th Place and Warren Street NE.  Curb extensions will be built at the intersections of15th St & North Carolina Ave. NE and 14th St. & C St. NE.

Phillips-Gilbert reported that are maintenance problems with the grounds of Monument Academy. Also, motorists are having difficulty negotiating the roundabout at 17th and E Streets NE.

Zimny noted continuing problems with illegal dumping. She has a good working relationship with the Department of Public Works (DPW) and encourages ANC 6A residents to notify her by email (stephaniezimnyANC6A@gmail.com) if they see this activity.

ANC 6A meets on the second Thursday of every month (except August), usually at Miner Elementary School.

The 6A committees meet at 7 p.m. on the following schedule:

Alcohol Beverage and Licensing, third Tuesday of each month, Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th St. NE.

Community Outreach, fourth Monday of each month, will not meet in December. New venue: Eastern SHS, 1700 East Capitol St. NE.

Economic Development and Zoning, third Wednesday of each month, Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th St. NE.

Transportation and Public Space, third Monday of every month, Capitol Hill Towers, 900 G St. NE.

 

Visit www.anc6a.org for calendar of events, changes of date/venue, agendas and other information.