ANC 6C Report – October 2018

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The regularly scheduled meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C was held at the Heritage Foundation (214 Massachusetts Ave. NE) on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

The quorum: Christine Healey (Secretary, 6C01), Karen Wirt (Chair, 6C02), Scott Price (Treasurer, 6C03), Mark Eckenwiler (Vice-Chair, 6C04), Heather Edelman (6C06).

Treasurer’s Report
Heather Edelman (6C06) moved that the commission approve spending on ASL interpreters for meetings of the ANC. Accountant for District ANCs Simon-Gottleib was unable to put together a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Disability Rights, who should be able to secure interpreters and pay for them directly. She said the arrangement may be secured in the next two weeks, but an amount of $650 maximum should be approved in case funds were necessary. The motion passed unanimously.

Community Announcements
Candidate for 2019 ANC 6C09 Commissioner Rob Dooling spoke on his view of the issues ahead of the November elections. Dooling is running unopposed for the seat currently occupied by Heather Edelman (6C06). He said he has attended every ANC 6C meeting for the past year, and worked with Edelman to promote walkability, bicycle-ability and accessible meetings. He advocates for better and affordable housing and parks. “NoMA and Old City will keep changing rapidly,” he said, “and we must guide this change to benefit everyone.”

Learn more about Dooling at RobDooling.com

Consent Agenda
The ANC approved the following motions put forward by committees:

Planning, Zoning and Economic Development
The Planning, Zoning and Economic Development (PZE) Committee recommended that the ANC support a Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) application for a special exception in regard to lot occupancy in order to construct a two-story structure with garage at 912 Fifth St. NE.

Station Townhouses (701 Second St. NE) have appealed a notice from the District Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) threatening to revoke their Certificate of Occupancy owing to illegal short-term rentals. The PZE Committee recommended that the ANC not take a position but send a letter correcting some claims made on behalf of the applicant, authorizing Mark Eckenwiler (6C04) to testify at the Nov. 7 hearing.

The PZE recommended the ANC support a Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) application to build a third story attic pop-up and rear covered porch, not visible from the street, at 613 Lexington Place NE.

Transportation and Public Space Committee
The Transportation and Public Space (TPS) Committee heard a Public Space Application for new condos at 39-41 New York Ave. NE. The curb cut on New York Ave will be closed, and three on N Street will be consolidated into two. The committee requested bike racks be added on the N Street side.

The committee also heard an application for an unenclosed sidewalk café at Buffalo and Bergen (240 Massachusetts Ave. NE) with 8 tables, 16 seats and alcohol service. The committee recommended support for the application with a change in Sunday to Thursday hours from 7 a.m. to 10 p and until 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Alcohol and Beverage Licensing Committee
Buffalo and Bergen (240 Massachusetts Ave. NE) appeared before the Alcohol and Beverage Licensing (ABL) Committee to discuss licensing. The committee voted to protest the license and negotiate a settlement agreement with chair Steve O’Neal representing the ANC.

The consent calendar was unanimously approved.

Alcohol and Beverage Licensing Committee
Alcohol and Beverage Licensing (ABRA) Community Resource Officer Sarah Fashbaugh appeared before the committee. First, she suggested that citizens with noise issues with an ABRA license holders should call the ABRA hotline as opposed to the ANC Representative. This is more efficient, she said, and allows ABRA to create a record of violations. She also said she is available to respond to inquiries, complaints and questions.

The ABRA hotline number is 202-329-6347, 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Parks and Events Committee
NOMA Parks Update
M Street underpass lighting installation is complete. Adjustment is being made to lighting programming and sidewalks are being repaired.

L Street underpass lighting installation has received final approval from Amtrak. All other permits have been received so construction will begin shortly with an expected completion date by the end of the year.

Swampadoodle Park (L and Third Streets NE) had a major setback as the dog turf was incorrectly installed and must be re-installed, a process that could take two or three weeks depending on weather.

Rock N Roll Marathon
Organizers of the Rock N Roll Marathon appeared before the committee and had a lively discussion. Organizers have since changed the route and will reappear again before the committee in November to discuss the revised plans.

Transportation and Public Space Committee
Loading Zone at Two Rivers Public Charter School
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to add signage indicating a school loading zone on Fourth Street NE, on the 1100 block in front of Two Rivers PCS and on the 1200 block, north of Florida Avenue NE. The NOI states effective hours of 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., with allowance for a 15-minute drop-off or pick-up between 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. The committee supported the NOI and requested language adding 15-minute loading zone for early dismissals at the school on Wednesday.

Saying they were concerned the language allows parents to park during the times they prefer a flow of traffic, Kaiser Hussein of Two Rivers PCS requested that on the 1100 block, the two school loading zone windows be narrowed to one hour each, from 7 – 8 a.m. mornings and 3 – 4 p.m. afternoons. The motion as amended passed unanimously.

Fancy Radish
The committee heard a Public Space Application from Fancy Radish (600 H St. NE) for an unenclosed sidewalk café on the north side of the block near the Apollo building.

The plans did not conform to regulations, projecting too far from the building, interrupting pedestrian access to sidewalks, incorporating counter-high tables rather than furniture under the 36” height maximum, and shows supports for a canopy bolted to the sidewalk. All are forbidden by DDOT regulations. The applicant said they would resubmit plans but failed to do so or to appear at the meetings. A motion to oppose the application as presented was unanimously passed.

Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee
The PZE heard a proposal for a Map Amendment to Re-Zone lots in Square 750 at the southeast corner of Second and K Streets NE. The lots are currently zoned for industrial use (PR) and the request is to split-zone them for mixed use as MU4 and MU5A, allowing for both commercial and residential use.

The committee voted to oppose the application, viewing it as inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan because the entire block is designated a Neighborhood Conservation Area on the Generalized Policy Map. Eckenwiler said the scale of proposed zoning is inconsistent with the existing built environment and the conservation of the second story rowhouses.

Speaking for the applicant, attorney Samantha Meso said that the future land use map in the Comprehensive Plan recommended the site for split mixed-use zone. She said that in 1996 the lots were not rezoned together with the rest of the square at the request of the property owner at the time who wanted to build a matter-of-right office building, which never materialized.

Neighbors appeared to express concern that a high-rise building would be built on the lot, and about issues related to construction, traffic and parking and noted they would be better prepared to opine if they knew what would be built there.

The project architect said that while the project itself was not relevant to the discussion, which was strictly a policy matter, he was willing to disclose that the working design was for a primarily residential building with office and cultural space for the American Council of Islamic Relations (CAIR) and would preserve the existing facades.

Edelman proposed that the ANC support the application with the caveat that the applicant hold meetings with neighbors to air concerns prior to the hearing and come to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the community about how to move forward. The motion passed 3-2, with Eckenwiler and Chair Karen Wirt (6C02) opposing.

Other Business
Change to By-Laws
The committee voted to change Article V, the by-law governing tie elections for Commissioners, adding that in the case of a tie vote between the two candidates receiving the most votes (where neither has won a simple majority), “the tie will be decided by the drawing of lots.”

Election of Vice-Chair
Commissioner Mark Eckenwiler (6C04) was elected Vice-Chair of ANC 6C to fill the vacancy created when Chris Miller resigned his office in July.

ANC 6C meets at 7:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month (except August) in the ground floor conference room at the Heritage Foundation (214 Massachusetts Ave. NE).  The next meeting of ANC 6C will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 14. Learn more at anc6c.org.