ANC 6D Report – October 2018

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Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6D met on Oct. 15. Commissioners Meredith Fascett (6D07, chair), Gail Fast (6D01, secretary), Cara Shockley (6D02), Ronald Collins (6D03, treasurer), Andy Litsky (6D04, vice chair) and Roger Moffatt (6D05) and Rhonda N. Hamilton (6D06) were on the dais.

Yards West
Forrest City presented an update on their plans for public space elements of their Yards West project, which occupies the current vacant parcels between M Street SE and the new DC Water facility. Most of the discussion centered around their plan for One and a Half Street, a mile-long pedestrian spine that will bisect the project, north to south, connecting M Street to the river. The road will be 70 feet wide. It consists of a 20-foot carriageway and two 17-foot pedestrian paths. The two will be segregated by eight foot “flex spaces.”

Street parking, shared car drop-off/pickup and deliveries will not be permitted on this private road. These functions will be carried by the east-west public thoroughfares that cross it: N Place and N Streets SE Buildings in Yards West will be designed to place their loading docks on these roads.

Commissioners remained skeptical of the parking ban on One and a Half Street SE. They were also concerned about Uber and Lyft use of the street. Forrest City representatives maintained that the carriage section of the road would be well defined as opposed to the way Water Street SW is designed at The Wharf. The commission approved the plan five to zero with Commissioners Fast and Litsky abstaining.

Forrest City also requested the commission support their request for zoning relief on Parcel I, 1299 New Jersey Ave. SE, which is slated for a mixed-use building housing13,000 square foot of ground floor retail and 348 apartments. A 20-foot high curb on the southern side of the structure is necessary to raise it out of the 500-year flood plain, resulting in a 15-foot elevation. Stairs will be used to enable residents of the first-floor units to get directly to the street. This results in a placement of trees that does not comply with standard zoning. The commission voted five to zero with Commissioners Hamilton and Shockley abstaining to support Forrest City’s plan.

Other Projects
The commission listened to a presentation by Donohoe about the Cambria Hotel planned for the corner of Q Street and South Capitol SW, just across from Nationals Stadium. There are currently five townhouses on the site. The proposed design matches the esthetics of the remaining adjacent homes in its color scheme. The hotel will have no underground parking, reducing the scale of the excavation during construction and therefore the dust generated.

Commissioner Hamilton is finalizing a community agreement with Cambria regarding construction dust management, local hiring and streetscape improvements, she stated. The hotel, she opined, which will generate 50 jobs, will have an overall positive impact on the surrounding community. The commission voted unanimously to send a letter to the Zoning Commission requesting standing and authorizing Commission Hamilton to testify on its behalf.

Tim Temple, the 22-year owner of Splash Car Wash, briefed the commission on his plans to replace this business with a self-storage facility. The new building would be nine stories with between 1,500 and 1,700 storage units. The facility will be designed with an aperture to allow access to the CSX owned lot behind it. Construction should take nine months. Temple requested the commission’s support for a variance to reduce the size of the loading dock and size of the rear lot. The new business will be called “Splash to Stash,” he stated. “This is a terrific use of the lot,” said Vice Chair Litsky. The project is also being supported by the Riverfront Business Improvement District.

DC United asked the commission to support their proposed redesign of the screen that hides the stadium’s mechanical operations on its east side. The team wants to change the current perforated aluminum wall with one made out of polyethylene. Commissioners were dissatisfied with the team’s presentation. They voted unanimously to send a letter to the DC Zoning Commission withholding support for the change in materials until the team makes a proper briefing.

The commission voted enthusiastically to approve the Good Neighbor Agreement with the developers of 1530 First St. SW, a 101 unit, 100 percent affordable, 101-unit apartment building. It also voted to support the project’s application zoning relief from courtyard, parking and loading dock requirements and authorize Commissioner Hamilton to write the commission’s report on the project and testify on its behalf before the Board of Zoning Adjustment.

Other Matters
The Capper Seniors, Chair Fascett reported, are mostly living in two hotels while the city works on permanent housing arrangements. 90 out of the 161 apartments were completely gutted in the fire. The building will have to be completely rebuilt. The DC government, in her opinion, has done a superb job of dealing with the crisis.

First District Commander Morgan Kane gave a public safety briefing to the commission. The district is monitoring the rapid development south of I-695, designated Sector 3, and rethinking staffing accordingly, she stated. The result has been a large reduction in crime. In the last month, removing illegal guns from the streets has been a particular focus.

Commissioners asked Kane for details about a recent Metro stabbing and a midday shooting at Third and I Streets SW. In both instances, the commander stated, the victims were targeted. She urged residents to maintain situation awareness while out walking and to secure all valuables left unattended in automobiles.

The commission voted unanimously to send a letter supporting legislation now being considered by the council to modify the regulations governing food trucks that would: eliminate the requirement that tickets contain a truck’s make and model; escalate parking fines for repeat offenders; and require trucks to display their licenses. They also voted unanimously to send a second letter to council supporting permanent legislation banning buses from the new Waterfront Park. The commission authorized Vice Chair Litsky to testify at the council hearings on both these matters.

Andrea Gillian, the consultant hired by the commission to organize and facilitate the new SW Community Center, introduced herself to the community. The new center that will be located in the new Forrest City development adjacent to the metro. It will occupy a total of 6,000 square feet.

The commission voted to support an application for digital signage at the corner of First and N St. SE. The developer has agreed to limit the content of the boards and develop a coordinated strategy for digital messages with its neighbors. In return for the commission’s support, the developer will make a $10,000 donation to local schools. Vice Chair Litsky and Commissioner Moffat voted against the measure. Chair Fascett, who had negotiated the agreement, recused herself, since she has a child at Van Ness Elementary School.

The commission unanimously voted to:

  • support the Veterans Day 5k and the Walk to end HIV;
  • protest over the liquor license for Circa at Navy Yard, 99 M St. SE, and authorize Chair Fascett to negotiate an agreement on the commission’s behalf;
  • authorize Chair Fascett to negotiate with the DC Housing Authority over their amendment permitting a five-year extension of the Capper parking lots on Squares 767, 768 and 882S;
  • support a public space application for the Paradigm project at 1000 First St. SE;
  • send a letter to Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (D) in support of legislation granting a passageway easement on Square 696;
  • support JBG’s design changes to “Building 170,” which it proposed to locate on Tingey St. SE;
  • support transferring the Joy Evan’s designation from Ward 6 to a Ward 7 therapeutic recreation center;
  • support the renewal of Metropolitan Wellness’s license, 409 Eighth St. SE, as a medical marijuana dispensary;
  • support the new regulations for After Hours Permits proposed by DC Dept. of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and authorize Chair Fascett to comment on them;
  • authorized the paying of $500 to the Capitol Hill Village for background checks on volunteer drivers assisting Capper seniors;
  • approved the Fiscal Year 2019 budget of $33,676.

ANC 6D’s next meeting will be held on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. at 1100 Fourth St. SW. Visit www.anc6d.org/ for more information.