ANC 6C Report – April 2017

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Councilmember Elissa Silverman made a stop in her home court at the April meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C. “I needed to come back home and make sure I’m being a resource for my neighbors,” she said. She also mentioned her focus on affordable housing and more preservation of current housing, and reiterated her support of full modernization of the more dilapidated schools around Capitol Hill.

The quorum: Karen Wirt (6C02, chair), Heather Edelman (6C06), Mark Eckenwiler (6C04), Christine Healey (6C01, secretary), Scott Price (6C03, vice chair), and Christopher Miller (6C05, treasurer).

LED Streetlight Replacements
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) needs to replace the streetlights around the District, but several city leaders and the DC Streetlight Task Force have expressed concern over the possible use of LED lights with blue content. A member of the task force explained that a report from the American Medical Association points to problems with the lights, which burn at temperatures between 4,000 and 5,000 Kelvin and emit glare that can disrupt sleep patterns and suppress melatonin in the body. The Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment, chaired by Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, will hold a roundtable discussion on the issue on May 3.

The ANC voted unanimously to urge the DC Council not to allow lights above 3,000 Kelvin.

Capitol Hill Classic Receives Grant Funds
Due to an unexpected change in the policy of the DC Department of Health (DOH), the Capitol Hill Classic 10K Race organizers needed emergency grant support from the ANC to pay for a MedStar Hospital ambulance service for the race. Organizers had planned to fund the event entirely on their own and with in-kind donations, but the DOH told them they couldn’t take the MedStar service as an in-kind donation this year. The ANC unanimously approved a grant of just over $1,500 for the service.

Capitol Hill Montessori Asks for Support
Parent representatives from Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan (215 G St. NE) again asked for the commission’s support in pushing the DC Council to allot money for the school’s modernization in 2018 instead of the mayor’s proposed 2023 timeline. Teachers and students deal with leaking bathrooms, a failing HVAC system, a problematic boiler, rats, and other issues on a daily basis, but the proposed modernization schedule of Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Public Schools doesn’t start planning until 2023, six years from now.

The commission supported a letter to several councilmembers and the mayor asking for modernization funding for 2019, with planning starting in 2018.

Northeast Library Leader Retiring
Tom Fenske, a leader in the Friends of the Northeast Library (330 Seventh St. NE), is stepping down from his position. Fenske has coordinated the library book sales. The friends group will need a new volunteer to organize the sales and also volunteers to help sort books at the sales. “Tom’s energy, wisdom, and gentle humor have been vital to the success of the library book sales,” Commissioner Price said in an email.

New Trees at Seventh Street Triangle Park
Casey Trees and neighbors will help plant and replace dying trees in the Reservation 84 triangle park at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Seventh Street, and Constitution Avenue NE. The ANC approved a grant of $1,750 to buy the trees and worked with neighbors to set up a watering schedule.

Capital Bikeshare Considering New Racks
New bicycle racks may come to areas near Eighth Street and Massachusetts Avenue NE and near Stanton Park, thanks to an expansion from Capital Bikeshare. The bicycle service reached out to commissioners to find an appropriate location to add to their bikeshare stops. More information to come.

NoMa Parks Update
The NoMa Parks developers and community have plans to soften the curve of a sharp series of corners on the Metropolitan Branch Trail, and also to add a dog park. They are also working with the business improvement district to enliven spaces in and around the M Street NE underpass to discourage homeless encampments.

Additions on Sixth Street
Commissioners unanimously supported a historic preservation and zoning application for rear, rooftop, and garage additions at 17 Sixth St. NE. The owner and architect worked with the ANC to improve the plans and incorporate suggestions by neighbors. As long as the architect submitted the updates to the Historic Preservation Review Board and shared updated plans with neighbors, the ANC agreed to support the applications.

Other Actions
The window to submit proposed amendments or changes to DC’s Comprehensive Plan ends May 26. Submissions can be made at www.plandc.dc.gov.

The commissioners supported testimony at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and the Office of Planning (OP) budget oversight hearings asking for the allocation of funds to hire more inspectors and enforcement officers for the Historic Preservation Office and DCRA construction inspections. It’s understaffed and slows progress, commissioners argued.

Zipcar is searching for four new parking spaces at 263 Eighth St. NE and 1225 Fifth St. NE. Commissioners requested they continue to work with the ANC to find spots that don’t take away residential parking permit spaces.

A home at 622 D St. NE won the ANC’s support for its rear and rooftop addition plans.

Douglas Development won approval for a front office loading zone along 1140 Third St. NE. It’s for people loading and unloading, not commercial vehicles.

Commissioners discussed neighbors’ complaints over how police handled road closures for the March Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon through Capitol Hill. They suggested adding a commissioner ride-along with police next year to ensure preparedness and dispel confusion on the plans.

The ANC approved XO (15 K St. NE) nightclub’s request for extended hours on holidays from 3 to 4 a.m. Commissioners reserved the right in the negotiation to rescind the extension if they receive complaints.

ANC 6C regularly meets on the second Wednesday of the month at the Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. The next meeting is on May 10 at 7 p.m.