The October meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B was completed in the expeditious timeframe of one hour and 40 minutes. The commission dispensed with readings of reports by the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Committee, Transportation Committee, Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC), and Hine Community Advisory Committee Report.
The quorum: Chander Jayaraman (6B08), James Loots (6B03, parliamentarian), Jennifer Samolyk (6B01), Nick Burger (6B06, treasurer), Denise Krepp (6B10), Steve Hagedorn (6B05), Kirsten Oldenburg (6B04), and Daniel Ridge (6B09, secretary).
Presentation by DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency
The meeting began with a presentation by the interim director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), Brian Baker, who had been touring the community throughout September to mark Emergency Preparedness Month. He said that “every day that [he had] come out there’s been things that are going on pretty close to home for many of us,” including hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and Maria, the mass shooting in Las Vegas, and the fires in California.
Baker summarized the responsibilities of DC HSEMA, including the prevention of, response to, and recovery from emergencies or disasters and the 24-hour joint operations center facilitating communications for major events or disasters in the District. He said that HSEMA has an outreach division that could come to events or locations to help communicate a larger planning message.
He added that HSEMA organizes central intelligence for any incident arising in the Washington region, pushes out information, acts as a planning hub to bring District agencies together, and involves federal point persons. He noted that the Mayor’s Special Events Task Force is part of HSEMA. All agencies work together to evaluate public safety aspects of proposed special events.
Baker drew attention to the HSEMA app, available on at https://hsema.dc.gov/, which he said is capable of geolocating users to provide customized information such as how to evacuate if a disaster strikes.
ABC Committee Report
Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Committee Chair Chander Jayaraman noted that there had been an insufficient number of commissioners present to proceed with business at the last meeting of the ABC Committee. He emphasized the importance of attendance by commissioners, particularly if there is a case in their single member district (SMD). As a result, the full commission heard ABC Committee business.
YES Organic Eastern Market at 410 Eighth St. SE is petitioning for a renewal of its Class B Retail Grocery License. The commissioners endorsed the application, 8-0.
Capitol Supreme Market at 501 Fourth St. SE is petitioning for a renewal of its Class B Retail Grocery License. The ANC supported the application unanimously.
Last spring, ANC 6B filed a protest to the application for an alcohol and beverage license by Hank’s Oyster Bar at 633 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. The protest was made in order to facilitate discussion between the restaurant and a neighbor in regard to a flooding issue. On rainy days, water had been flowing from the roof of the restaurant into a neighboring yard and sidewalk, sometimes entering the home. The commission had been asked to consider withdrawing the protest in light of discussions facilitated by Commissioner Hoskins. The ABC Committee recommended that the ANC send a letter to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) to withdraw the protest, noting that the issues with flooding have yet to be resolved but that the ANC hopes that the discussions will resolve the issue.
Samolyk opposed the motion on the basis that if it passed, the ANC would surrender leverage without resolving the issue, also noting the property was a problem in terms of rat infestation. Loots noted that there was a provision in regard to pestilence in the settlement agreement with the applicant. The motion to withdraw protest passed, 5-3.
The commission again heard information regarding an application for a Class D Tavern License by Skillzone, a private play club for parents and their children aged six and under located at 709 Eighth St. SE. The applicant wants to be able to serve wine and beer at private functions.
Last month the ANC had agreed that a private club license would be better suited to the uses of the applicant. Jayaraman appeared at a fact-finding meeting before ABRA to put forward these arguments. ABRA disagreed, saying a private club license would allow the applicant to conduct a greater range of activity by right.
Loots said the ANC’s concern was that the tavern license could remain with the lease rather than the applicant. He said that the ANC, with the full support of the applicant, had drafted a settlement agreement imposing restrictions on how the alcohol could be served: food must be served off-site; sales limited to pre-packaged single-servings of wine and beer; no table service; a limited service area; and a food waste trash clause relating to infestation concerns.
Loots put forward a motion in support of the application and agreed to a stipulated license. The motion passed unanimously.
The treasurer’s report was approved unanimously, as was the ANC budget for fiscal year 2018.
Other ANC Concerns
Aimee Grace (6B07) proposed a letter of support in absentia in support of an application for a Public Art Building Communities (PABC) Grant from the District Commission on the Arts and Humanities to paint a mural on Building 717 in Potomac Gardens. The mural would be approximately 34 feet wide and 32 feet high. Permission has been obtained from the District Housing Authority (DCHA), which is required together with ANC approval, before the grant application is reviewed. The artist, Marlene Soto, also known as Moss, presented on the project, which she will direct and execute together with resident children, who will also execute works in the playground area.
The ANC questioned the artist about design elements. Soto said the theme was “Embracing community” and will include representations of diversity and hope. The letter in support of the grant application was endorsed unanimously.
The ANC approved unanimously the hiring of Barbara Fundy as executive director of administrative services for ANC 6B. Jayaraman said that Fundy had been providing services to the commission over the past few months and had demonstrated her competence.
Meetings of ANC 6B take place on the second Tuesday of the month at the Hill Center at Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. The next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tues., Nov. 14.