The regularly scheduled meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C was held at the Heritage Foundation (214 Massachusetts Ave. NE) on Wednesday, June 13.
The quorum: Christine Healey (Secretary, 6C01), Karen Wirt (Chair, 6C02), Scott Price (Treasurer, 6C03), Mark Eckenwiler (6C04), Heather Edelman (6C06). Chris Miller (Vice-Chair, 6C05) was absent.
Rescheduled Meeting of Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee (PZE)
PZE Chair Mark Eckenwiler (6C04) announced that because the first Wednesday in July, the regular meeting day for the committee, will fall on the July 4th holiday the PZE committee will instead meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 5th at the Northeast Library (330 7th St. NE).
Historic Preservation Application (HPA) 637 E St. NE
Applicant sought concept approval for a new basement entry. This would require cutting through what Eckenwiler called ‘historic granite’ to create an at-grade entrance. The PZE Committee unanimously opposed the application with one abstention.
Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) Public Space Application
DOEE seeks approval to construct a bench outside their office building at 1200 First St. NE in memory of Elizabeth Brown, who died in March of this year. It honors her work to restore the District watershed. The bench will be wood and placed under a birch tree, the type of tree she planted frequently as part of her work. The Transportation and Public Space (TPS) Committee unanimously approved the application.
Liaison Hotel (415 New Jersey Ave. NW) Construction Application
Liaison Hotel seeks a public space construction permit. Part of a larger redesign of the hotel, the only public space element is the relocation of the main entrance and the installation of a vestibule for climate control and traffic flow purposes. The TPS Committee unanimously endorsed the application.
Fancy Radish (600 H St. NE) Extension to Closing Hours
The restaurant seeks to extend their closing hours, applicable to the interior but not exterior space. They are currently open daily from 8 a.m. until 12 a.m.; they wish to close at 1 a.m. The TPS Committee endorsed the application unanimously with one abstention.
Alcohol Beverage Licensing (ABL) Committee
The ABL Committee announced that it had received complaints about noise and trash issues at Union Kitchen Grocery (538 Third St. NE). A neighbor testified about loud music and shouting employees on the premise and to say that the trash can lids were not secured. He said that there had been rodents in his home over the last year, but none in the previous 19 years. The neighbor was looking for an avenue to make the owner work with him on the issues.
The TPS Committee asked the ANC to issue a written notice advising the establishment that they were in violation of the settlement agreement they had signed with the ANC. Eckenwiler advised that the ANC write the letter in regard to trash issues, because there was objective evidence on that matter. The recommendation was unanimously endorsed.
Transportation and Public Space (TPS) Committee
Union Market Streetscape Guidelines
District Department of Transportation (DDOT) representative Jonathon Rogers presented at the TPS Committee meeting on Union Market Streetscape Guidelines published in October 2017. The guidelines were apparently a condition of a Planned Unit Development (PUD) process in the area to provide direction as Union Market continues development, transitioning from a commercial area to mixed-use activities. The study was apparently paid for by Eden, a developer, but done under the direction of DDOT.
Chair Josh Lindon said the committee was concerned that the study was done without public outreach, ANC or neighborhood input. They were also concerned, he said, that there was a lack of attention to existing unsafe conditions in the area, such as a lack of lane markings and street signs, crumbling sidewalks and absent cross walks.
Rogers said the study focused solely on the public space element from curb to property lines, not including roadways or traffic operations in roadways. He said the plan had two unique features. First, it includes a larger ‘flex zone’ than anywhere else in DC. These areas could incorporate trees, benches, even sidewalk cafes. It also had a curbless section for the block of Fourth Street between Morse St and Neal Pl NE. For that block there would be no raised curb, but a gradual decline to the roadway.
The committee expressed concern with the guidelines, which show traffic patterns in the street, include parking and do not including a planned protected bike lane on Fourth Street. But Rogers said the plans were agnostic towards traffic and were only for illustrative purposes and that they could be modified in the future.
The TPS Committee asked the ANC to request DDOT do an interim pedestrian safety evaluation for areas not affected by existing development in the Union Market neighborhood. After an amendment was made to express displeasure at what Eckenwiler called the “egregious process foul of not engaging with us” [ANC 6C], the motion was unanimously passed.
NoMa/Mt. Vernon Triangle Bicycle Study
The NoMa Bicycle study is considering two corridors, one along K Street NW and another along N Street NW, both beginning at Sixth Street NW and moving eastward. DDOT’s Bicycle Program Specialist Mike Goodno said that DDOT had considered shutting one portal under the K Street bridge to assess the impact on traffic of a potential bike lane. The committee reminded Goodno that construction at K and Second Streets already blocked one lane and expressed hope that DDOT would wait until construction was complete before conducting the assessment.
The TPS Committee generally supported both options and voiced safety concerns on both routes. They recommended both corridors be developed, saying that each served different areas. The motion was supported unanimously.
Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee
An HPA Application for 212 A St. NE that proposed new rear and side additions was presented. The application includes the demolition of a garage to build a new second floor carriage house. A similar application was heard in February for 214 A St. NE, which was supported by the ANC and approved by the Historic Preservation Board. The application was supported unanimously, with the recommendation that a gate at the top of a stairway leading down to the basement entry be illustrated in the plans.
Parks and Events Committee
The M Street underpass south side lighting is complete. The North side is pending. Estimated completion is fall 2018.
L Street underpass lighting was delayed because Amtrak wanted to review installation. The 30-day review period expires in June. Expected project completion is now sometime in 2018.
Delays in Swampadoodle Park construction are because DDOT called a temporary halt, as there was too much work in the area already (DC Water and condominiums to the west). The Parks Foundation is also working with the contractor to ensure proper grading and finish which is part of the delay. Completion is still expected this summer.
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, July 11. As there are no ANC meetings during August, this will be the last meeting of the full commission until September 12. Learn more at anc6c.org.