ANC 6D Report – November 2018

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The November meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6D convened Monday, Nov. 19 with six of seven commissioners in attendance: Gail Fast (6D01, Secretary), Ronald Collins (6D03, Treasurer), Andy Litsky (6D04, Vice-Chair), Roger Moffat (6D05), Rhonda N. Hamilton (6D06) and Meredith Fascett (6D07, Chair). Commissioner Cara Shockley (6D02) was absent.

Amidon Park Environmental Restoration
A representative from the Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE) briefed commissioners on the environmental restoration at Amidon Park (741 Fourth St. SW). The work involves subsoiling the land, a deep-tilling process intended to increase infiltration of stormwater runoff and enhance vegetation on about 1.2 acres of athletic field. A kick-off meeting will take place in room E200 at DCRA (1100 Fourth St. SW) 6 p.m. Thursday Dec. 6. More info at https://doee.dc.gov/node/1321676

Lighting Near Randall Park School
President of Capitol Park IV Condominium Board of Directors Robert Hall requested the ANC send a letter of support for their request to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) for increased lighting near the short-term family shelter under construction at 700 Delaware Ave. SW, near Randall School. The letter to DDOT requests increased street lighting around the area, saying that while the shelter site is well lit, the sidewalks in the area are not. Lighting would help ensure the security of everyone who lives in the area, Hall said, particularly as the Randall School is currently vacant. A letter of support was endorsed unanimously.

Alcohol and Beverage Committee
Alcohol and Beverage Committee Chair Coralie Farlee presented an application from Veritas Law on behalf of the Buzzard Point Fish House (2100 Second St. SW) in the old Coast Guard Building for a restaurant license with three summer gardens, live entertainment, dancing and cover charge for up to 700 seats. The committee recommended the ANC protest the application on all ground of noise, vehicular and pedestrian safety, noting that they would prefer the applicant withdraw the application until their plans were more developed. Calling it a “big old bar on the water,” Litsky said the establishment had the potential to recreate Buzzard Point. The ANC voted unanimously to protest the application and write a letter to the building owner outlining their concerns and asking him to delay application by 18 months.

Development, Planning and Transportation Committee
Representatives from Donohoe Development appeared to discuss the plans for the Cambria Hotel planned for 69 Q St. SW. The 154-room hotel will have limited services, including a restaurant, gym, and a small amount of meeting space and is geared to business travel with some leisure and family travel expected on weekends. Donahoe will offer a training program at the SW Family Enhancement Center to give residents information on how to be hired for hospitality positions, and bring a computer lab to the neighborhood. An updated traffic study was submitted to the ANC. Donohoe intends to move the curb 4 feet in which would expand the street to 34 feet and allow for 3 loading spaces in front of the hotel and a parking lane. An inclined loading dock should allow delivery trucks to pull out of the 16-foot rear alley. The hotel has arranged for valets to park guest vehicles at four Colonial Parking locations in the area. A motion for support of the project with stipulations, including: a construction management plan provided prior to final zoning order issued to ANC; a signed neighbor agreement by Nov. 26; a dust management plan developed with the projects at 1530 and 1550 Half St. SW 60 days before the project starts; and a traffic team to address and manage issues related to traffic and parking for at least six months subsequent to opening. The project design was supported 5-0-1.

The ANC heard a Public Space Committee (PSC) Application for 200-199 L’Enfant Promenade, a built structure stretching from Banneker Park to Independence Avenue SW, formerly the site of a fountain garden. DDOT has structural concerns preventing reanimation of the fountains, which have been inactive for decades. The SWBID, together with the Spy Museum and JBG Smith are looking to make improvements to the area, as the opening of the Wharf last year and of the Spy Museum (955 L’Enfant Plaza SW) in Spring of 2019 bring increased traffic. Improvements to the promenade north of the Spy Museum will include temporary planters and seating; seating and umbrellas will be placed at Maryland Avenue, where the view opens to the Capitol. To the south, lawn panels will be replaced with draught-resistant plants in a cool pallet as well as movable tables and chairs. SWBID will maintain the planters. The ANC unanimously voted to send a letter of support.

DC United Modification After Fact
DC United appeared to ask the ANC to support a zoning modification, a small change to the exterior of Audi Stadium above the retail space at the club level. A perforated metal screening was supposed to screen mechanical equipment, but has proven insufficient so a black rubber covering expected to last 10-12 years was installed. The Zoning Commission directed the club to seek approval from the ANC. The ANC voted to send a letter of support for the modification with the condition that there would be no additional words, images, imprinting or signage included at any point, and noting the failure of DC United to meet the commitments in the Community Benefit Agreements. The letter passed 5-1-0.

Yards Parcels
Forest City made introductory presentations on two designs for buildings in the concept stage. The first was a 300,000 square foot office building at 1275 New Jersey Ave. SE, on Parcel G at the intersection of N and New Jersey Avenue SE. The brick building design is 130 feet high at New Jersey Avenue and Quander Street, stepping down to a 110-foot nine-story office podium above a two-story pavilion near 1 ½ Street SE to the south. A seven-story ‘urban window’ at New Jersey and N allows a terrace at level ten for office tenants above and at level three below. Chemonics Development has expressed interest in the building, providing the impetus to move forward. A design review application is anticipated to go before zoning in early December.

Brian Pilot at Studio Architecture presented preliminary designs for the second design, a Living Classrooms headquarters building planned for the Riverwalk in front of the Navy Yard power plant. The site is 60 feet from the marina where the education and job training non-profit docks a vessel with education laboratories. The proposed size is 20,000 square feet in three floors with classrooms on the second and third floors and marine support facilities and retail on the ground-floor. The project is expected to go before zoning for design review and allowed uses in early 2019.

The ANC also voted to

  • support an application for restaurant license with summer garden from Hotoba (300 Tingey St. SE), total occupancy 155, with the condition that the sidewalk café line up with the others on the street.
  • nominate ABC Chair Coralee Fairlee as an At-Large member of the ABC Committee.
  • endorse a letter to DC Council requesting the formal naming of the open space where New Jersey, N Street and Tingey St SE intersect near the DC Water’s Main Pumping Station, as Tingey Square;
  • oppose a Public Space Application from Roti (1251 First St. SW) to extend their sidewalk café in order to add another table, as it would reduce the sidewalk clearance to less than 10 feet;
  • oppose a PSC Application from of Walters Restaurant (1221 Van St. SW) as submitted, asking to add a 20-seat enclosed sidewalk café on the M Street side of the restaurant, as it lacks measurements indicating sidewalk clearance;
  • endorse a letter to DC Council Chair Phil Mendelson endorsing the designation of the 200 block of E Street SW as Hidden Figures Way to honor the contribution of a group of African American women to space exploration;
  • endorse unanimously a letter thanking Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton for a meeting she held Nov. 13 to discuss reports of vibration issues involving CSX trains traveling through the Virginia Avenue Tunnel, in which she expressed a desire to compel CSX to do a 6-month vibration monitoring review, specifically asking that such a study follow the recommendations outlined in the January 2018 DDOT report.

The next meeting of ANC 6D takes place 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10 at 1100 Fourth St. SW. Learn more at www.ANC6D.org or by emailing office@anc6D.org.

Correction: This report has been updated to include the correct spelling of the name of Dr. Coralie Farlee, the Chair of the ABC Committee, and to clarify details of that section of the report. The Hill Rag regrets the errors.