ANC 6C Report

December 2018

137

The regularly scheduled meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C was held at the Heritage Foundation (214 Massachusetts Ave. NE) on Monday, Dec. 10, rescheduled from the regular Wednesday due to a conflict with the room.

The quorum: Christine Healey (Secretary, 6C01), Karen Wirt (Chair, 6C02), Mark Eckenwiler (6C04), Heather Edelman (6C06). Scott Price (Treasurer, 6C03) was not present.

Brief Community Announcements
Commissioner-Elect Robb Dooling (6C06) spoke about the Open Movie Captioning Requirement Act of 2018 in advance of the public hearing held the following day. The bill would require theatres with three or more screens to provide closed-caption screenings two times a week and less frequently for smaller theatres. The ANC agreed to consider sending a letter of support once they had a chance to review the legislation, as the bill will need to be reintroduced in 2019.

Consent Calendar
Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee
The Hilton Garden Inn (1225 First St. NE) applied for a license to sell from a kiosk next to the front desk for consumption in their lobby. Sale start time is 9 a.m., consistent with other license-holders in similar hotels in the area. The committee recommended the ANC support a stipulated license while filing a protest.

Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee
A Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) application was heard for 910 Sixth St. NE. The applicant seeks permission for 68.5 percent lot occupancy. As neighbors had expressed support, the committee recommended the ANC support the application.

Representatives in a Historic Preservation Application for 634 Lexington Pl. NE did not appear at the Planning, Zoning and Economic Development (PZE) Committee meeting. Concerned with deficiencies in the application, the committee recommended the ANC oppose the project in a letter to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) noting these concerns but withhold that letter if the applicant seeks postponement of the HPRB hearing to allow an opportunity for ANC review.

Transportation and Public Space Committee
Representatives appeared on behalf of a Public Space Application for The Dubliner (4 F St. NW) in regard to a planned enclosed sidewalk café. The enclosure will cover part but not all of the current patio area, allowing ample sidewalk space. The awning will be flatter than usual to retain visibility of the unique signage on the building just above the first-floor line. The committee had unanimously recommended the ANC support the application.

The consent agenda was unanimously approved.

Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee
The ANC again considered a request for a Map Amendment to rezone lots in Square 750 at the southeast corner of Second and K Streets NE originally heard in October. The lots are currently zoned for industrial use (PR) and the request is to split-zone them for mixed use as MU4 and MU5A, allowing for both commercial and residential use. At the October meeting, the ANC voted to support the application with the caveat that the applicant hold meetings with neighbors to air concerns prior to the hearing and come to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the community about how to move forward. An understanding had not been reached.

Eckenwiler said that the Zoning Commission (ZC) had not yet voted on the matter, and that the written record was open for comment until Jan. 7. He proposed the ANC write a letter recommending the area be rezoned to MU3B, a mixed-use area with a reduced zoning envelope, noting that a major resident concern was the alley beginning at Third St. NE between K and Parker Streets NE, running west before coming to a dead end at the parcel in question at Second Street.

Eckenwiler said that city agencies did not seem to be aware that when the alley was closed in 1995, a covenant to the council vote was that a ten-foot right of way must remain open for trash trucks, leaving an option for the alley to be reopened to the west, facilitating development and increasing traffic safety in the alley.

There was some discussion of which zone to recommend in the letter, with Heather Edelman (6C06) noting that residents would prefer a MU3A designation, which calls for lower density. Residents spoke on the dangers of increasing density in the block and requested that a new development not exceed the height of existing buildings. After some discussion about the merits of each, Eckenwiler’s letter was endorsed 3-0-1.

Environment, Parks and Events Committee
Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Christopher Shorter appeared at the December meeting of ANC 6C at the invitation of the Environment, Parks and Events Committee. At Chair Joe McCann’s behest, Shorter described the steps being taken by DPW towards establishing a composting program and explained the sporadic presence of public recycling bins.

Shorter said the agency is responsible for solid waste management and enforcement as well as snow and leaf removal. The agency also manages the District’s fleet and parking enforcement.

“Snow management in DC has been transformed,” he said, noting the interdependency of the commutes in the region. “We take not just snow but even ice and freezing rain very seriously in terms of traffic,” he said, adding that residents might see plows out when snow is not expected.

Shorter said that the District is in the process of planning for a compost program, both in terms of building an in-District composting facility, planned for 2021, and researching differing compost bins. Shorter said that DPW had already determined that training on composting would be part of the rollout, and that meat products would not be part of the program. In response to a query from McCann, he said that another compost drop-off point in Ward 6 would disrupt the balance of resources at a time when DPW was trying to get residents east of the river interested in composting.

Shorter said that each Business Improvement District (BID) has independent authority within their zones over the use of recycling bins. “We don’t, necessarily, as a city —and we certainly don’t as an agency—provide any resources or enforcement around that,” said Shorter, adding that there is no requirement to provide recycling bins although there is District funding to help repair and replace regular garbage bins.

Transportation and Public Space Committee
Fancy Radish restaurant (600 H St. NE) made a second Public Space Application for a sidewalk café. The applicant had withdrawn an application heard by the ANC in October that was opposed by the ANC due to elements in contravention of District Department of Transportation (DDOT) regulations. No representative of the restaurant appeared at the December committee meeting. The new application calls for four tables with an 8-person capacity.

At the December meeting, the committee had questions in regard to issues such as table spacing and voted to oppose the application. Eckenwiler proposed the ANC write a letter opposing the application, to be held if the applicant defers the hearing until January. The motion passed unanimously.

Pepco had presented to the Transportation and Public Space Committee on proposed line work slated for April 2019 at the intersection of K and Second Streets NE. The project requires road excavation and will restrict traffic to one lane in each direction.

The company requested permission to do work overnight (11 p.m. to 4:45 a.m.), arguing that they could complete the work in one week overnight rather than the two weeks required working during the day (9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.). The committee voted unanimously to write a letter to DDOT asking that the work be done in daytime hours to allow for residential sleep. The ANC unanimously supported the committee’s recommendation.

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 full meeting of ANC 6C will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, January 9, 2019. Learn more at anc6c.org.