Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6D met on Jan. 23. Commissioners Gail Fast (6D01), Anna Forgie (6D02), Ronald Collins (6D03), Andy Litsky (6D04) and Anthony Dale (6D05), Rhonda N. Hamilton (6D06) and Edward Daniels (6D07) were on the dais. Commissioner Litsky presided.
The commission elected a new slate of officers unanimously. Fast was elected chair. Collins was returned as treasurer. Litsky was again elected vice chair. Hamilton was confirmed as secretary. Commissioners also named the SMD and At-Large representatives for the Alcohol & Beverage Subcommittee chaired by Dr. Coralee Farley.
Appletree PCS Relocation Riles
Project Director David Roberts of PN Hoffman made a second presentation of its plans for 1000 Fourth St. SW, which is one of the three last parcels of the Waterfront Planned Unit Development (Waterfront PUD) remaining to be built. Roberts asked the commission to support the project’s PUD application, which will be under consideration by the DC Zoning Commission on Jan. 31 for approval of its second stage PUD.
The developer has agreed to:
- allocate 1200 square feet for a neighborhood diner;
- incorporate a 9,000 square foot black box theater based on a public Request for Proposals (RFP);
- incorporate safe measures recommended by First District Commander Morgan Kane in the design of the adjacent playground created for its tenant Appletree Public Charter school and available to the public during non-school hours;
- forbid parking in the private drive located on the property’s northern edge to allow it to be used for pickup/drop-off for Appletree students and evening theatergoers;
- provide the commission with a detailed construction traffic management plan that coordinates with neighboring projects that minimizes the project’s impact on curbside parking.
Commissioner Daniels, who has arts experience, offered to help with the RPF for the black box theater.
Commissioner Dale, whose single member district includes the project, was generally supportive. However, he stressed the need to have it incorporate family-sized apartments. He also raise concerns about impact of the project’s addition of a pubic charter school on the enrollment at neighboring Amidon-Bowen Elementary School.
Dale’s concern was echoed by the President of the Amidon-Bowen Parent Teacher Association (PTO), who expressed her fear that Appletree would draw off in-boundary students from Amidon’s lower grades. According to the developer, 42 percent of Appletree’s current students are residents of Southwest quadrant with another 33 percent drawn from the Southeast quadrant.
Commissioner Litsky pointed out that representatives of Appletree had not reached out to brief the commission on their plans. Under Lisky’s pointed questioning, the developer revealed that lease with Appletree has not yet been signed.
The term of Hoffman’s proposed lease with Appletree is 12 years, the developer stated. The school will house 132 students, which is only one classroom more than their current operations at the temporary trailers next to Jefferson Middle School.
“Where Appletree goes is not our concern,” stated Commissioner Fast. She urged the developer to return the space to retail usage, as was promised when the developer first bid for the deal from the District.
Commissioners led by Hamilton and Dale urged the developer to come to an understanding with the Amidon-Bowen PTO to contribute to the elementary school financially.
Several commissioners reiterated that the provision of a diner on the property was a major ANC priority.
In the end, the commission supported unanimously Dale’s motion that it approve Hoffman’s PUD with the condition that the developer sign a community benefits agreement with the Amidon-Bowen PTO. The commission also authorized Litsky to write a report on its position and testify at the upcoming zoning hearings on the deal. It also authorized Daniels to represent it in regard to solicitations for a black box theater.
Public Safety Report
MPD Captain Jonathan Dorrough briefed the commission on public safety. He started by describing the recent realignment of First District (1D) Public Service Areas. The police divided PSA 105 in half creating a new PSA 103 to cover The Wharf. The new PSA 105 now covers the remaining half of the old one.
Dorrough advised commissioners that non-emergency calls for service should now be made to 311 instead of 911. This is the reestablishment of an earlier policy that is designed to reduce call volume to 911.
Dorrough reported that the police had apprehended the perpetrator of a recent carjacking on Sixth and I Streets SW. Someone left their car running to grab something forgotten in their home. The suspect climbed into the car in the meantime and forced her to drive east of the Anacostia on her return to the vehicle.
Dorrough warned of an increasing petty theft problem, particularly involving items stolen from parked cars. He also stated that thieves were following cars into parking garages seeking valuables left in parked vehicles and access to buildings. He warned the public to remain vigilant and not leave valuables in their vehicles.
Cecelia Lane of the DC Dept. of Energy and the Environment (DOEE) briefed the commission on the agency’s plans for conserving storm water on Amidon Recreational Field. The field currently has issues with standing water, bad soil and sparse vegetation. The agency plans to deeply till the soil to a depth of between 10 and 24 inches. This will not result in a change of composition or appearance, but will de-compact the soil allowing it to more effectively absorb water. To minimize the impact on recreational users, the project is tentatively scheduled for the months of June, July or August.
The developer of 555 E Street SW gave a brief presentation on the status of the project. Set on the site of the old Southwest firehouse, the mixed use development incorporates a 252 room hotel, ground floor retail and 192 apartments. 30 percent of the rentals are set aside for seniors evenly split between 30 and 50 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). This is the first mixed income, mixed age development in the city.
In response to a notification by the DC Dept. of Transpiration (DDOT) of its intent to ban right on red turns at the intersection of Sixth and I Streets SW, Commissioner Fast stated that she was planning to object and request that such signs be installed at the intersections of Ninth Street and Maine Avenue SW, Seventh Street and Maine Avenue SW. After some discussion with other commissioners and audience members, she agreed to add M and First Streets SE and Seventh and I Streets SW to the list of recommended streets for banning right on red. The commission unanimously endorsed her letter.
- approved a resolution congratulations to Amidon-Bowen Elementary Teacher Kelly Harper as DC Teacher of the year;
- approved letters of support for Scope It Out Race 4 Respect, Marine Corp Marathon and Purple Stride races;
- supported the permit application by Fresh Farms Market for a 2019 farmers market at Canal Park;
- supported a cooperative agreement tavern license and public space applications for Walters, 1221 Van St. SE;
- approved the plans of Brookfield Development, purchaser of Forrest City, to relocate the Trapeze School to Parcel E;
- send a letter to the DC Housing Authority expressing the commission’s reservations of about any plans to privatize public housing;
ANC 6D’s next meeting will be held on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. at 1100 Fourth St. SW. Visit www.anc6d.org/ for more information.