Commission Hears Opposition to Fifth Street Addition

ANC 6C Report - April 2019

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Naomi Mitchell, community liaison for Councilmember Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), smiles as Commissioner Robb Dooling admires a sample ballot listing him as candidate for 6C06 in last November’s election. Mitchell presented the token to Dooling after the April meeting of ANC 6C, during which Dooling announced that he would be stepping down as of April 12.

All six members of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C were present at the April 13 meeting: Christine Healey (6C01, secretary), Karen Wirt (6C02, chair), Jay Adelstein (6C03), Mark Eckenwiler (6C04, vice chair), Joel Kelty (6C05, treasurer) and Robb Dooling (6C06).

Commission Hears Opposition to Fifth Street Addition
The commission heard a historic preservation application (HPA) for the concept design for a three-story rear-addition at 429 Fifth St. NE. The commission moved the case from the consent calendar, where the application was opposed by the commission, to the general agenda in order to hear from constituents at the meeting. Planning, Zoning and Economic (PZ&E) Development Committee Chair Mark Eckenwiler said that the commission was still dissatisfied with the quality of the application and would oppose the application unless the applicant delayed their appearance before the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB). Residents expressed concern about a lack of air and light, possible structural damage to their homes during construction and dissatisfaction with the appearance of the proposed addition. The application was opposed unanimously.

Commissioner Dooling Announces Resignation
Dooling announced at the meeting that he would be stepping down, effective April 12. He was compelled to step down because he had purchased a home outside the bounds of his single-member district, where he had been a renter for five years. Calling the announcement bittersweet, Dooling said that he had been searching for a home within his district for nearly a year, finally finding one a few blocks outside its boundaries.

“I am disappointed that my best efforts to remain in 6C06 failed, but I am enthusiastic to remain an advocate for housing everywhere as a human right,” Dooling said. He praised the commissioners as outstanding public servants and role models, and thanked the neighborhood for what he called “the best five years of my life so far.”

Dooling was sworn in January 2019. An election will be held if more than one candidate announces a run for the office.

Other Matters
The commission voted on several items on the consent calendar. It supported liquor license renewals for the following, with settlement agreements where applicable:

  • The 116 Club (234 Third St. NE)
  • Le Grenier (502 H St. NE)
  • Ethiopic Restaurant (401 H St. NE)
  • Charlie Palmer Steak (101 Constitution Ave. NE)
  • Red River Grill/Union Pub (201 Massachusetts Ave. NE). The applicant offered to amend the Saturday hours for the sidewalk cafe from 2:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

The commission supported a public space application to do work on sidewalks, streetscape and a utility trench at the Washington Gateway, a new development at 200 Florida Ave. NE.

It supported a District Department of Transportation (DDOT) notice of intent to install an all-way stop sign at Third and A streets NE.

It supported a Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) application for special exception for a rear addition at 639 Lexington Pl. NE.

It opposed a BZA application for special exception for a two-story addition at 1120 Abbey Pl. NE, noting concerns about the application and the lack of a roof plan. The applicant had filed for expedited review, and the ANC would submit a letter stating issues and asking that the applicant attend a hearing.

The commission also voted to:

  • File an appeal to BZA in regard to a construction permit at 120 Seventh St. NE, noting two potential zoning issues in drawings for Verizon’s work at the site and arguing that there are two separate failures to comply with the so-called penthouse regulations.
  • Support testimony for the Transportation and Public Space Committee at the DDOT budget oversight hearing, calling for increased funding for public space, Vision Zero research and data collection, protected bike lanes, improvements along K Street and a park at West Virginia Avenue between Eighth and K streets NE, where the street is closed.
  • Approve a $4,000 grant to One Tent Health, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization offering free and confidential screening for HIV. Funds will be used to acquire new laptops and to purchase rain tent covers, expanding the ability to work in inclement weather and to store and analyze data. The tent is usually set up outside the H Street CVS but also outside other buildings. After Adelstein expressed a desire that the group conform to rules governing use of public space, the application was unanimously supported.
  • Support both the historic preservation application (HPA) and BZA application for a three-story rear addition requiring special exception to the lot occupancy requirements at 414 Constitution Ave. NE. Architect Jennifer Fowler appeared with updated plans to clarify and address concerns previously expressed. Noting that one neighbor supported the exception for lot occupancy, and that there did not seem to be significant impact, the commissioners supported both applications unanimously.

 

ANC 6C meets at 7 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 will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8. Learn more at www.anc6c.org.