ANC Hears Developer’s Progress Report on Community Benefits

ANC 6B Report - May 2019

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ANC 6B heard a presentation from Sarah Davidson, a partner with Insight Property Group, the developers of The Lockwood, a 145-unit apartment complex nearing completion at 1339 E St. SE. Davidson provided an update on the community benefits agreed to in the 2016 agreement with the ANC.

Together with Ditto Residential, developers of Watkins Alley (1309-1323 E St. SE) and May Riegler, developers of The Blackbird (1401 Pennsylvania Ave. SE), Insight is working to improve the grounds of the Potomac Metro Station Plaza (700 14 St. SE). Phase I of the improvements will include landscaping and planting on the south side of the plaza, from the escalator entry to Potomac Avenue SE. The developers want to view Phase I as a building block for a complete overhaul of the plaza, and announced a meeting on May 22 to build community support for the idea, as well as collect feedback on differing visions for redevelopment.

As part of the community benefits agreement, Insight entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Capitol Hill Village (CHV), the organization created to serve the aging population on the Hill, to provide a dedicated townhouse to them, rent-free in perpetuity. The 1600 square foot space will include both office and event spaces. A 20-year lease agreement, the maximum permitted legally, has been entered into. Davidson said Insight is working to design and develop the space, and that CHV is expected to take possession of the townhouse as of July 1.

Finally, Davidson said that Insight would work to develop the public space at 13th and E Streets SE near the site of Peterbug Shoe Repair (502 13th St. SE) formally known as Lady Bird Johnson Park. She said concepts developed for the space, in consultation with Mr. John ‘Peterbug’ Matthews, include a community garden, a dog park or a passive green space with seating. Surveying work has been completed, and future community engagement is planned. Davidson said that further progress will require a financial commitment from the District, and that conversation is being pursued.

Free Lead Testing from DC Water
A representative of DC Water spoke at the request of the ANC in regard to testing water for lead. The representative said that free test kits are available from DC Water, which would mail test bottles and instructions to homeowners, returning information four-six weeks after samples are returned.

The representative said that DC Water would help residents to identify sources of any lead detected. DC Water will work to replace lead pipes in public space, but pipes in private space are the responsibility of the homeowner, he said. On average, replacement on private property costs $720 to bore a hole for a pipe through a home’s basement wall, plus $120 per foot of new copper pipe from the home to the property line. The representative pointed out that under the terms of a DC Council bill passed last year, homeowners can receive financial assistance for replacement. If DC Water is replacing the water main in the public space, they will also replace pipes on private property.

For more information, call Customer Service at 202-354-3600 or email lead@dcwater.com. To get a free lead test, call 202-612-3440 or email leadtest@dcwater.com.

Alcohol License Renewal Applications
The Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Committee heard from applicants renewing their food service liquor licenses at a meeting on May 9. These were placed on the consent agenda and supported by the full ANC. The full commission heard separately from applicants who did not attend the ABC meeting on May 14.

There was discussion about the renewal of licenses for three restaurants owned by the Mendelsohn Hospitality Group, including Santa Rosa Taqueria (313-315 Pennsylvania Ave. SE), We, The Pizza (305 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) and Good Stuff Eatery (303 Pennsylvania Ave. SE). The discussion focused on trash disposal and rodent abatement. Hearing that Mendelsohn had hired someone specifically to monitor the trash situation and encourage ongoing communication with neighbors, the commission supported the three applications 6-0-4.

Neighbors asked that the new owners of Ted’s Bulletin (505 Eighth St. SE), who acquired the business 18 months ago, adhere to the terms of the Settlement Agreement, including trash management, that delivery trucks park in the rear alley at specified times, and issues related to cleanliness. The applicant and the commission agreed to defer the license hearing date from May 29 to June 17 in order to provide time for the issues to be addressed.

In addition, the commission supported applications with no changes to existing Settlement Agreements (SA) for the following:

  • Talay Thai Restaurant (406 First St. SE)
  • Hunan Dynasty (215 Pennsylvania Ave. SE)

The commission voted to protest liquor license renewal applications in cases where the applicant did not appear before either the ABC Committee or the full commission, noting that a letter had been sent in February reminding applicants to review agreements and that they were expected to appear at meetings.

Chair Chander Jayaraman (6B08) noted that protests are necessary due to the format of the application process conducted by the Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA). According to that process, if one party does not agree to a SA, the agreement is set aside and the application process moves forward without it and without further discussion, unless a protest has been filed.

The commission therefore voted to protest applications from:

  • Radici (301 Seventh St. SE)
  • La Plaza Mexican Restaurant (620 Pennsylvania Ave. SE)
  • La Lomita (1330 Pennsylvania Ave. SE)
  • Medium Rare Barracks Row (515 Eighth St. SE)
  • Matchbox Capitol Hill (521 Eighth St. SE).

In Other Matters
The commission voted to support:

  • A Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) Application for 302 South Carolina Ave. SE, requesting a special exception for a two-story rear addition to an existing dwelling. A Historic Preservation Application (HPA) for the property was heard by the ANC in January. Noting letters of support from 23 neighbors, the application was supported unanimously.
  • An HPA for a three-story addition at 717 Sixth St. SE. The addition will add 10 feet to the rear of the building, but because of the unique geography of the building, will add no height. The addition is not visible from public right of way, and there is an easement in the back functioning as an alley.
  • An HPA for a lot known as rear 203 Third St. SE, in the alley behind Capitol Lounge (229 Pennsylvania Ave. SE), for a concept design for a one-floor addition to a garage. A BZA application will also come before the ANC in the future. Neighbors expressed concern that because the area was zoned as mixed-use, the building could be used as a short-term rental or commercial space. There were also concerns about privacy. Urging the applicant to work to assure neighbors about future use and to address privacy with screening, the application was supported 8-0, with one abstention.
  • A letter proposed by Commissioner Denise Krepp (6B10) to DC Council noting that the ANC opposes any future legislation exempting some types of correspondence from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B held the May meeting of the full commission at the Hill Center Tuesday, May 14. On the dais: Jennifer Samolyk (6B01), Gerald Sroufe (6B02, Secretary), Brian Ready (6B03, Parliamentarian), Kirsten Oldenburg (6B04), Steve Holtzman (6B05), Corey Holman (6B06, Treasurer), Kelly Waud (6B07), Chander Jayaraman (6B08, Chair), Kasie Clark (6B09, Vice Chair) and Denise Krepp (6B10).

The next meeting of ANC 6B will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 11 at the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE). Visit anc6b.org for more info, email 6b@anc.dc.gov or find @ANC6B on Twitter.