Drew Courtney was sworn in on Wednesday, June 12 as the new commissioner for Single Member District (SMD) 6C06. Former Commissioner Robb Dooling was compelled to step down because he had purchased a home outside the bounds of his SMD, a decision he called ‘bittersweet’ when he made the announcement at the April 10th meeting of the Commission.
ANC 6C06 lies between North Capitol and Eighth Streets NE, roughly bordered by New York and Florida Avenues to the north and by H and K Streets NE to the south.
Courtney is a former chair of the ANC 6C Alcoholic Beverage Licensing (ABL) Committee. He said he is learning the ropes of his office, but will focus on making his SMD safer, stronger and more equitable. Courtney has a background in progressive advocacy and lives near Fifth and M Streets NE with his husband and their dog, Renley. He has not yet been issued a government email address, but can be reached at DrewCourtneyANC@gmail.com
Maryland Avenue Project Begins
District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Project Manager Mohamed Dahir briefed the commission on the Maryland Avenue Project. The project provides safety improvements between Second and 14th Streets NE. The plans include the addition of bike lanes, green space, trees and lighting, additional left-turn lanes and bike crossings.
Dahir said the project began June 10 and is expected to be completed by June 9, 2021.
Washington Gas will be simultaneously replacing pipes in the area. Work on that project began in late 2018 and is expected to conclude in December of 2020. Dahir said that the two teams would begin work on opposite ends of the project area, with DDOT starting at 14th Street and Washington Gas starting at Second St. However, for the next two years Maryland Avenue will be subject to modifications to traffic configurations, lane closures and parking restrictions. He said DDOT will provide 72-hour advance notice of changes.
DDOT has organized weekly project meetings as well as a project website to communicate with residents. A construction management team will be on-site 24-7. Learn more about the project at marylandavesafety.org
The commission voted 5-1 to protest the concept design for a Historic Preservation Application (HPA) including a third-story addition and one-story rooftop addition at 429 Fifth St. NE. The commission objected to the differing material used on the front of the design, and noted that 26 neighbors objected to the size of the renovation, arguing that it was not in keeping with the character of the neighborhood.
Commissioners voted 5-0-1 to write a letter to the Zoning Commission requesting a delay in the hearing until July 15 for a proposed Modification of Consequence to a Planned Unit Development (PUD) at 501 H St. NE. The applicant wishes to add windows and convert the second-floor retail space to office space. The letter will be held pending agreement between the applicant and the ANC on various issues, including modifications to terms regarding incentives for parking. The applicant said they could not commit to finding 12 off-site parking spaces, but were willing to provide bikeshare and public transportation incentives.
The Commission voted to support the following on the consent calendar:
- An application to the Zoning Commission for a waiver of the 35-day waiting period for a proposed modification to a PUD at Capitol Crossing (Third Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW). The PUD has not yet been filed, but the Notice of Intent has been served, and the ANC will consider the PUD in depth at a future meeting
- A Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) application seeking relief for lot occupancy. The application had been considered in May, but the relief not sought
- A BZA application for lot occupancy for a two-story rear addition at 633 Seventh St. NE, contingent upon the receipt of revised drawings illustrating the correct wall thicknesses
- An Historic Preservation Application (HPA) for concept for renovations to the Folger Shakespeare Library (202 East Capitol St.). A related Public Space Application was heard by ANC 6C in March. Support for the HPA came with notes on reservations about the potential of raised benches to obstruct the historic entrance, as well as concerns about the design of the walkway leading to a raised terrace
- A Public Space Application for construction on a new hotel at 35 New York Ave. NE owned by the Berlin-based Meiningerhotel group. The 154-room hotel is part of the three-star rated brand directed at families. The application includes entry on New York Avenue and N Street, and reduces total curb cuts for the property by including only one on N Street for a double loading berth.
All six members of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C were present at the June 12 meeting: Christine Healey (Secretary, 6C01), Karen Wirt (Chair, 6C02), Jay Adelstein (6C03), Mark Eckenwiler (Vice-Chair, 6C04), Joel Kelty (6C05, Treasurer) and Drew Courtney (6C06).
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 meeting of ANC 6C will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 10. Learn more at anc6c.org.