No More After hours Construction

ANC 6D Report

563

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6D met on Dec. 9. Commissioners Gail Fast (6D01, Chair), Ronald Collins (6D03, Treasurer), Andy Litsky (6D04, Vice Chair), Edward Daniels (6D07), Anna Forgie (6D02), Fredrica D. Kramer (6D05) and Rhonda N. Hamilton (6D06, Secretary) attended.

No More After hours Construction
HITT construction briefed the commission on their project at 250 M St. SE, future location of the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) headquarters. Currently, they are pouring the sixth floor and framing the seventh. The building will “top out” in mid-February. Completion is projected for 2021. Currently, construction hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. HITT requested the flexibility to schedule after hours construction.

Commissioners greeted HITT’s request for after hours construction permission with frank incredulity. Commissioner Daniels accused the company of abusing the permission that he granted in an earlier letter authorizing after hours operations.

Daniels enumerated the complaints the commission had received from residents of the neighboring Harlow apartments at 1100 Second Pl. SE. Construction operations had frequently been conducted at 3 a.m. HITT installed a massive floodlight on its crane that was left lit throughout the night. More than a dozen angry residents testified that HITT consistently operated late into the evening.

Chair Fast stated on behalf of the entire commissioner that henceforth there was a moratorium on after hours work at 1100 Second Pl. SE. “Please don’t force our hand,” she stated pointedly.

“No to Why Hotel”
Akridge requested the commission to support a “modification of consequence” for its River Point development at 2100 Second St. SW. River Point is a nine-story, waterfront apartment complex comprising 485 apartments. The modification would change the permitted usage of the property to allow for a temporary hotel during its lease-up phase. Akridge has partnered with Why Hotel for the “pop-up” accommodation, which would be limited to the 24 months.

The commissioners greeted Ackridge’s request with open hostility. They faulted the matter-of-right project for containing very little affordable housing. “You’ve got the largest market rate building on Buzzard Point with 485 units of which only eight are affordable. They also chastised Akridge for backing off its commitment to neighborhood serving retail on the project’s ground floor.

“This (request) is fairly outrageous,” stated Vice Chair Litsky. The commission voted with one abstention to oppose Ackridge’s request and authorized Chair Fast to testify.

Wharf Growing Pains+
Representatives of The Wharf briefed the commission on the recent closure of District Bike & Hardware, Velo Café, DC Row and ANCHOR. The development scales retail rents to expected revenues, they stated. Despite these concessions, the four had not been able to survive. Eight new tenants, including Orange Theory, are slated to open in January. Commissioners reminded them of the promises made by The Wharf to place neighborhood serving retail on Maine Avenue SW made during the project’s zoning hearings.

Turning to the subject of congestion, commissioners chastened Wharf representatives for snarled traffic created by the annual Parade of the Lighted Boats on Dec. 7. The traffic on Ninth Street SW, stated Chair Fast, backed up beyond the northern entrance to the Ninth Street Tunnel. Commissioners castigated Wharf representatives for their “mismanagement” of event traffic in general.

The Traffic Control Officers (TCO) hired to control the intersection at Seventh and Maine Streets SW had remained in their vehicle, Wharf representatives stated. Complaints have been registered with DDOT, their employer. Commissioners pressed The Wharf to do better event planning in future and also to petition DDOT for more traffic resources.

Free Lead Pipe Replacement
Representatives of DC Water presented commissioners with the details of the agency’s plans for lead pipe replacement. Watermains have no lead in them, they stated. The service pipes that connect private houses to them, however, can be made of lead.

The agency is responsible for replacing any lead pipe in public space. It will also replace the lead pipe on private property if the watermain itself is being renovated; or in the event of watermain leaks, representatives stated.

The Lead Pipe Replacement Assistance Program (LPRAP) provides financial assistance to help homeowners with the cost of replacing the pipes on their property. For more information, visit www.dcwater.com/voluntary-replacements.

Other Matters
Representatives of PN Hoffman, developers of Waterfront Station II, the 59,000-square-foot lot at 1000 Fourth Street SW, informed the commission that they would be closing the sidewalk just north of the CVS for three to five days in January to dig test pits.

Metropolitan Police (MPD) First District officers briefed the commission. Overall crime rates remained unchanged last month due in large part to the Fall Crime Initiative, they stated. The only exception had been an increase in theft from automobiles around Nationals Stadium. One homicide on the 200 block of L Street SW also remains unsolved. The MPD gun recovery unit arrested three felons with guns. In addition, a new First District “intelligence unit” has been organized to help better allocate police resources. Commissioners asked officers about an affray among juveniles that occurred on Dec. 8 at the Waterfront Metro. One teen suffered minor lacerations, officers stated.

The DC Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (ONSE) briefed the commission on their agency’s work. As part of the Fall Crime Initiative, (ONSE) deployed violence interrupters to the area around James Creek and Syphax Gardens Public Housing complexes. Taking a public health approach to violence, they identify the instigators of violence and try to change their behavior. In particular, interrupters mediate disputes and broker peace agreements. More information about their work can be found at onse.dc.gov.

Dr. Coralee Farley resigned her position as chair of the commission’s ABC Committee.

A motion to ban flavored tobacco vape cartridges failed with two in favor, three opposed and two abstentions.

The commissioner unanimously resolved to:

  • support both permanent and stipulated tavern licenses with entertainment endorsements as well as a community agreement for Albi/Maxwell, a 160-seat establishment located at 1340 Fourth St. SW;
  • file a protest against Chopsmith’s application for a liquor license at 11 District Sq. SW on the basis of peace, order and quiet, since no community agreement has been negotiated;
  • support the addition of two and a half floors to 80 M St. SE provided a shadow study of the impact of the building redesign on its northern neighbor, the Velocity condominium would be minimal and the developer committed to provide space for community meetings on a regular basis;
  • support a modification of the Planned Unit Development (PUD) for 300 K St. SW to reduce the amount of parking provided that a memorandum of understanding was negotiated with the residents of the nearby Waterfront Towers condominium;
  • approved 2020 meeting dates.

ANC 6D’s next meeting will be held on at 7 p.m. on Jan. 13 at 1100 Fourth St. SW. Visit www.anc6d.org/ for more information.