Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B held the February meeting of the full commission at the Hill Center on Tuesday, March 10, with a quorum of 10 commissioners. On the dais: Commissioners Jennifer Samolyk (6B01), Gerald Sroufe (6B02, secretary), Brian Ready (6B03, chair), Kirsten Oldenburg (6B04), Steve Holtzman (6B05), Corey Holman (6B06, treasurer), Kelly Waud (6B07, parliamentarian), Chander Jayaraman (6B08, vice chair), Kasie Clark (6B09) and Denise Krepp (6B10).
ANC Supports Installation of Games of Skill at Trusty’s
The commissioners unanimously supported the application from Trusty’s Bar (1420 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) to install up to three Dragon’s Ascent games in the restaurant. Manager Mark Menard said the establishment hopes to install one or two now, eventually three.
Menard said these are games of skill, rather than lottery or sports betting, designed for one to eight players depending on the table size. Trusty’s is interested in a one-to-two-player table. The games are intended for adults. At first, they will be placed upstairs where the bartender a can see them and ID users.
Menard said a player puts in cash to play the game and can win cash as they play. Payouts are small, and winners obtain their money by bringing a printed receipt of winnings to the bartender for redemption. Menard said winnings are usually in the $5-10 range and will not require keeping excess cash on hand. He said the printout system was also a safeguard, as it allows another opportunity to identify users prior to payout.
Jayaraman noted there are also applications to install units at three other local establishments – Lola’s, Finn McCools and the Brig.
Presentation by DMV Director
DC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Director Gabriel Robinson appeared before the commission to discuss the upcoming deadline for all District residents to ensure that they have a Real ID. A federal deadline calls for residents of the United States to update their identification, including driver’s license and Real ID card, by Oct. 1, 2020. Robinson said that 83% of District residents are compliant, adding that he was focused on the remainder, specifically those whose expiry dates are after Oct. 1.
Robinson said that many services are available online, including license and vehicle registration renewal, change of address and ticket services. You can view the whole list at https://dmv.dc.gov/service/dmv-online-services. He said residents should not need to visit a DMV to correct errors of fact that are easily verified by the documents used to apply for identification, such as incorrectly listed eye color, but should email DMV at DMC@dc.gov.
Letter Supporting Site in Bathroom Pilot Program
The commissioners voted unanimously to support a letter proposed by Samolyk asking that the District consider using the site at Third Street and Virginia Avenue SE as one of two sites for the pilot Public Restroom Facilities Installation & Promotion Act of 2018. Funding for two public restrooms is in the 2020 budget.
Samolyk said that such an installation would help address many of the concerns she raised at the February meeting, in particular about public defecation by those living in the homeless encampment under the overpass near Garfield Park. Samolyk said she had plans to accompany Monica Merke, of the Office of the Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services (DMHHS), to meet with those residents. She and her children planned to make hand sanitizer and share it at that meeting.
The commission voted to support:
- A Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) application for special exception to construct a third story and rear addition to convert a single-family dwelling into two units and make an accessory building into a third. The variance is required due to the alley width, which must be at least 15 feet, and to the fact that the alley is 10 feet behind the property line, which projects into the alley. Commissioners also supported the request to waive a 40-day waiting period triggered by the variance request. Another exception, to the size of the accessory building, seeks a variance to the rule limiting apartments in accessory buildings to 450 square feet. Representation said that BZA rules do not require the applicant show a need for the variance, just that the difference does not impact neighbors’ light, air and privacy. Both exceptions were supported 8-1-0.
- A letter in regard to six questions about the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) Monumental Core Streetscape Project, specifically elements of streetscape and lighting related to plans underway and significant community views. The letter asks whether the plans consider the upcoming Eastern Market Metro Plaza (EMMP) park, raises concerns about guidance for the aesthetics of small cell-tower installation and inquires whether NCPC has considered the effect of lightbulb intensities on residents living on major routes.
- A letter to seven District agencies requesting information on their plans for Reservation 13, given that, of eight DC agencies asked to attend a Feb. 24 Hill East Taskforce meeting, the only representative present was from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). Among other items, the letter requests a list and map of all structures on the property as well as plans for financing the project, for affordable housing and for the fate of the DC Jail.
- A letter to Councilmember Brendan Todd, chair of the Committee on Government Operations, asking for a committee hearing on the Sexual Harassment Data Collection and Reporting Act of 2019 within the next two months.
- A letter to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) requesting that the agency send Krepp a copy of a study on the intersection of 16th Street and Independence Avenue SE that was presented at a Feb. 5 public meeting.
- A resolution asking the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to recognize the Friends of Virginia Avenue Park organization as a Park Partner.
- A resolution calling on the DC Council to fund programs addressing the needs of homeless families and individuals unable to take advantage of affordable housing programs but nonetheless requiring housing support.
- A letter to the DC Housing Authority (DCHA) asking about the authority’s plans for the Potomac Gardens complex, given that the Comprehensive Plan specifically addresses redevelopment of the site, while the DCHA’s 20-Year Transformation Plan does not. The letter asks for assurance that future plans use a build-first approach to sustain the established community.
ANC 6B has been working to update its website. You can visit the new site, learn about the commissioners and committees and subscribe to the newsletter by visiting www.anc6b.org, or connect with the commission via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or find @ANC6B on Twitter.
The next meeting of ANC 6B was scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10, at the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE).
In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the DC Council passed emergency legislation on March 17 enabling ANCs to meet virtually or not at all during the public health emergency. For the most up-to-date information on meetings, visit www.ancbc.org.