ANC 6A Report – April 2017

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Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6A Chair Phil Toomajian called the April meeting to order at Miner Elementary School (601 15th St. NE), with Commissioners Calvin Ward, Marie-Claire Brown, Patrick Malone, Stephanie Zimny, Sondra Phillips-Gilbert, and Matt Levy in attendance. Mike Soderman was absent.

The meeting opened with several community presentations.

ABRA
Sarah Fashbaugh of the Alcohol Beverage Regulatory Administration (ABRA), Public Affairs Division, reported that there is an enforcement hotline, open until 4 a.m., for complaints regarding establishments serving alcohol: 202-329-6347. She encouraged neighbors to call if they observe problems rather than waiting until the next business day.

All Class B licenses (off-premises wine and beer) will be up for renewal in October 2017. All Class A licenses (off-premises wine, beer, and spirits) will be up for renewal in March 2018. In anticipation of the license renewals, ABRA is offering resident training regarding the process, May 8, 6:30-8:30 p.m., in the ABRA offices at the Reeves Municipal Center, 2000 14th Street NW.

Fashbaugh can be reached at sarah.fashbaugh@dc.gov.

DPW
Celeste Duffie, Department of Public Works (DPW), discussed three programs. First, spring mechanical street sweeping is underway. Second, Helping Hands supports groups of residents willing to clean up a street, alley, or park. DPW will provide kits that include tools and garbage bags ($20 refundable deposit) and commit to picking up the collected trash.

Third, MuralsDC is a collaboration between the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and DPW that seeks to combat illegal graffiti. Owners of buildings with chronically tagged walls or located in areas noted for graffiti can apply for this free program. Would-be artists and interested property owners can get more information at www.muralsdcproject.com. The owners of 700 H St. NE are participating. Neighbors are invited to use the following criteria for offering their recommendations about mural content:

  • Activities or values that are important to you and the residents in your community.
  • Characteristics of your neighborhood that could be incorporated into the design.
  • Significant history that is specific and important to your community.

Send recommendations to nancee.lyons@dc.gov.

Avec H Street Update
Emily Struck and Lindsay Moses of the Rappaport Companies described Avec, at 901 H St. NE, a mixed-use project with 419 rental units and several retail spaces on the first floor. There will be 435 spaces on three levels of below-grade parking. Excavation is underway, and the building is expected to open in 2019. Community meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at Capitol Hill Towers. The next one is scheduled for May 10. See www.901hstreet.com/updates/.

Office of the Attorney General
John Carlos Green, Office of the Attorney General, introduced himself and explained that the office has the responsibility for juvenile justice, consumer protection, enforcement of affordable housing regulations, and prosecuting crimes.

Alcohol Beverage Licensing Actions
ANC 6A voted unanimously to send letters of support for settlement agreements with Dio LLC t/a Dio Wine Bar (904 H St. NE), Quara Ethiopian Fusion Restaurant (818 H St. NE), and Nomad Hookah Bar (1200 H St. NE). The commissioners unanimously approved a request for a stipulated license, which would enable Quara to open while waiting for its permanent license. The owners said they hoped to begin operations before the end of April. Nomad must enclose its outdoor space to reduce noise if it extends its hours. If the establishment incurs three valid noise complaints during any calendar year, the hours of operation for the sidewalk cafe may be reduced.

Economic Development and Zoning Actions
ANC 6A will send a letter of support to the Office of Planning (OP) for medium-density designation of 1603-1625 Benning Road in the Benning Road Corridor Redevelopment Framework Plan to be incorporated into the 2008 Comprehensive Plan update. In a related matter the ANC will send a letter of conditional support to the Office of Zoning (OZ) for a change in land-use designation, from the existing C-3-A to C-2-B, and a map amendment change to develop the property at 1603-1625 Benning Road (Case 16-22), requiring the developers and architects to continue to update the ANC and work on the pending community benefits package.

The commissioners will send a letter to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) opposing the inclusion of a two-block portion of ANC 6A in the proposed Kingman Park Historic District, but will not oppose the proposed historic district overall.

The commissioners will send a letter of support to the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) for the owners of 619 Elliot St. NE. They have applied for a special exception from lot occupancy requirements to permit the construction of a third-story addition. The addition would extend over the “dog leg” between the two lower floors and the property line. The owners of the adjacent property, 621 Elliot St. NE, object to the addition, citing interference with planned solar panels and potential damage to their own home. Several other neighbors complained of the loss of sunlight on their properties and the effect on the streetscape. However, these concerns have limited application in zoning matters. In this case the proposal is all “matter of right” except for covering the dog leg – to which the neighbors do not object.

The owners have agreed to extend brick treatment to partially cover the sides of the house and have changed the design to lower the addition by a foot and push it back five feet from the front of the house. Neighbors claim these changes, though welcomed, will not significantly address their concerns. Commissioners expressed sympathy for the neighbors but supported the application on the basis of current zoning law.

Other Business
The commissioners approved a motion, not in the agenda package, introduced by Brown to send a resolution to the Public Service Commission to grant Pepco a rate increase no larger than that advised by the Office of the People’s Counsel (OPC).

Reports & Announcements
The Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs is hosting two events in honor of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month:

  • A celebration on Monday, May 8, 7-8:30 pm., at the Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. This will include a pre-show reception, awards ceremony, and cultural performances.
  • Foodelicious Night, Wednesday, May 24, 6:30-8:30 p.m., also at the Howard Theatre. The event will feature cooking demonstrations by the chefs at Maketto, Panda Gourmet, and Sushi Taro. Reservations required, www.2017foodelicious.eventbrite.com.

Toomajian noted that security cameras on private homes have been instrumental in solving crimes, including a recent high-profile murder. Residents can be reimbursed up to $500 when they install such devices and register with the Metropolitan Police Department. He encouraged participation in the Private Security Camera System Incentive Program. For more information contact the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants at security.cameras@dc.gov, 202-727-5124, or visit www.ovsjg.dc.gov.

ANC 6A will meet at an alternate location, not yet identified, in July. Some committee meetings may also have a change of venue. The public is advised to check the website calendar; locations will be posted there as they become known.

ANC 6A meets on the second Thursday of every month (except August) at Miner Elementary School. The 6A committees meet at 7 p.m. on the following schedule:

Alcohol Beverage and Licensing, third Tuesday of each month, Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th St. NE.

Community Outreach, fourth Monday of each month, Maury Elementary School, 601 15th St. NE.

Economic Development and Zoning, third Wednesday of each month, Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th St. NE.

Transportation and Public Space, third Monday of every month, Capitol Hill Towers, 900 G St. NE.

Visit www.anc6a.org for calendar of events, changes of date/venue, agendas, and other information.