ANC 6D Report – April 2017

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Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6D met on April 3. Commissioners Gail Fast (6D01), Cara Shockley (6D02), Ronald Collins (6D03), Andy Litsky (6D04), Roger Moffatt (6D05), and Rhonda N. Hamilton (6D06) were on the dais. Meredith Fascett (6D07) joined the meeting midway through.

Tingey Square Presented
Commissioners listened to a presentation of the design for the Tingey Square cornerstone park planned for the end of New Jersey Avenue where it intersects Tingey Street SE. Framed by H, Canal, Second, and Tingey streets, the square will feature a lighted monument to signal the entryway to Yards Park. Traffic will flow around its boundaries.

The square will contain a pedestrian space with gardens. There will be no lawn. All seating will be on benches concentrated on the walkway axis. Pet walking will be discouraged through the planting of tall grasses. Lighting will be subtle from the bottom of benches and walls.

Fascett cautioned the designers to carefully consider pedestrian safety. Shockley advised being careful about flickering lights. Fast requested the replacement of the light tower with a commissioned work of public art.

The commissioners took no vote on the design.

Parcel L-1 Hotel
Commissioners heard a presentation from the developers of the hotel on Parcel L-1, which will front the western border of Tingey Square. It is set 40 feet back on an east-west axis. Fascett approved of the light-dark brick with its reference to the area’s industrial past but criticized the building’s “Lego-like” quality, advising the addition of ornamental differentiation to break up its west side.

The commissioners took no vote on the design.

Waterfront Station PUD Extension
Representatives of Waterfront Station reported that the term sheet had been drafted for PN Hoffman’s partnership with the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development (DMPED) to develop the northeast parcel. They asked for a letter from the commissioners to the Zoning Commission in support of a two-year extension to the planned unit development (PUD).

Moffatt spoke in support, saying he looked forward to more retail and dinner envisioned in the PN Hoffman project. Hamilton reminded the developer that they must maintain the path across the property in the interim.

The commissioners voted to support the extension with Fast abstaining.

Randall School PUD Extension
Lowe Enterprises, a developer with 30 years of experience in the District, came before the commission to request support for an extension of the Randall School PUD. Lowe has taken over from Telesis. It plans to continue the original plan for a 250,000-square-foot museum, 6,000 square feet of event space, and 16,000 square feet of community retail. It also will build 500 units of housing, of which 20 percent will be affordable at 80 percent of area median income (AMI). The existing PUD will, however, require some modification.

The developer requested extra time for project design, asbestos abatement, and demolition. Abatement and demolition of the non-historic sections of the school are planned for the end of 2018. Permits are expected within a year of the Zoning Commission’s approval of the PUD extension and modification. The museum will be completed first.

Lowe promised to do a better job of securing the site and maintaining cleanliness, including visible signage with a complaint phone number. It also promised to pressure the District on issues with street lighting.

Shockley asked about the size of the residential units. Studios, one bedrooms, and two bedrooms with dens are planned, the developer stated. The developer is open to discussing changing the AMI requirements for affordable units.

Commissioners unanimously approved writing a letter of support.

Wharf Update
Representatives of The Wharf gave a quarterly update on the project’s process. On Feb. 24 they filed their intention to submit PUDs for the remainder of the project involving Parcels 6 through 10. Parcels 6 and 7, joined on the second floor, involve more than a half million square feet of retail. Parcel 8 will combine a hotel and mixed-income residential development. Parcel 9 will be the site of condos. Parcel 10 will be a boutique office building. Three waterside buildings will be 12,000 square feet, 16,000 square feet respectively. There will be a new marina with a floating dock. These buildings will house services for the live-aboard community. The representatives expect to have a meeting with the Office of Planning in mid-May. They will seek ANC support in June and July. In September, they expect

Phase 1, they reported, is proceeding on plan for an Oct. 12 opening. Nearly all the buildings have been skinned. Maine Avenue will soon return to normal. Bozzuto has been selected as the property manager of The Channel and Incanto residential communities because of its experience with mixed-income buildings. They are planning a marketing campaign to lease the affordable units through a housing lottery planned for June.

The Hilton Canopy and Hyatt House are well on the way to completion. Parcel 1, 1000 Maine Ave., and the Fish Market will be completed before the 2018 Cherry Blossom Festival.

The first phase involves securing 23 liquor licenses for new Wharf businesses. Two are complete. Six are pending. Chair Litsky admonished the representatives to get moving on the remainder given the commission’s August recess.

Moffatt pointed out that the parking on Maine Avenue next to the Fish Market has resulted in substantial weekend traffic snarls. Five off-duty police officers have been employed to write tickets, the representatives responded. Also, they are discouraging employees from parking in the customer lot. Litsky asked them to pressure the DC Department of Public Works to increase ticketing as well. The Wharf will also soon announce the dates for employment fairs.

202 Arts Festival
The commissioners heard a presentation from the DC Arts Commission for its planned 202 Arts and Music Festival on Sept. 9. In its second year, this free, family-friendly event will run from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on six sites in Southwest on Waterfront Station and Duck Pond. It will require either the partial or complete closure of Fourth Street SW between I and M Streets. Organizers expect a total of 10,000 participants with a peak crowd of about 5,500.

Commissioners were skeptical about the closure of Fourth Street. They insisted that the Safeway and the apartment buildings remain car accessible. Hamilton encouraged the Arts Commission to consider alternative locations such as Landsburgh Park. Representatives of the Arts Commission stated that the Waterfront Station was the best alternative given its access to Metro. Shockley objected to the date, given the simultaneous Nationals game. Moffatt stated, “If you are going to close the parking garages, I am not going to support you.” Litsky stated that the specifics of the street closure would need to be placed in the ANC’s letter of support. Representatives promised that the Safeway would remain open and accessible throughout the festival.

The commissioners approved a letter of support with Shockley voting in opposition.

Altus Project
Altus Realty Partners came before the commission to discuss its project at 1319 South Capitol St. SW. It plans to build an 11-story building with 140 to 200 units. An alley that bisects the property has been closed during the construction. The developer has filed for the abandonment of the existing water and sewer lines. Contracts are in place for tree trimming and trash collection. Utilities to derelict houses on the site have been turned off, and asbestos abatement has begun. Once the construction is finished, the developer has pledged to restore the alley.

Hamilton reported that communication between the developer and neighbors has broken down. This was disputed by the developer. Litsky requested a calendar for the planned construction. There was some discussion concerning whether permits had been correctly posted. The developer claimed they had been placed in the windows of the derelict properties.

“We can control the council vote [on the alley closing]. Don’t screw these people,” warned Litsky, threatening to hold the entire project up until neighbors were satisfied with the project. No vote was taken by the commission on the matter.

Liquor Licenses
The commissioners, with one abstention, approved Sal’s (400 C St. SW) application for a Class B license to sell wine and beer.

The commissioners approved Diverse Markets’ application for a CT License, its stipulated license and cooperative agreement.

The commissioners approved Masala Art’s (1101 Fourth St. SW) application for an amended license to allow for the levying of a cover charge during live entertainment as discussed in the March meeting, as well a modified cooperative agreement, with Fast voting in opposition.

Other Matters
The commissioners unanimously decided to draft a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser pointing out that there is not enough student capacity planned in the commission’s area, given the extensive residential growth.

Sergeant John Barnes of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Police Service Area 105 reported a general increase in theft from automobiles in PSAs 105 and 106. All other categories of crime were down, he stated. Thefts declined significantly. Litsky asked the sergeant to fix the broken police camera at First and P streets SW.

The commissioners took the following actions unanimously:

  • approved the March minutes
  • supported the Army Ten Miler on Oct. 8
  • supported the Girls on the Run 5K on June 4
  • supported RiverPoint’s request for an additional curb cut (2100 Second St. SW)
  • supported a letter to the Public Service Commission in support of Peninsula 88 at First and V streets SW
  • approved the appointment of Marjorie Lightman as the chair of the ANC’s new Transportation Committee
  • supported Pepco’s public space application for benches and an art installation near its substation

The commissioners were informed that the new Canal Park Farmers’ Market will start on May 13.

ANC 6D will meet on Monday, May 8, at 7 p.m., at 1100 Fourth St. SW. Visit www.anc6d.org/ for more information.