ANC 6C met on Dec. 14 to consider several zoning, transportation and public space issues, as well as one liquor license and one grant. The quorum: Christine Healey (6C01), Karen Wirt (6C02, chair), Scott Price (6C03), Mark Eckenweiler (6C04) and Heather Edelman (6C06). Chris Miller (6C05, treasurer) was not present, and there was no treasurer’s report.
Heritage Foundation Public Space
The expanding Heritage Foundation properties in the 200 block of Massachusetts Avenue NE presented streetscape plans. Brian Stephenson & Co. Landscape Architects plan to unite the public space outside the foundation’s current headquarters, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE, with the buildings on either side, as part of redevelopment of the block. The new public space design, explained Brian Stephenson, is meant to increase visibility, reducing the hedge and making the lobby larger and more obvious for visitors; to create seating and more usable outdoor space for guests and to better integrate the foundation’s streetscape with the neighborhood.
In addition to addressing comments from the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) and District Department of Transportation (DDOT), the revised plans are designed to provide security without creating a “bollard farm” or other “hard security features,” Stephenson added. In response to questions, he said that the corner property, 236 Massachusetts Ave. NE, when redeveloped, will include some street-level retail space but that the current project does not.
The Transportation and Public Space (TSP) Committee recommended support of public space plans for 208-214-226 Massachusetts Ave NE. After discussion, the full commission voted, 4-1, Eckenweiler opposing, to support the committee recommendation.
Storey Park Curb Cut
The TSP Committee reported on a 35-foot-wide curb cut in conjunction with redesign of Storey Park, 1005 I St. NE. Mark Kazmierczak, chair of the committee, explained particular needs of the property, situated at the train tracks, that warrant a wider than usual curb cut. The committee saw no other options and asked for additional lighting and mirrors, which the applicant added. The committee recommended support, and the commission voted unanimously to support that recommendation with an amendment asking the TSP Committee to look into the sufficiency of the one-car lay-by.
Breitbart Fence Opposition
As part of the consent agenda, ANC 6C voted to oppose HPA 18-071, an application for a security gate and fence on top of a retaining wall at 210 A St. NE. Eckenweiler, chair of the Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development (PZE) Committee, reported that the committee unanimously (7-0) opposed the application “on various grounds,” including the way the application was presented and “its merits.” The commission’s vote included authorization for Eckenweiler and Healey, whose single member district (SMD) encompasses the property, to represent the ANC’s position at the HPRB.
Allure Lounge Protest
Also as part of the consent agenda, the commission agreed to protest a new Class C tavern license for Allure Lounge, 711 H St. NE. The applicant plans a sports bar with a kitchen, two floors and possibly a roof deck as well. The Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee recommended protesting the license on the grounds of traffic, property value and noise.
Two Rear Additions
The remaining item on the consent agenda was HPA 18-108, an application for a rear addition at 518 Sixth St. NE. The commission agreed to support this application.
In a separate agenda item, the ANC voted to support BZA 19622, special exceptions to add a third floor and a four-story rear addition to an existing one-family dwelling, 1121 Abbey Place NE. Eckenweiler reported that the PZE Committee had concerns about the project but that the applicant responded to those concerns, filing additional sightline studies and plans for materials with the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA). Edelman, whose SMD encompasses the property, said she still had concerns about the aesthetics of the rooftop as presented. The ANC agreed to recommend support for the special exceptions, as long as visibility of the rooftop was addressed.
Elementary School Grant
Victoria Lord, chair of the Grants Committee, reported on an application from J.O. Wilson Elementary School for $2355.12 to purchase equipment for movie presentations. The school has been holding an annual movie night as a fundraiser for several years and wants to purchase the necessary equipment, rather than renting each year. Owning the equipment will allow the school to expand to several film events per year plus other uses in the school. Lord said the movie nights, in addition to garnering funds, help build relationships within neighborhood and encourage people to become active in the PTA. The committee recommended support, and the ANC voted unanimously to approve the grant.
Lord also reported that the committee is hosting a spring seminar to explain how the ANC’s grants process works, and encourages those associated with nonprofits in the neighborhood to send a representative.
In addition to voting items, the agenda included several informational items.
The TSP Committee shared news from DDOT on environmental assessments for the Benning Road extension of the streetcar and for a possible car barn at Union Station.
The TSP Committee shared information about new color signage expected in 2018 as a result of the Metropolitan Branch Trail Wayfinding Study.
Cameron Windham, community engagement coordinator (Wards 2 and 6) for the DC Office of the Attorney General, introduced himself and shared information from his office about various issues of concern, including scams related to funeral and burial contracts and human trafficking. Contact him at [email protected] or 202-724-5503.
Doug Klein, of the US Attorney’s Office for DC, spoke about the importance of community impact statements in sentencing and encouraged neighbors to work with ANC commissioners or other leaders to submit such statements when relevant criminal cases arise. He also introduced Stephen Rickard, new supervisor for major crimes in the First District. Contact him at [email protected] or 202-660-2150.
ANC 6C regularly meets at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month at the Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE. The next meeting is on Jan. 10.