Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6D met on Jan. 8. Commissioners Gail Fast (6D01), Cara Shockley (6D02), Ronald Collins (6D03), Andy Litsky (6D04, chair), Roger Moffatt (6D05), Rhonda N. Hamilton (6D06) and Meredith Fascett (6D07) were on the dais.
In his chairman’s report, Chair Litsky praised the commission’s 2017 accomplishments including: a new standalone SW Library, the soccer stadium, the Museum of the Bible, the Frederick Douglass Bridge; the return of the Southwest Circulator and the opening of Phase One of The Wharf.
“We are the busiest ANC in the entire city,” Litsky boasted.
Supervised by the Executive Director of the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners Gottlieb Simon, the commission elected a new slate of officers by acclamation. Commissioner Fascett was elected chair. Commissioner Litsky was elected vice chair. Commissioner Fast returns as secretary. Commissioner Collins will serve as Treasurer.
Traffic Issues at The Wharf
Commissioner Fast stated that she had taken constituent concerns about the traffic congestion and pedestrian safety to The Southwest Transportation Strike Force, which is made up of stakeholders including commissioners, developers, government agencies and law enforcement. A pedestrian was recently struck by a vehicle at Fourth and M Streets SW, she said.
The DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) pledged at the meeting to review issues at the intersections of Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and Ninth Streets and M and Maine Avenues, said Fast. The agency will also be presenting a traffic control plan for Wharf events. The strike force discussed the need for Traffic Control Officers to monitor these intersections. The Wharf will be bringing its plans to the next strike force meeting on Feb. 9. Chair Litsky made a point of thanking Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (D) for convening the strike force.
Waterfront Station Lot
Representatives of PN Hoffman presented their plans for the development of the northeast Waterfront Station lot owned by the District. This mixed-use project incorporates ground floor retail, affordable housing and the arts.
The building will house approximately 446 apartments. 134 units, 30 percent of the total, will be affordable. These will be equally reserved for residents making 30 and 50 percent of Area Mean Income (AMI). There will be a second-floor courtyard amenity space. Two levels of parking are planned with 170 spaces reserved for residences and another40 for the theater.
The project will contain about 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail, mostly located along Fourth Street SW. Negotiations are continuing with the owners of Tryst to incorporate a diner.
The developer confirmed that a 350- seat, black box for the Forum theater is still a central element of the plan. Appletree Public Charter School, now housed in portable classrooms next to Jefferson Academy, is interested in leasing 13,000 square feet for a preschool.
Entrances for the theater and school will be located on a private drive planned for the north side of property. Commissioners expressed concerns about the location citing the impact on traffic patterns on Fourth Street SW.
950 South Capitol
After an extensive discussion at the commission’s last meeting, the Ruben Companies returned with updated renderings. The drawings better illustrated the streetscape and façade of their 950 South Capitol project.
Discussion, however, took another turn. Commissioners stated concerns about the lack of retail planned for the ground floor on South Capitol Street. The current plan is to create retail bays, but initially devote the space for a shared work environment as a building amenity.
Within 20,000 square feet of vacant retail space in the Capitol Riverfront, Ruben remains leary of developing any more. Commissioners expressed concern about the lack of streetscape activation if the 6,000 square foot ground floor was reserved for a building amenity.
The commission voted unanimously to support the project with the caveats that ground floor retail be developed as soon as possible and that the developer also consider an arts usage.
The commission decided to table any consideration of a liquor licenses for Officina, 1120 Maine Ave. SW. and The Intercontinental Hotel, 801 Water St. SW. Representatives of Officina did not present adequate drawings of the impact of its summer garden on pedestrians. In the case of the hotel, the request was for an additional 72 seats on the seawall.
“We are now receiving requests for summer gardens beyond the property lines,” stated Chair Litsky. “I want to make sure that they comport with the PUD (Planned Unit Development).” He stated he plans to meet offline with representatives of both the establishments and The Wharf.
The commission at Commissioner Fascett’s request agreed to table any consideration of the request by Due South, 301 Water St. SE, to increase their summer garden from 31 to 55 seats. Fascett was concerned about the impact of the seating on the neighboring public park.
The commission approved unanimously an amendment to match the hours at LaVie, 949 Water St. SW, to neighboring establishments. It also approved the addition of community member Veronica Lake as an At Large representative to the ABC Committee.
Anacostia River Presentation
Emily Frank, the Anacostia Riverkeeper, gave an update on the state of the Anacostia River. 2018 Year of the Anacostia. She stated that a record of decision is expected on the plan to clean up the sentiment in the river by the end of 2018. She mentioned that the organization’s Thursday night kayaking and Friday night fishing programs will continue this year.
Currently, Frank stated, the river is not swimmable because of the bacteria in the river due to the dumping of raw sewage during heavy rainfalls. DC Water’s Clean Rivers Project will be coming on in March. It will significantly reduce the bacteria by nearly eliminating sewage releases. The Riverkeeper will begin weekly testing of the Anacostia and the Washington Channel. Frank stated that they plan to develop a Swim Guide.
The DC Housing Authority (DHA) is moving forward with the redevelopment of Greenleaf Gardens Public Housing. The commission voted unanimously to request the Director of DHA come and brief the ANC on the agency’s plans.
The commission voted unanimously to support:
- the Smithsonian’s public space permit to create curb cuts on 12th Street SW for an entrance to a planned new loading facility.
- a zoning modification adding habitable 2,100 square foot of penthouse space to Monument’s Realty’s project at 1200 Van Street SE provided a dog park with a minimum of 850 square feet was included a residential amenity;
- minor façade modification to the project at 88 V St. SW to accommodate its location in the 500-year flood plain;
- a one-year extension for the Yards PUD for the DC Water site slated to accommodate a movie theater;
- approved the commission’s meeting dates for 2018;
- to participate in the ANC Bonding Fund;
- the Scope It Out 5k race in support of colon cancer planned for March 18.
Steve Moore, executive director of the Southwest Business Improvement District, outline the organization’s plan to extend its clean and safe services south of M Street SW to the northern boundary of the new soccer stadium.
The commission unanimously supported to support
The Wharf provide free ice skating for Southwest residents, stated Chair Litsky. No date has been set yet.
It was incorrectly reported in the November Hill Rag that the commission took “no action” on a Class B license for Officina, 1120 Maine Ave. SW. In fact, the commission tabled the matter due to concerns about the impact of the establishment’s summer gardens on pedestrian circulation.
The next ANC 6D meeting will be held on Feb. at 7 p.m. at 1100 Fourth St. SW. Visit www.anc6d.org/ for more information.