The regularly scheduled meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C was held at the Heritage Foundation on Thursday, Feb. 15. The quorum: Christine Healey (6C01, secretary), Karen Wirt (6C02, chair), Scott Price (6C03), Mark Eckenwiler (6C04), Chris Miller (6C05, treasurer) and Heather Edelman (6C06).
Commissioners unanimously voted to appoint Josh Linden as co-chair of the Transportation and Public Space Committee together with Mark Kazmierczak.
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve Brianna Battle as office assistant, subject to contract. Battle is also an at-large member of the Parks and Events Committee.
Eckenwiler said he had been in communication with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), which had not yet reopened the streetcar station demolished by a bus on April 26 of last year. DDOT said it was studying safety implications before reopening the platform. It was also investigating pedestrian-crossing signal issues raised by Eckenwiler last month, but had made no commitments.
Healey announced that the restoration of the alley between East Capitol and A streets and Sixth and Seventh streets NE was scheduled to begin on Feb. 26. As it is a large alley, work was expected to take four weeks.
Grants Committee Chair Victoria Lord announced the committee was in the middle of its February grant cycle review. It was also planning an ANC 6C grants seminar to be held on April 26 at a location being finalized. The seminar is for anyone interested in establishing a foundation or a nonprofit organization. Presentations will include information on grant applications, roundtables on the founding of a nonprofit and the leveraging of grant funds.
Parks and Events Committee
Parks and Events Committee Chair Joe McCann presented on the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Clean Routes Initiative and its impact on two upcoming events taking place in ANC 6C: the Rock‘n’Roll Marathon, scheduled for March 10, and the Capitol Hill Classic to benefit Capitol Hill Cluster School, scheduled for May 20.
McCann said that members of the Special Operations Committee appeared at the committee meeting on the previous Tuesday to explain the initiative. Whenever streets are closed for events, parked cars on both sides of the streets must be removed. The initiative addresses concerns with terrorism in light of acts of domestic terrorism committed last year in New York City, notably in October, where a pickup truck used as a weapon on a Manhattan bicycle trail killed 11 pedestrians.
The policy is not currently part of the Mayor’s Task Group Guide for Special Events, although McCann said it would be added. It was recently used at the Cupid’s Undies Run on Feb. 10, which McCann said was a much smaller event than the marathon.
The committee recommended that the ANC send two letters. The first, in support of the Rock‘n’Roll Marathon, would also ask the mayor’s office to ask District agencies to work to minimize impact on residents, in part by exploring alternative parking locations for residents to use before and during the event. It would also ask the mayor’s office to ensure MPD adherence to regulations regarding the adoption and publication of the policy so that the public could understand it and offer comment.
The second letter would express support for the Capitol Hill Classic and ask the Executive Office of the Mayor (EOM) and the MPD to reconsider if the initiative should be applied to the Capitol Hill Classic, given its size; and ask EOM to consider the impact of the initiative on people who live along the route.
Eckenwiler asked if the initiative included a provision to block active intersecting roads where they meet the marathon route, for instance by using trucks to block vehicular access, saying that if such action is not taken, “they’re locking the window and leaving the front door open.” Price suggested that large sponsors should pay the costs associated with parking the cars elsewhere, in addition to signage and towing.
Jason Levine, chair of the Capitol Hill Classic, remarked on the detrimental effect of the initiative on small, community-based events. He said costs could run as high as $10,000 to clear the 33 blocks required for the event. The MPD and EOM had recognized this as a problem, he said, and a representative of the EOM had offered to reimburse the costs and devise a placard system to identify safe cars permitted to park along the route.
The ANC voted, 6-0, to send a letter to the EOM and MPD opposing the adoption of Clean Routes, stating that the initiative is undocumented and has significant gaps undercutting its effectiveness. The letter would also request that, if the initiative is implemented, the committee’s two recommendations should be considered.
Transportation and Public Space Committee
Mark Kazmierczak, chair of the Transportation and Public Space Committee, said that DDOT representative Jonathon Rogers had provided an overview of the pilot dockless bikeshare program at the most recent committee meeting. In the overview, the representatives expressed concerns about bicycle parking and conditions, saying they had to look at how to manage the program and by whom, and how issues of maintenance, safety and parking enforcement could be handled. There is currently no code allowing agencies to issue citations, which DDOT said it would address before additional rollout.
The program’s pilot period ends on April 30, and the committee expects to make recommendations on the future of the program by March. Kazmierczak said Rogers indicated it was unlikely the program would be made permanent after the pilot concludes, but that there is likely to be another pilot or the termination of the program.
Public Space Application
Indigo Cafe (243 K St. NE) reappeared subsequent to its January application to enclose parts of the outdoor patio, which ANC 6C had deferred pending additional information. With updated drawings clarifying that seating would not increase and that overhead coverings and removable enclosures would not extend past the bar on the north side, and that seven-foot plexiglass walls will be installed along the eight-foot arms of the northwest corner of the property, the application was supported unanimously.
Historic Preservation Applications
The Planning, Zoning and Economic Development (PZE) Committee presented two historic preservation applications, both by the same applicant. At 214 A St. NE, the applicant planned to remove an existing structure and make additions to the rear. The applicant had responded to the concerns of the committee in subsequent drawings.
At 311 F St. NE, the applicant planned to add a rear addition to full by-right height. Again, the applicant had addressed the concerns of the PZE in drawings submitted subsequent to the committee meeting.
Both projects were unanimously supported. After the vote, an F Street neighbor voiced concerns about the project at 311 F St., particularly in regard to the change in building footprint and height of the structure. Commissioners encouraged him to voice his concerns at the Historic Preservation Review Board hearing, Feb. 22.
ANC 6C meets at 7:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month (except August) in the ground floor conference room at the Heritage Foundation (214 Massachusetts Ave. NE). The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 14.