Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6D met on Feb. 12. Commissioners Gail Fast (6D01), Cara Shockley (6D02), Ronald Collins (6D03), Andy Litsky (6D04, chair), Roger Moffatt (6D05) and Rhonda N. Hamilton (6D06) were on the dais. Meredith Fascett (6D07) was absent.
Allen’s Report Card
Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (D) provided the commission with an update on his work. He began by outlining the budget process. The council is currently holding agency oversight hearings. The mayor will submit her budget shortly, Allen stated. The council will then hold budget hearings to mark it up with a final vote in late spring. The councilmember will hold a Ward 6 Budget Meeting on April 23 at Watkins Elementary School, 420 12th St. SE, at 6:30 p.m.
• In response to the tremendous transportation challenges facing ANC 6D, Allen convened a Transportation Strike Force of stakeholders and community members last spring. The group met frequently in the days leading up to the opening of The Wharf. It continues to examine solutions to residential parking, traffic circulation and pedestrian safety.
• The return of the Circulator has been delayed to the summer, the councilmember stated, echoing the community’s frustration. July 1 is the new start date.
• The councilmember took credit for the accelerating the modernization of Jefferson Middle School by two years.
• The Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority had removed residential parking spaces at Fourth and M Streets SW. They will be restored, the councilmember stated.
• Allen also claimed credit for rebuilding of the Southwest Public Library. He made sure that it was fully funded and preserved the stand-alone plan.
• Allen also stated that he was working on initiatives to encourage first responders to live in the District including financial aid for home purchasing.
• Allen reported that he had worked with his colleagues to fully fund and implement The Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results (NEAR) Act in the face of mayoral opposition. The act takes a public health approach to preventing crime.
Allen then outlined his plans for 2018 legislation. Firstly, he plans to introduce “Civil Gideon” legislation to prevent eviction. He plans to introduce modifications to the Youth Reform Act and legislation to protect the rights of Sexual Assault survivors.
Commissioner Collins complained that the DC Office of Planning had not properly consulted with the ANCs in the formulation of the new Comprehensive Plan. “Great weight is written in the law. It is not optional,” the councilmember replied. There will be many more hearings, he pointed out.
Commissioner Fast complained that the city was not enforcing residential parking restrictions near The Wharf. In fact, the DC Department of Public Works (DPW) does not generally ticket on Sundays anywhere in the city, claiming it is not funded. Fast requested that money be included in the 2019 budget for weekend enforcement operations around The Wharf. The councilmember agreed that DPW should be ticketing throughout the weekend. Allen promised to find out the cost and investigate expanding weekend enforcement.
Allen stated that he remains committed to a “Build First” approach to the rebuilding of the Greenleaf Gardens public housing complex. The challenge, he pointed out, was identifying the initial site to build on. The solution was to use the property currently occupied by the fire station and repair facility at 1101 Half St. SW. As chair of the Judiciary Committee, Allen is working to move repair operations elsewhere. The station would be incorporated into the new housing project.
Pointing out the pervasive fear of gentrification, Commissioner Hamilton requested the councilmember organize a meeting about Greenleaf’s redevelopment. The commission had received no notice about the DC Housing Commission’s (DHA) Request for Proposals for the housing development. “DHA has duty to walk the community through the process,” Allen stated.
The DHA Director broke his promise to return to brief the commission on Greenleaf, stated Vice Chair Litsky referencing his appearance at a fall meeting. Allen promised to pressure the agency to work with the commission.
The developers of the Randall School requested the commission’s support for a modification of significance to the project’s original Planned Unit Development (PUD) in advance of their March 29 hearing in front of the Zoning Commission (ZC). The plan is along the lines of what was previously reported. The developers have relocated the museum entrance to the school’s east side, which was originally the gym. The annex planned for the back of the building has been eliminated. Together, these changes better preserve the 1906 historic structure, which will be fully restored to qualify for LEED Silver. The building will house the Rubell Museum, which the developer announced would be free to all DC residents.
The rear buildings, set behind the school, framing a large square, will provide approximately 489 residential units. 66 of those would be affordable. This courtyard would be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is an option for ground floor commercial space.
The commission unanimously approved to provide letters of support for the development addressed both to the ZC and to the Department of Transportation (DDOT).
Forrest City made an initial presentation of its plans for the two empty blocks of Waterfront Station that front M Street SW (375 and 425 M St.). The project’s original Planned PUD called for two office buildings. Their new plan calls for two mixed-use buildings containing 40,000 square-feet of retail, a community center, commercial office space and apartments. The developer will seek a letter of support at the commission’s March meeting in advance of an April Zoning Commission Hearing.
Metropolitan Police Captain Michael Pulliam for Sector 3 (PSA 105 and 106) informed the commission that there had been a general reduction of crime in January. Thefts from automobiles, however, had risen. In response to questions from the dais, he promised increased traffic enforcement on Maine Avenue and M Street SW. He also stated that the police had caught some juveniles throwing rocks at the homeless.
The commission voted unanimously to protest a liquor application by Navy Yard Wine Merchant, 1105 New Jersey Ave. SE, on the grounds of peace, order and quiet.
The commission voted unanimously to:
- support the Race for Respect on June 2, the Purple Stride on June 9, the Army 10-Miler on Oct. 7 and the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct 28;
- support the community agreement and liquor license for Due South, 301 Water St. SE;
- support the expansion of the sidewalk at Dacha Beer Garden, 79 Potomac Ave. SE;
- support the expansion of the sidewalk at Chloe, 1331 Fourth St. SE;
- support Freshfarm’s Capitol Riverfront Market’s 2018 operations in Canal Park;
- support a modification to the design of the Southwest Family Shelter that will reduce the building height by 6 feet that will save money without impacting its operations.
The next ANC 6D meeting will be held on March 19 at 7 p.m. at 1000 Fifth St. SE. Visit www.anc6d.org/ for more information.