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ANC 6C Report

The regularly scheduled meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C was held at the Heritage Foundation (214 Massachusetts Ave. NE) on Wednesday, July 15.

The quorum: Christine Healey (Secretary, 6C01), Karen Wirt (Chair, 6C02), Scott Price (Treasurer, 6C03), Mark Eckenwiler (6C04), Chris Miller (Vice-Chair, 6C05) and Heather Edelman (6C06).

Commissioner Announcements
Commissioner Chris Miller (Vice-Chair, 6C05) announced that July would be his last full ANC meeting as a Commissioner. Miller will be relocating to Roanoke, Virginia at the end of July to join his spouse.

Miller said he would try to complete his tree box beautification program in the last weeks of his tenure, “as my wife is out of town at her new job and can’t tell me I have other things to do.”

Consent Calendar
H Street Bridge
Several Transportation Committee members attended District Department of Transportation (DDOT) meetings about the project. They expressed concern about the perceived lack of co-ordination between the federal agencies, DDOT and the developer of the H Street bridge overhead project. Of those commenting, many felt that DDOT needs to insert itself into discussions about collective planning.

The Transportation Committee asked ANC 6C to support a letter to DDOT expressing concern about the lack of coordination between these parties and the lack of public outreach. To this end, they recommended public meetings and presentations to the ANC 6C Transportation Committee about the coordination of activities. The letter was endorsed unanimously.

H Street Bicycle Fatality
On June 25, a 19-year-old Northeast man died after his tire became caught in the streetcar tracks on H Street NE. He was struck by a charter bus and succumbed to his injuries later that day.

The Transportation Committee recommended that ANC 6C write a letter to the DDOT Director reminding him about their concerns about bike safety on H Street and urging DDOT to provide an assessment of potential solutions to be delivered to ANC and the public. They recommended DDOT consider installing flaps on rails to prevent bicycle rails from falling through. The letter was endorsed unanimously.

Alcohol Beverage Licensing (ABL) Committee
Alley Bar LLC The Little Grand (808 Seventh St. NE) Application for New Class C Tavern License
The applicant, David Batista, presented an application for a 40-seat establishment serving cocktails and gourmet pizza in the Apollo Building (600 H St. NE). The Alcohol Beverage Licensing (ABL) Committee recommended that the license be protested on grounds of vehicle traffic, effect on property values and peace and quiet in the neighborhood. They will pursue a neighborhood agreement.

Batista was present and said that resolution to the application was time sensitive as the protest hearing was scheduled for August 27. He expressed confidence that two weeks was sufficient time to reach an agreement.

Nando’s Peri Peri (411 H St. NE)
In June residents complained to both Eckenwiler and Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6-D) about trash issues that had led to an explosion of the rat population in the alley behind the 400 block of H Street NE. In a community meeting, the restaurant subsequently agreed to clean up the trash and had also offered to cover the cost of eradicating the population.

Transportation and Public Space (TPS) Committee
Central Armature Works 1200 Third St. NE, Public Space Construction Application
A construction permit was heard for a project at the site of Central Armature Works (1200 Third St. NE). Three new buildings will be constructed, including one hotel and two apartments. The project occupies a site between Second and Third Streets and between M Street and Florida Avenue NE. There is a single entrance to the hotel on M Street, as well as a single entrance to the parking garage, which will serve the hotel and the two apartment buildings. The applicant is working with DDOT to add signals at the garage entrance and exit, which is next to the Amtrak tunnel.

The TPS Committee expressed concern about pedestrian safety across Third Street between new ground level retail, particularly in light of a bike share station at Third and M Streets NE.

The TPS Committee voted to support the permit but also asked DDOT to consider

  • adding two loading zones at Third Street and at the retail entrances;
  • adding benches, with deaf accommodation considered in the shape thereof;
  • providing pedestrian safety accommodations at Third and N Street, including either a cross walk or paving demarcation;
  • and allowing crisscross decorative bulb lighting above Third Street in coordination with developers across the street.

Committee Chair Karen Wirt asked the applicant to establish a 24-hour construction hotline for residents to call with concerns, which the applicant said they would consider in coordination with the developers across Third Street. The committee’s motion was unanimously endorsed by the commission.

DC Sustainability Plan 2.0
The DC Sustainability Plan 2.0 is a collaborative city-wide effort to update the 2012 District sustainability plan in order to incorporate new programs and policies and better reflect priorities of District residents to create an equitable and prosperous society. It involves 143 action items and virtually every agency in District government. In late August, they will put out a 50-page summary for public comment.

The TPS Committee felt transportation goals lacked specificity and a reasonable time frame for completion. Many goals targeted completion in the year 2032, which the committee felt too long in the context of budgeting and implementation.

The TPS Committee recommended that the ANC strongly urge the Mayor to create an action plan describing how the District plans to fund, implement and achieve this initiative every year until the specific goals are met.

The Parks and Events Committee recommended that the ANC send a letter to the Mayor, Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE) and possibly Office of Planning (OP) asking that the 2018 document identify items that were not completed or are not included from the 2012 plan, with explanation for that status. They also asked that the ANC be provided sufficient time to comment on the complete 2018 plan.

The ANC unanimously approved a single letter incorporating these recommendations.

Parks and Events Committee
Pepco Mt. Vernon Substation
The Parks and Events Committee discussed the proposed Pepco Substation in Mount Vernon. The energy company wants to build a new Mt. Vernon substation on a site bound by New Jersey Ave, K St, L Street and First Street NE, near to Walker-Jones Elementary School (1125 New Jersey Ave. NW). Parents and community members object to construction, citing the potential harm to students of Electro Magnetic Fields (EMF) and the loss of the school’s urban farm which is located on property earmarked for the substation.

Representative Chris Taylor said the substation is part of Pepco’s larger Capitol Grid Project. The District power grid will be overloaded by 2023 and needs to accommodate the new buildings in the Mt. Vernon area, he said.

Walker-Jones parent Tiffany Aziz said that she thought the substation was being put there because it was an economically disadvantaged community, where many students were wards of the state. She has started a petition to stop the substation.

Pepco argued that there were studies approved by international health organizations that showed no negative effects of low electric emissions.

As there are NO ANC MEETINGS DURING AUGUST, the next meeting of ANC 6C will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 12.

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). Learn more at anc6c.org.

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