Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6D met on June 11. Commissioners Meredith Fascett (6D07, chair), Cara Shockley (6D02), Ronald Collins (6D03, treasurer), Andy Litsky (6D04, vice chair) and Roger Moffatt (6D05) and Rhonda N. Hamilton (6D06) were on the dais. Gail Fast (6D01, secretary) was absent.
Deputy Chief of Staff Lindsay Parker returned to the commission to provide an update on the All-Star Week Traffic Operations and Parking Plan (TOPP), (www.sports.capitol.dc.gov). “The plan has come a long way since the original one,” she told the commission.
The Department of Public Works is planning to deploy additional parking officers to beef up ticketing through the Southwest and Capitol Riverfront, Parker stated. The city is also negotiating with the Southwest BID to provide clean and safe services between the soccer stadium and M Street SW. She also promised to have wayfaring signs for Audi Field up before the opening match.
Public Housing Update
Kerry Smyser, the DC Housing Authority’s (DHA) senior deputy director of Capitol Programs, briefed the commission on the agency’s plans at Arthur Capper and Greenleaf.
On Square 767, DHA is in predevelopment negotiations with EYA. It expects to file a Stage II Planned Unit Development (PUD) this coming fall. They are waiting on the federal US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to complete the land disposition, which has encountered difficulties. The agency hopes to break ground on two buildings, one condo and one rental a shared garage, within nine months of the filing, Smyser stated.
On Square 769, DHA expects to deliver The Harlow in the first quarter of 2019. They are now conducting outreach to former Arthur Capper residents, inviting them to apply for the apartments, Smyser stated.
DHA accepted the proposal of developer WC Smith to swap 30 apartments in its Ward 8 Sheridan Station project for those originally promised as part of The Chelsea. The agency does not consider these “replacement units” and will seek to build another 30 units in the Arthur Capper footprint to replace them, Smyser stated in the remaining squares 739, 768 and 882. Former Capper tenants may choose these apartments without giving up their right to return to the original site.
Out of the total 707 units originally promised to preplace Arthur Capper, 234 remain to be built. The entire 25-acre site will have a total of 1,743 units, Smyser stated.
Commissioners criticized DHA for the length of time the project has taken. Vice Chair Litsky asked Smyser how the agency was keeping track of the original Arthur Capper residents? There were 707 families on the site at the time the public housing project was decommissioned, Smyser stated.
“If they are using a voucher or in public housing, we know where they are,” Smyser said. They have an internal preference system the starts with head of households and then cycles through every individual on the original leases. “We need to understand displacement,” stated Chair Fascett.
The planning for the six-phase redevelopment of the 493 units at Greenleaf Gardens was completed in 2016, stated Smyser. A one-for-one replacement is planned along with market housing for a total of 800 housing units.
Now, DHA is looking for a development partner based a short list of developers who have responded to a public Request for Qualifications (RFQ). The agency is now working on issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP), the precise timing of which is in the hands of its executive director. It expects to make the selection by the first quarter of 2018 and break ground in 2022, stated Smyser.
Committed to taking a “Build First” approach to Greenleaf’s redevelopment, DHA has been working to identifying a city owned parcel to construct the first units, Smyser said. Initially, it proposed using the parking lot next to the First District Headquarters adjacent to Lansburgh Park. Objecting to this proposal, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development (DMPED) Brian Kenner suggested using the parking lots on the Greenleaf site, she stated.
“I have seen disturbing photos of the conditions at Greenleaf,” stated Commissioner Hamilton. Smyser said DHA will continue to maintain the existing Greenleaf buildings in the interim. . It is actively attempting to reduce the repair backlog.
In response to a question by Chair Fascett about the frequent evictions at its properties run by Edgewood Management, Smyser promised that the agency was meeting with the contractor.
Director Steve Moore and Chief Operating Officer Andre Witt of the Southwest Business Improvement District (SW BID) briefed the commission on the many safety issues posed by food trucks operating in the neighborhood, particularly on E Street SW next to the L’Enfant Metro. Just last Thursday, when a food truck caught on fire at Third and E Streets SW, its operators fled, they stated.
Food truck are parking illegally in metered spaces in front of brick and mortar businesses impacting their revenue adversely Moore stated. When challenged, operators have threatened those confronting them, Witt added. Three operators have been arrested in the past month.
The trucks have generated significant amounts of trash, Witt stated. Their sloppy sanitary operations attract rats.
Food trucks operate under a 2013 set of regulations. Since that time, the number operating has grown from 100 to 600 vehicles. 67 percent of these trucks are registered in Virginia. The District employs only four food truck inspectors. DPW does not ticket illegally parked food trucks, Witt stated.
Moore asked the commission to support the SW BID’s proposal for food truck regulatory reforms:
- restrict trucks from parking within 200 feet of a brick and mortar establishment;
- parking tickets applied to the truck’s license
- escalating fines for successive parking infractions;
- suspend food truck driver’s license for unpaid parking tickets.
Moore asked those in favor of the reforms or wanting report food truck infractions to email [email protected]
A resident raised an objection to the proposed nomination of Old Southwest between Half and Carrollsburg Streets for historic designation. After an acrimonious discussion, the commission unanimously approved sending a letter requesting the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly refrain from filing such a nomination before consulting the commission.
Lt. Marquis Queen of MPD’s First District (MPD 1D), Sector 3, stated there was no new trends in criminal offenses. There were car jackings on June 30 and July 3. The latter case was closed with four arrests. In both cases, the perpetrators approached drivers who were in parked cars with the engines running. After asking for directions, they pulled out guns and forced the owners out of their vehicles and then drove away. Queen warned residents to be careful of anyone approaching their car.
Jessica Sutter, Ward 6 candidate for the State Board of Education, introduced herself.
Maggie Gendron from Lime Bike, the vendor of dockless bikes and scooters, briefed the commission on the company’s plans to prevent the trashing of its vehicles.
A representative of Crown Castle Wireless briefed the commission on the company’s plan to install wireless antennas on 100 cobra light poles in Ward 6. The idea is to add capacity so that cell callers are assured of being able to use their phones particularly during public events. The company is awaiting final approval from the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT). The antennas pose no health risk, the representative stated.
The commission voted with Commissioners Litsky and Hamilton abstaining to support the changes proposed by the owner of Thomas Law House, 1252 Sixth St. SW, now being considered by the Historic Preservation Review Board. These included dormer windows, a modest second floor terrace and a ramp to the front door.
The commissioners appointed themselves to a newly formed Foundation Committee. They then voted unanimously to use $50,000 in funds from the Monument Alley Closing Fund to support the Southwest Community Center planned for Forrest City development at Waterfront Station.
Treasurer Collins reported a balance of $33,982.21 in the commission’s bank account after an expenditure of $1,308.29. The commission then voted unanimously to approve Keara Mehlert as administrator; approve a $4,000 payment to Andrea Gilliam for consulting services related to the new community center and up to another $5,000 to former Administrator Shaun Carter for ongoing consulting services.
The commissioners voted unanimously to
- support the St. Jude walk/run on Sept. 28 at Nationals Park;
- support the restoration of the Hilton Washington DC National Malls’ liquor license, 480 L’Enfant Pl. SW;
- support the liquor license and community agreement for Rappahannock Oyster, 1150 Maine Ave. SW;
- send a letter to the Alcohol Beverage Control Board (ABC Board) requesting the board to always seek commission input before it administratively grants altering licenses;
- authorize ABC Committee Chair Dr. Coralie Farlee at her discretion to protest any matter that comes before the commissioner meets in September;
- authorize Commissioner Moffat to negotiate the scope of the traffic study for 1000 Fourth St. SW;
- support the development at 115 First Street, which is creating 70 units of affordable housing;
- send a request to the Federal Highway Administration to independently monitor the vibrations created by CSX trains running through the Virginia Avenue Tunnel and authorize Chair Fascett to write any response;
- to request the DC Attorney General to examine whether the operation of embedded hotels within rental apartment complexes violates the acceptable use defined by those projects’ PUDs;
- to send letter to DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs requesting that certificate of occupancy of Millcreek’s development at 1100 Sixth St. SW be withheld until the bright blue exterior lights that have been installed its exterior have been removed or rendered inoperative;
ANC 6D does not meet in the month of August. The commission’s next meeting will be held on Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. at 1100 Fourth St. SW. Visit www.anc6d.org/ for more information.