The regularly scheduled meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C was held at the Heritage Foundation (214 Massachusetts Ave. NE) on Wednesday, November 14.
The quorum: Christine Healey (Secretary, 6C01), Karen Wirt (Chair, 6C02), Scott Price (Treasurer, 6C03), Mark Eckenwiler (6C04), Heather Edelman (6C06).
Brief Community Announcements
MPD Crime Report
Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) First District Sector 2 Captain John Knutsen appeared with Lieutenant D.J. Dyn to discuss police area redistricting. Knutsen said that Single Member District (SMD) 6C06 would be most affected, as much of that area would move to the Fifth District as of January 2019.
Dyn said that crime is down compared to the previous year at this time in all three Police Service Areas (PSA) in ANC 6C, including PSAs 103, 104 and 107. He said that two reoccurring issues are thefts from automobiles and stolen automobiles. About a month ago, officers and MPD recruits walked the area to observe parked cars and found 40 to 50 vehicles with valuables in plain sight, many unlocked. Both Dyn and Knutsen reminded the assembled that drivers should remain in their vehicle while warming cars in cold weather and remove their keys from the vehicle when refueling, locking their cars if going into fuel stations to pay.
Knutsen said that hypothermia alerts would be issued by the District in the coming months. The officers said that a shelter shuttle is available to transport vulnerable people to shelter, or to provide a place to warm themselves, and that MPD has devoted resources and training to the issue. If you see someone outside in need, you can call the Shelter Hotline at 202-399-7093, or call 911 in an emergency.
Office of People’s Counsel
Cheryl Morse of the Office of People’s Counsel (OPC) appeared to provide an update on the activities of the independent agency. Morse said that the agency has worked to ensure utility fairness and provided help and litigation assistance since 1975. Morse provided an update on various utility projects throughout the District and OPC’s work to reduce the impact on consumers. Recent accomplishments include OPC’s efforts to reduce the burden of Pepco’s DC Plug infrastructure update from $1 billion to $500 million and generate a customer rebate from the merger of Washington Gas with Alta Gas which residents should have received on summer gas bills. Morse encouraged those with utility-related concerns to contact OPC at www.opc-dc.gov or call her at 202-727-3071.
Commissioner Scott Price (6C03) announced that a new Capital Bikeshare Station was slated for the southeast corner of Stanton Park, near Capital City Cleaners (601 Massachusetts Ave. NE). He said it was the third station he had worked on in five years, and he hoped that DDOT would continue to install stations as demand increased.
Streets Market and Cafe (51 M St. NE)
Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee
The ANC voted to support a stipulated grocery and restaurant license for Streets Market and Café in the Ava NoMA building (51 M St. NE) without protest. The café has a summer courtyard, and the building has interior trash. The Alcohol Beverage Licensing (ABL) Committee declined the usual protest, as they thought the potential for adverse impact was very low.
Café Fili (701 Second St. NE)
The ANC voted to protest a restaurant license for Cafe Fili (701 Second St. NE) on grounds of noise and trash, traffic safety and parking. They will be seeking an agreement with the restaurant.
The Transportation and Public Space Committee unanimously recommended supported the establishment of a Capital Bike Share Station located at New Jersey Avenue and F Street NW. The station will stock 25 bikes on a broad sidewalk in an area where bicycles are in high demand.
Louisiana Avenue Bicycle Lane
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) released plans for a centrally constructed lane along Louisiana Ave. connecting it to the Pennsylvania Avenue bike lane. The committee recommended that the ANC draft a response letter supporting the idea but emphasizing it should be installed in 2019 and that the last block of the lane, including senate parking, should have parking removed to continue the lane.
Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee
The committee voted to support modifications to a previously approved PUD at 1200 Third Street NE, including changes to the façade material and some technical configurations of below-grade parking.
However, they voted to oppose amendments to the DC Zoning Code (ZC 17-03) which allows vesting (grandfathering) to applications where changes happen after an application has been made but before permits are issued. The PZE Committee felt this might have adverse implications for parallel vesting provisions in some sections of the zoning regulations.
In August, the Office of Planning (OP) sent a report to DC Council with additional narrative recommending that the framework portion of the Comprehensive Plan, discussed at the February meeting of ANC 6C, focus on affordable housing. The committee supported these recommendations.
The consent agenda was unanimously passed by the ANC.
Parks, Events and Environment
Chair Joe McCann noted that Swampoodle Dog Park (Third & L Streets NE) officially opens Saturday, Nov. 17 and that the light installation at the M Street Underpass opened Oct. 25. Fixtures for the light installation at the L Street Underpass have been received and installation is expected by early 2019.
NoMA Green Project, known as Tanner Park, will be built north of New York Avenue, bounded on the west by Harry Thomas Way NE and to the east by Metropolitan Branch Trail. A construction contract is expected to be signed in November, and construction should begin late fall 2019.
Rock N Roll Marathon
The Rock N Roll Marathon is scheduled to take place in DC March 9, 2019. In response to concerns voiced by ANC 6A, the course has been altered so as to not loop back along East Capitol as it has in previous years, with more of the course taking place in Wards 7 and 8. Changes have been approved by both MPD and Homeland Security, said marathon spokesperson Diane Romo-Thomas.
Romo-Thomas said that the clean routes initiative would again be enforced for the race. The initiative bans parking along the race route and tows cars that remain. She said that in 2018, MPD made a last-minute decision not to enforce the restriction, but that the Rock N Roll Marathon had no part in decision-making in regard to the policy.
The ANC voted to support changes to the route, including a note opposing the clean route initiative.
Transportation and Public Space
North Capitol Needs Assessment
The ANC was asked to review and comment on a draft report by NoMA BID looking at needed improvements to North Capitol Street, focusing on safety and the generally built environment. The report has five types of recommendations: sidewalks, roadways, signage, traffic signals and design, with a special category for items that can be corrected immediately, such as fixing streets signs. It was developed in consultation with the public and in partnership with DDOT.
Public Space Application 400 M St. NE
The owner of a corner rowhouse at 400 M St. NE proposed modifications to his driveway, which is edged by retaining walls for the elevated yard. The applicant wants to widen the driveway from 9 to 12 feet and create a small patio of about 10 feet square. Commissioners expressed concern that the patio area could be used as private parking in public space. A motion to oppose the application passed 4-1, with Heather Edelman (6C06) opposing.
Residential Permit Parking (RPP) rule changes include changing rules for RPP signs, focusing on the red signage that indicates areas in which only residents with zoned stickers can park. In the past, an ANC requested resident-only parking for the entire ANC on one side of the street, with regular RPP on the other. Some ANCs, including 6C, opposed the system. Now, DDOT the ANC is to submit proposals for a minimum of five blocks to be marked at a time. In regard to a provision stating that DDOT will evaluate petitions received from ANCs twice a year, the committee asked for clarity as to timing and frequency of applications for submission and review.
The commission endorsed a letter to the Department of Public Works, asking them to issue warnings before citations to residents who have left their trash cans for too long in public space, saying that rules are sporadic and unevenly applied.
These recommendations were unanimously endorsed.
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). Due to a holiday event held in the space during the regular meeting time, the next meeting of ANC 6C will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, December 10. Learn more at anc6c.org.