Chairman Phil Toomajian called the meeting to order by thanking retiring Commissioners Patrick Malone and Calvin Ward for their time spent serving their community. The meeting was held at Miner Elementary School, 601 15th St. NE, with Commissioners Calvin Ward, Marie Claire Brown, Amber Gove, Patrick Malone, Sondra Phillips-Gilbert and Mike Soderman in attendance. Commissioner Stephanie Zimny was absent.
Oni Hinton, Facility Planning and Design Coordinator for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS)
Oni Hinton reported on the Eliot-Hine Modernization Project. Progress will accelerate at the site beginning in early 2019 on the C Street side, starting with grading in preparation to pour the foundation. Ms. Hinton stressed this work will not create excessive noise. When asked if contaminate testing is necessary before proceeding with grading, Ms. Hinton explained that the existing contamination tests are still applicable and as they will only be doing soil compaction, no additional tests are necessary. Additionally, to ensure pedestrian safety for school children, no work will be permitted during drop-off and pick-up times and no construction vehicles will be allowed on Constitution Avenue. For renderings of the proposed building and bi-weekly updates visit bit.ly/dcpsmods-eliothine. To join the project listserv, contact Oni Hinton at [email protected].
Brittney Fletcher, Office of Unified Communications
In the event of an emergency, residents are now able to text 911 in addition to calling. Ms. Fletcher emphasized that calling 911 is still the best method for reaching emergency services. Whether calling or texting though, she stressed including your specific location as paramount so responders know where they are needed. Residents may also text 311 with non-emergency questions and issues as well as find 311 on Twitter as @311DCgov.
Ms. Fletcher also shared that some staff working in government buildings are now equipped with a virtual panic button accessed via an app on their phones. When activated, the app provides building layouts and location information to emergency responders as well as alerts others with the app of the pending situation.
Metro Police Department (MPD) Fifth District Sergeant Alali and Office Fisher
According to Sergeant. Alali, an arrest has been made in relation to the homicide on the 1800 block of Benning Road NE on November 26. Sergeant Alali also explained that officers have been and will continue to be posted around the clock within the Pentacle Apartment at 1507 Benning Rd. NE.
Alcohol Beverage Licensing Actions
- The commissioners voted, unanimously, to approve the Settlement Agreement with S-Square, LLC t/a Cheers DC! At 1402 H St. NE (Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration [ABRA] #111599) and withdraw the license protest.
Transportation and Public Space Actions
- The commissioners voted, unanimously, to send a letter to Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) in support of the revised route for the Rock N’ Roll Marathon. The ANC felt these changes will greatly reduce the negative impacts on residents within the ANC. There will be fewer street closings and, if cars must be removed from the race route, there are far fewer residential blocks that will be affected.
- While the majority of commissioners feel e-scooters and e-bikes are useful transportation options, there was some concern over the public safety implication of their operation on city sidewalks. Some commissioners feel the benefits of these vehicles outweigh potential hazards to pedestrians while others feel the speed of scooters should to be restricted until their use on sidewalks can be eliminated. Commissioners Ward, Brown, Phillips-Gilbert and Soderman voted in favor of submitting these comments, Commissioners Gove and Malone voted against and Chairman Toomajian abstained. Ultimately, the ANC will send written comments to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and a letter to the DC Council regarding the proposed regulations for e-scooters and e-bikes expressing these views: 1.) General support for the regulations as they will improve public safety with respect to the use of these motorized vehicles. 2.) Particular support for the requirement of governors on e-scooters that will restrict the speed to 10 mph until such time as e-scooter operation can be effectively eliminated from sidewalks and other pedestrian walkways. 3.) Cash payment devices should be designed in such a way that they cannot easily be vandalized. 4.) An increase to the minimum number of units per Ward to encourage a wide distribution of dockless vehicles. 5.) Strongly urge DDOT to provide a substantial increase in bicycle parking across the District to accommodate the growing number of users of dockless e-scooters and e-bikes as well as traditional cyclists.
Economic Development and Zoning
- The commissioners voted, unanimously, to table voting on the recommendation that he ANC send a letter of support to the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) for a request for variance regarding the location and screening of HVAC units on the lower roof over the kitchen of the new school, and the nature of the parking lot fence for Maury Elementary School at 1250 Constitution Ave. NE as it has not yet been assigned a BZA number.
- The commissioners voted, unanimously, to table the recommendation that the ANC send a letter of support to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) for historic approval for redevelopment of an existing medical office building with a surface parking lot into residential use, and on the surface parking lot, to build four condo units on two separate lots at 201 8 St. NE, on condition that the developers make best efforts to get letters of support from the immediate neighbors, the developers hold a design meeting to address outstanding design issues and questions, Residential Parking Permit (RPP) restrictions be added to condo bylaws, and consider ways to address parking and congestion concerns.
- The commissioners voted, unanimously, that the ANC send a letter of support to the HPRB for historic approval for a three-story addition and renovation to a single-family home at 223 9 St. NE (HPA #19-064).
- The commissioners voted, unanimously, in favor of the ANC sending a letter to the Permit Coordinator and Junior Project Manager in support of a Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) permit for after-hours construction at the Maury Elementary site to accommodate concrete pouring and troweling.
- The commissioners voted, unanimously, in favor of the ANC sending a letter to DC Public School Charter Board regarding the notification period to ANCs for key changes to charter schools.
Announcements and Reports
Commissioner Phillips-Gilbert reported that at a recent community meeting to discuss proposals for the Department of General Services (DGS) urban farming project, one proposal including a hydroponic green house received the strongest community support.
Commissioner Brown thanked Councilmember Allen’s office for their assistance enforcing trash and recycling disposal violations by some restaurants on H Street, NE.
Commissioner Soderman attended a recent DDOT meeting and reported they will be installing 2700 Kelvin maximum LED bulbs in streetlights citywide over the next two years. These bulbs will be dimmable by block and the ANC will have input as to which are dimmed and by how much.
Naomi Mitchell from Councilmember Allen’s office thanked all of the commissioners for their hard work and diligence.
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