Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C elected new officers. Present were: Christine Healey (Secretary, 6C01), Karen Wirt (Chair, 6C02), Jay Adelstein (6C03), Mark Eckenwiler (Vice-Chair, 6C04), Joel Kelty (6C05, Treasurer) and Robb Dooling (6C06).
Proposals for Development at 2 Paterson St. NE
Commissioner Eckenwiler, Chair of the Planning, Zoning and Economic (PZ&E) Committee, presented a report on the six proposals presented to the committee by developers responding to the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development’s (DMPED) Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop a 42,252 square foot parking lot near the corner of North Capitol and New York Avenue NE.
Six teams representing various combinations of developers presented projects to the committee during two committee sessions outlining their proposals. DMPED is expected to select a winner sometime in February.
Each of the proposals offer apartments, art and retail space and public space. All offer rental homes with some level of affordable housing. Two plans offer hotels while one offers a combination of rentals and condominiums. Five offer parking and all offer an element of public space.
Members of the public and the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN), a congregation-based citizens organization committed to addressing community issues, spoke on the importance of affordable housing to the neighborhood.
PZ&E did not recommend a single proposal, but rather provided evaluations of each proposal as well as umbrella recommendations. The ANC voted unanimously to send a letter to DMPED in support of recommendations in the PZ & E report, also stating:
- preference for partnerships between developers and established non-profit-partners;
- opposition to a hotel, as there are three within three blocks of the area;
- support for projects that incorporate higher quantities of more affordable, larger (3-bedroom) units, and calling for more units to be added at the 80 percent Area Median Income (AMI) level;
- strong support for LEED gold as minimum standard for any project;
- that the ultimate awardee not just build, but commit to maintain a potential park on N Street;
- that any courtyard or greenspace be accessible to the public;
- that affordable units be great in absolute number and percentage of total units and incorporate a support for the use of a District subsidy if that is necessary to increase those numbers, and
- that any proposal provide meaningful connection to and integration with N Street park.
Auditor Says Grant to Elementary School Does Not Benefit ANC
Grants Committee Chair Victoria Lord said that an auditor in the Office of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (OANC) said that ANC 6C could not provide funds to support a literacy program at Ludlow-Taylor Elementary school because it does not benefit all residents of the ANC. The Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) program is an intensive, small-group intervention for students who have special difficulty with reading and writing. The program is designed to help participants meet grade-level expectations and elevate the expertise of teachers working with those students.
Ludlow-Taylor Elementary is on the boundary between ANC 6A and 6C. Lord said that historically grants at the school have been provided jointly by the two ANCs. In this case, the Capitol Hill Community Foundation (CHCF) will provide $2,500 in funds and the two ANCs intend to provide $2,900 each, the remainder of the funds necessary to purchase materials.
Lord said OANC stated that the grant does not meet OANC qualifications because it benefits particular students at a particular school rather than the ANC as a whole. She said that the committee has previously provided grants to help elderly residents, elementary school students and homeless residents of the ANC. “The view that the grants committee has always taken is to use the money as best we can to improve life for the ANC as a whole. I do not have to personally be using this literacy program to benefit from students within my ANC having better literacy levels,” she said, adding that to her knowledge no ANC had been informed of a change in interpretation from the rules previously followed.
“To argue that each grant must benefit each individual resident of an ANC leads us to a situation where the only grant that we could give would be to give each resident ten dollars,” Lord continued.
Chair of the Grants Committee for the Ludlow-Taylor Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) Rachel Turow said the third to fifth grade teachers asked the PTO for support in purchasing the Fountas & Pinnelli program. She said the grant would not only make it possible for Ludlow-Taylor to implement the LLI, but would also make Ludlow-Taylor a resource for other schools in Ward 6 and the DCPS system who are interested in the program.
Lord said the grant committees from ANC 6A and 6C would work together to resolve the sudden impasse and change to their understanding of the rules that bind ANC grants.
The ANC voted to endorse the application as is, contingent upon approval from OANC, and to write a letter to both Director of the OANC Gottleib Simon, as well as to the Facilities Procurement Committee, which has oversight over OANC, to ask that the ANC have leeway over the interpretation of the rule.
In other business, the ANC voted to:
- send a letter to DDOT Director Jeff Marootian expressing disappointment with the lack of meaningful action by Union Station Redevelopment Corporation (USRC) to address traffic flow problems and cyclist and pedestrian safety in Columbus Circle.
- send a letter to Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6-D) in support of a park residents were working to establish at West Virginia Ave from K Street to Eighth Street NE and ask him to explore design and funding options, as well as a letter to DDOT asking them to explore the installation of Capital Bike Share Station at the park.
- Support a Historic Preservation Application (HPA) for a third-floor addition and new front basement entrance at 634 Lexington Ave. NE but noting concerns with detail on basement stairway guardrails and impact of changes to roofline on metal flashing.
- oppose a liquor license application for DC Live for a new 52-seat sidewalk café at Club Elevate (15 K St. NE) on all three grounds.
- support a Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) application for a special exception for a two-story addition at 913 Seventh St. NE.
- support a BZA application for an enclosed staircase to a rooftop deck at 434 Fourth St. NE
- partially support an HPA from owner at 224 C St. NE for plans for a second-story garage addition, with opposition to the alley-facing façade noted.
- support a Public Space Application from Fancy Radish (600 H St. NE) for a four-table, eight-seat unenclosed sidewalk café.
- support a Notice of Intent from DDOT to install no-turn-on-red signs at five intersections in ANC 6C, identifying two additional intersections that could benefit from similar installation and emphasize the need for strong enforcement of regulations.
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). The next meeting of ANC 6C will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 13. Learn more at anc6c.org.