More Affordable Housing

615

All six members were present at the Feb. 12 meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C: Christine Healey (6C01, secretary), Karen Wirt (6C02, chair), Jay Adelstein (6C03), Mark Eckenwiler (6C04 vice chair), Joel Kelty (6C05, treasurer) and Drew Courtney (6C06).

More Affordable Housing in Land Deal
The commissioners unanimously supported a letter proposed by Courtney asking that plans be included and funded by a proposed development at 1133 North Capitol St. NE, the former site of the DC Housing Authority (DCHA). The letter requests units for people earning 0-30percent of area median income (AMI) as well as permanent supportive housing (PSH).

Developer MRP, selected in 2014 to develop the site into a 220-unit, mixed-use project, signed a 99-year lease on the site. The 2.5-acre property is located two blocks from the M Street NE encampments, but Courtney said that in the latest iteration of the plan approved by the DCHA board, there are zero guaranteed units at 0-30 percent AMI. Courtney said that income range would include those without jobs and also those earning minimum wage working in groceries, pharmacies and restaurants in NoMa. He said the developers told him plans include units at 60 percent AMI, and vouchers will be honored.

However, Courtney said that as land in the neighborhood was worth $100 million, plans should provide more PSH which includes housing and supportive services. Currently, only “5percent of 20percent” of the units will be PSH.

Support for Lot Occupancy Exception
Commissioners voted 5-1 to support a Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) application for special exemption to lot occupancy for a 150-square-foot rear addition to a single-family dwelling at 508 D St. NE. The addition takes the building from over 60percent lot occupancy to 79.6percent, which Planning, Zoning and Economic Development (PZE) Chair Mark Eckenwiler (6C04) said was too great an exception for the conditions present, which usually max at 70percent.

The applicant asked commissioners to think less of precedent and more of the people involved, saying that the addition will accommodate his growing family and his mother-in-law, and adding that the 150 square feet was the most limited ask they could make. Citing the length of the two-story adjoining wall at 510 D St., which the applicant said encroaches on the property at the rear of the applicant’s home, commissioners supported the application, some availing themselves of the discretion of the BZA.

No Left Turns from Montessori Lot
The commissioners unanimously supported a public space application for construction at Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan (215 G St. NE), including 14 trees, landscaping, trash and recycling cans. They recommended that plans increase the proposed number of bike racks from 22 to up to 52, and asked that the fencing be removed on Second Street and added on Third Street NE.

Larger discussion was held on the entry to the parking lot, on Second Street, and a planned exit into the public alley and right onto Second Street. The exit gate is fobbed for security but large enough to facilitate entry by a 52-foot service vehicle, such as the kind used to collect trash from the school dumpsters. Commissioners were concerned the space was larger than necessary and also that vehicles would exit the gate and turn left, increasing traffic in the alley on the way to Third Street. They asked that the gate size be reexamined and stated that their support was contingent on a permanent four-foot bollard being installed to prevent left turns into the alley.

Consent Agenda
Commissioners voted on 10 items on the consent agenda.

Commissioners protested an application for Junction Bistro, Bar and Bakery (238 Massachusetts Ave. NE) to obtain a settlement agreement (SA), but they supported a stipulated license upon execution of the SA. A full-service restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, Junction is seeking service until 1 a.m. but is willing to consider an 11 p.m. closure.

Commissioners protested an application for a new Class D Tavern license for Butter Chicken (500 H St. NE) to obtain an SA. The Alcoholic Beverage Licensing (ABL) Committee will work on hours in the SA and with the Transportation and Public Space (TPS) Committee on coordination as the applicant seeks permission for a sidewalk cafe.

Commissioners supported the public space application for an ADA-accessible, 11-table, 42-seat sidewalk cafe for Butter Chicken (500 H St. NE), but the TPS asked hours be set as a 10:30 p.m. closure on Sunday to Thursday and a Friday and Saturday 12 a.m. closure, in coordination with the ABL Committee.

Commissioners supported RESA’s public space application to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) for parking garage safety improvements. RESA is located at 22 M St. NE, but the garage exit is on Paterson Street. A parking spot near the exit blocks a clear line of vision, so the management wants DDOT to consider designating that space “no parking,” and the committee recommends that DDOT designate 15 feet from the exit as no parking and put in a physical barrier, such as planters or a micro-mobility corral.

Commissioners recommended that the ANC send a letter to DDOT in regard to safety concerns on H Street and Third Street NE, asking that it consider better signal timing for left turns, potentially a left-turn cycle for the westbound lane and a left-turn signal. At Sixth and H streets NE, recently the site of a bicycle crash, they recommended a left-turn signal and bulb-outs for pedestrian safety, and requested a DDOT traffic study.

Commissioners supported sending a letter to Councilmember Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), chair of the DC Council Transportation and Environment Committee, requesting funding for a permanent fix along Sixth Street between K Street and Florida Avenue NE. The stretch was included as part of the Florida Avenue improvements, but permanent fixes like ADA-compliant sidewalks are not included in the project.

Commissioners supported a sign-on letter presented by ANC 6E asking DDOT to take immediate action in implementing the specific safety improvements to North Capitol Street NE identified in a January 2019 study by the NoMa BID, noting that four pedestrians were fatally struck on or near North Capitol in 2019.

Commissioners opposed a BZA application for a variance to allow lot occupancy between 95percent and 100percent for the construction of a rear deck at 627 Orleans Place NE, on the basis that there is no exceptional condition to warrant such extreme relief.

Commissioners opposed the BZA application at 653 Eighth St. NE to expand an existing three-unit apartment house to include a fourth unit and enclose an existing porch as habitable space. The PZE committee debated whether, according to statute, the project requires 900 square feet of lot per unit. ANC 6A, another affected ANC, has also voted to oppose.

Commissioners decided in favor of a letter in support of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, scheduled for March 28 along the same course as last year. The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has indicated that the Clean Routes Initiative will be in effect, meaning no cars will be permitted to be parked along the route.

Other Business
The commissioners voted 4-0 with one abstention (one commissioner was out of the room) to support a public space construction application for a single-family home being converted to a two-family home at 1212 Sixth St. NE. The ANC first heard the application in December, when commissioners requested additional detail on the proposed fencing and a rendering along Sixth Street. Revisions show the portion of the driveway in public space with a different treatment, and the retaining wall aligning with neighbors.

The commissioners voted to support the 37-pages of comments on the DC Comprehensive Plan as proposed by the TPS, PZE and Environment, Parks and Events (EPE) committees. Full comments on the plan are available on the ANC 6C website.

ANC 6C meets at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month (except August) in the ground floor conference room at the Heritage Foundation (214 Massachusetts Ave. NE). ANCs do not meet in August. The next meeting of ANC 6C takes place at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 11. Learn more at www.anc6c.org.