Due to COVID-19 safety concerns, Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B held the September meeting of the full commission on Tuesday, Sept. 8, via Webex, with a quorum of eight commissioners: Jennifer Samolyk (6B01), Gerald Sroufe (6B02, secretary), Brian Ready (6B03, chair), Kirsten Oldenburg (6B04), Steve Holtzman (6B05), Corey Holman (6B06, treasurer), Kelly Waud (6B07, parliamentarian), Chander Jayaraman (6B08, vice-chair) and Denise Krepp (6B10). ANC 6B09 is vacant.
At the meeting, commissioners voted to oppose the application for zoning changes for a planned unit development (PUD) at 1333 M St. SE, stating that they found “the proffered public benefits insufficient.” The project was to be heard before the DC Zoning Commission (ZC) on Sept. 10, when ZC representatives could rule on the developer’s request to rezone the parcel to allow for construction of the project.
The ANC noted that an increase in the public benefits contribution from the $25,000 currently offered by the developer, toward securing a site for an adult day center (ADC), to $250,000 would meet the required threshold. The ADC was proposed by Capitol Hill Village, the local nonprofit that helps residents age in place on the Hill.
Felice Development Group (FDG) is planning the 13-story, 791,063-square-foot, mixed-use project on the triangle where M and Water streets meet the Virginia Avenue SE right-of-way.
The PUD requires FDG to mitigate impacts of the project as well as provide items that “benefit the surrounding neighborhood or the public in general.” Those benefits are outlined in a memorandum of understanding (MOU), a contract with the community as represented by the ANC. Some benefits currently included are: larger, two-bedroom inclusionary zoning at low rates, public space improvements and improvements to surrounding roadways and bike trails. At the Sept. 10 hearing before the ZC that followed this meeting, FDG announced it will provide the requested $250,000 for the benefit of Capitol Hill Seniors as part of the PUD. The ZC will resume consideration of the application at a hearing on Oct. 15.
Hill East Lot Surplussing
Director of Hill East Redevelopment Ketan Gada appeared on behalf of the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) to discuss the plans for development of Reservation 13.
As part of the Hill East Phase 2 development process, the surplus process has been initiated for eight parcels located on the Hill East site. Surplussing is the process by which the DC Council certifies that property is not necessary for District needs and can be developed.
DMPED has specifically identified Parcel A, Parcel B-1, Parcel B-2, Parcel C, Parcel E, Parcel F-2, Parcel G-2 and Parcel H on the Hill East campus (see map), a total of 490,000 square feet, for redevelopment in Phase 2.
The determination of which properties will be offered in the first request for proposals (RFP) will be made by DMPED together with the Department of General Services (DGS), Gada said, noting that roads will have to be constructed in concert with development. He pointed to infrastructure considerations throughout the property, including a huge DC sewer line that runs below grade, a downward slope 30 feet from parcel F1 to parcel C and a number of small structures that require demolition.
Each lot is also subject to different zoning considerations and will be developed in compliance with the Hill East master plan, he added. Properties not selected in this round will be released in a later RFP.
Gada said that DMPED has received more than 600 emails on the topic. A Sept. 2 public hearing on the matter was attended virtually and via telephone by more than 120 residents, including Commissioner Krepp. Krepp said she attended via telephone and asked Gada why she was muted throughout the hearing. Gada cited difficulties in managing online meetings and promised to improve as he learned.
Discussion on Sports Wagering License Deferred
Alcohol Beverage Committee Chair Jayaraman said that discussion of the application by Handle19, an establishment planned at the site of the former Stanton Greene (319 Pennsylvania Ave. SE), to add sports wagering to the ABRA Class C Restaurant license had been deferred to October to allow for greater conversation with the community. The applicant agreed to request an extension to the protest hearing deadline, Jayaraman added.
Commissioners voted the following actions:
- To support a historic preservation application (HPA) for a third-story addition at 610 A St. SE, by a vote of 7-1-1. Applicant had met with neighbors, reduced the height of the addition and increased the setback. Neighbors still objected to the impact of the project, citing lack of notice, size and scale and impact on the alley viewshed, but commissioners noted that the project was by-right and that the applicant had made an effort to compromise.
- To support the renewal of the Class A Retail liquor sales license for the Safeway supermarket (415 14th St. SE). Alcohol Beverage Committee Chair Jayaraman said that the grocery store had agreed to a reduction in hours to match surrounding businesses as part of a signed settlement a Hours are: Sunday to Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.
- To send a letter of support for the public space application (PSA) from the Department of General Services (DGS) to begin construction on Phase 2 of the Eastern Market Metro Plaza Project (EMMP). Holtzman said the letter was originally drafted July 28, but not sent due to illness. The EMMP manager had asked Holtzman for a letter of support, saying that the Public Space Committee of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) required a letter stating ANC support before issuing a construction permit.
- To support a letter to DDOT favoring Alternative A of the Pennsylvania Avenue Corridor Study to install protected bike lanes from Second Street SE to Barney Circle. The letter encourages DDOT to prioritize solutions that increase cyclist and pedestrian comfort as the study progresses, and to be mindful of the resulting diversion of traffic flow.
- To send a letter to DMPED (7-0-2) requesting adequate notice to residents of Hill East prior to meetings on the topic of Reservation 13. Krepp said that many residents do not have internet or email access, and that fliers and telephone calls would have captured a larger number of comments. The letter also said that residents attending the Sept. 2 meeting via telephone had difficulty participating, and called for an additional meeting to hear resident views before the surplussing process moves forward.
- To support a motion to hire an executive director to assist the ANC.
The next meeting of ANC 6B is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13. For up-to-date information on meetings and how to join a virtual meeting, visit www.anc6b.org. Learn about ANC 6B and committees and subscribe to the newsletter by visiting www.anc6b.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or find @ANC6B on Twitter.