November ANC 6D Report

Afterhours Construction Permitting Debated

571

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6D met Nov. 16 over WebEx. Commissioners Gail Fast (6D01), Ronald Collins (6D03), Andy Litsky (6D04), Fredrica (Rikki) Kramer (6D05), Rhonda Hamilton (6D06) and Edward Daniels (6D07) were in attendance. Anna Forgie, chair of ANC 6D02 Committee also participated.

Anthony Diallo, community outreach specialist from the Dept. of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), gave an overview of the agency’s operations. Commissioners brought up the issue of the Novell exterior neon lighting. They also quizzed him about afterhours construction permits in particular involving utility companies.

Afterhours permits are supposed to be approved by the Commission. Utility companies often take advantage of emergency exemptions to this rule, according to commissioners. Commissioner Daniels stated he had discovered lots of incorrect permits.

“The way the process is working now there is no benefit,” stated Commissioner Colling pointedly.

Diallo stated that responsibility for approving such permits was being shifted from DCRA to the DC Dept. of Transportation (DDOT) Public Space administration. However, he added, the agencies had not finalized the transfer. Listky asked for the opportunity for the commission to comment on the operational changes.

It needs to be clear who is in charge of what, DCRA or DDOT,” stated Commissioner Litsky.

Litsky pointed out that The Wharf had received three stop work orders. In none of the instances, had the city informed him as the commissioner representing that Single Member District (SMD). Diallo pointed out that such orders are a matter of public record. Litsky responded that nevertheless the agency should inform the commission.

Talking Transportation
DDOT Ward 6 Community Engagement Specialist Andrew DeFrank briefed the commission on his department’s Ward 6 projects. DDOT will install a traffic light at the intersection of New Jersey Avenue and I Streets SE in 2021, he stated. Moreover, he promised increased enforcement against delivery vehicles illegally parked in the crosswalk on the southwest side of the intersection making deliveries to Harry’s Liquors. If a commissioner witnesses a DDOT vehicle blocking a crosswalk, please call him, he instructed.

Commissioner Daniels pointed out that the striping and flex posts were missing on I Street SE between New Jersey and South Capitol. “In my opinion, the situation (on I Street SE) is now working well for residents,” he stated.

Other Matters
MPD Captain Jonathan Dorrough briefed commissioners on public safety. There has been a significant decrease in property crime. However, violent crime is up 71 percent. In particular, thieves are targeting delivery vehicles for “hop in” thefts. Last month, there were nine such incidents in ANC 6D. Public Service Area (PSA) 107 saw four armed robberies and one assault with a deadly weapon. A shooting took place at the Waterside Metro. There was a domestic homicide at 101 Fourth St. SW. There were two robberies including one assault of a Vespa rider. PSA 105 saw two assaults with deadly weapons and a shooting injuring a man in the leg. PSA 106 saw two robberies both involving guns including one carjacking.

“We are concerned about the increase in gun violence in the city as a whole,” stated Dorrough. “It’s just terrifying,” said Commissioner Hamilton, commenting on the shooting in her neighbor that involved multiple rounds from a high caliber weapon.

There has been progress on the new Southwest Library, Friends of the Southwest Library reported. Its opening is imminent.

Commissioners heard a presentation from the organizers of the Southwest Community Center. The Center is a 6,000 square foot facility tentatively opening in October of 2023. Chair Ashton Rohmer and members of the Center’s Communications Committee gave a rundown of their efforts to map social assets in Southwest and solicit community engagement. For more information, visit www.swdccc.org.

The ANC voted to:

  • approve the October and September minutes;
  • send a letter to the Zoning Commission opposing the neo exterior lighting on the Novell building;
  • send a letter to the DC Attorney General about the safety of cellular mono poles close to residences;
  • send a letter to the DC Dept. of Health (DOH) requesting a permanent COVID testing site in Southwest;
  • send a letter to Toll Brothers regarding the size of the loading dock at its Park Riverside II development;
  • supported the applications for liquor licenses and cooperative agreements for Boomerang Boats and the Hilton National Mall (1300 Maine Ave. SW);
  • appointed Matthew Leddy as an At-Large representative to the commissions Alcohol Beverage Committee.

ANC 6D meets at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of every month. The next meeting of ANC 6D is for Dec. 14 via Webex. For more information and links to join ANC meetings, visit anc6d.org.