The December meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B was an emotional one. It was the last meeting as Commissioner for Chander Jayaraman (6B08) and Kelly Waud (6B07). Both will step down as representatives for their Single Member Districts (SMD) at the end of 2020, though both vowed they would continue to work with and for the Hill community. It was an emotional meeting as each spoke about their time on the commission and the struggles and successes of the community, particularly over the last year as the pandemic raged.
Both Commissioners were presented with resolutions. Commissioner Gerald Sroufe (6B02) read a resolution declaring Jayaraman the first recipient of the “ANC 6B ‘Whisk’ Award,” presented because he has “specialized in stirring things up.” The whisk is to encourage Jayaraman to keep doing so after his temporary retirement begins, after eight years with ANC 6B. In a second resolution, Waud was presented with a “heliport designation sign” in recognition of her advocacy as the South Capitol Heliport seeks a second location.
Request for Deferral of Handle19 Hearing
Commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter requesting a delay to the Jan. 6 protest hearing on the Handle19 sportsbook liquor license, asking that it be deferred until Feb. 1 or later. Jayaraman said a deferral was needed to allow the ANC time to assemble materials, permit incoming commissioners to be fully briefed on the case and for the ANC to retain counsel on the matter.
Handle19 is a sports book and restaurant planned at 319 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, formerly Stanton Greene. The proposed venue would include dining on the main floor, while the second floor is earmarked for televised games and betting at eight kiosks.
Jayaraman said the applicant and the ANC were unable to come to terms, despite a four-hour mediation session.
Two different groups of residents have declared themselves parties in opposition to the application. At the meeting, one representative cited statistics showing that a sportsbook would increase neighborhood crime. Commissioners in opposition argued that sports betting does not belong in a residential neighborhood and will increase both vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the area.
In a separate discussion, the ANC also discussed authorizing funding for legal counsel in the case. It was decided that an amount could be designated at an ANC 6B executive meeting and after a potential counsel had been contacted.
Letter Re ANC in Eastern Market Future
Commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter to the Department of General Services (DGS), managers of Eastern Market, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (D) and other District agencies noting that as elected representatives of the community in which the Eastern Market is located, they were surprised that they were not specifically named in the Strategic Plan for Eastern Market.
The study, commissioned by Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) and conducted by Architrave P.C., makes 12 key recommendations. Primary among these is that the recommendations be guided by an implementation committee, and that Eastern Market should eventually be managed by a nonprofit private-public partnership. Aside from government and DC agencies, the report does not specify composition of these groups, other than suggesting they be composed of “stakeholders”.
The letter requests that the DGS generate a supplement to the Strategic Plan identifying the legislated roles and responsibilities of key area actors, such as the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) and the ANC for use by the implementation committee as they move forward on the strategic plan.
It also asks that DGS commit to supporting a key strategic plan recommendation: the creation of a nonprofit private-public partnership that would govern Eastern Market and hire the market manager. Sroufe said that, during a conference call he attended with DGS earlier on the day of the ANC meeting, agency representatives could give no commitment. Sroufe said without it, there was no point in moving forward with the committee charged with implementing the plans.
Read the strategic plan in its entirety online at https://scottbetz.wixsite.com/easternmarketplan
Resolution Supporting ANC Commissioner from DC Jail
The ANC supported a motion proposed by Commissioner Jayaraman asking DC Council, the Office of the ANC (OANC) and the DC Board of Corrections (BOC) to work to help seat a commissioner to represent ANC 7F07.
The position has not been held since the ANC was created after redistricting in 2012. It encompasses the DC Jail, the Harriet Tubman Shelter, St. Coletta of Greater Washington and the newly-completed (and as yet unoccupied) Park Kennedy Apartments.
Jayaraman said there are up to 1500 residents in the area. 300 are registered in 7F07, he estimated.
In July, DC Council passed legislation restoring the right to vote to District residents who had served time for a felony. A group of Hill East residents formed Neighbors for Justice, an organization working to facilitate the election of a Commissioner.
That group put together a two-pager and asked the BOC to distribute it, he said, but met resistance. Additional COVID-19 -related limitations impeded candidate efforts to collect required signatures to get on the ballot.
23 votes were cast in the SMD. 19 different individuals each received a single vote. But 2 candidates each received two votes; of those, one filled in an affirmation of candidacy. However, the address used did not match that on his voter registration, and he was disqualified. The DCBOE declared no winner in the race and the seat remains open.
Commissioner Denise Krepp (6B10) noted that the newly-opened Park Kennedy will soon be occupied, and could provide a candidate after residents have lived in the SMD for the required 60 days. Commissioner Corey Holman (6B06) noted that the wards are scheduled to be redrawn after the 2020 census is processed, perhaps creating a larger candidate pool.
Jayaraman said that repeated communication with Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent Gray (D), in whose jurisdiction the area falls, were not returned.
In Other Business
- voted to support the renewal of the Class B-Retail liquor license for Harris Teeter (1350 Potomac Ave. SE). The ANC renegotiated the Settlement Agreement (SA) with the applicant to include provisions in regard to delivery trucks to prevent them from blocking sidewalks, idling and leaving back-up alarms on as they unload. Sales hours were negotiated to end at midnight.
- discussed an application for a ten-year extension to special exemption to BZA rules allowing for fast food use at Chipotle (413 Eighth St. SE). A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 10, 2021. Neighbors spoke to concerns with trash and rodents that could be addressed as conditions with the modifications to the agreement which was first negotiated in 2011. The ANC did not vote on the matter, which will be heard again in January. Chair Ready said he would take the lead in arranging a meeting between Chipotle and the community prior to the vote.
Due to COVID-19 safety concerns, ANC 6B held the December meeting of the full commission on Tuesday, Dec. 8th virtually via Webex with a quorum of nine commissioners. Appearing were 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 currently vacant.
The next meeting of ANC 6B is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. At that meeting, three new commissioners will take their seats: Edward Ryder (6B07), Peter Wright (6B08) and Alison Horn (6B09). For the most up-to-date information on meetings and how to join a virtual meeting via Webex, visit anc6b.org.
ANC 6B has been working to update its website. You can visit the new site, learn about Commissioners and committees, and subscribe to the newsletter by visiting anc6b.org or connect with the commission via email at [email protected] or find @ANC6B on Twitter.