Liquor Store in Atlas Gym Building Protested


At their July 13th meeting, Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B voted to protest an application from Sip Wine and Spirits to open a “higher-end” liquor store, Sip Wine and Spirits, at 1100 K St. SE. The building is the former site of Atlas Gym, located across the street from Ginkgo Gardens.

Community members voiced opposition to a liquor store at the site, citing the proximity to Tyler Elementary (1001 G St. SE) as well as issues with crime, traffic and parking.  Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg (6B08) said that Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) regulations need to be clarified for this case, as they appear to prohibit liquor stores from being located within 400 feet of a school or recreational facility. The Tyler playground is located up the street and across the intersection at I Street SE.

Several petitions in opposition were circulated around the community, attendees told the commission. Residents said that they were not opposed to liquor stores in general, but said the location comes with challenges that would be aggravated by a liquor store. Oldenburg noted that then-First District Commander Morgan Kane had also expressed opposition to the idea.

The applicant was unable to appear at the meeting of the Alcohol Beverage Committee (ABC), so the committee did not make a recommendation, preferring to allow time for the applicant to reach out to the community before they appeared before the full commission. Technical difficulties prevented a representative of the liquor store from being heard at the online meeting of the full commission. Still, the commission cited the extreme opposition from the committee and concerns with crime and safety in opposing the application.

UPDATE: After the meeting, the applicant withdrew their application for a license to open a liquor store at this location.

La Casina Liquor License Hearing Deferred to September
Commissioners voted to request an extension of the petition deadline for an application for a Class C Restaurant License for La Casina 1978 (327 Seventh St. SE), a new Romana pizzeria planned for the former site of 7th Hill Pizza. The application was posted at the start of the holiday weekend, July 2. The eleven days between posting and the meeting of the full ANC did not allow sufficient time for the community to learn about plans for the space or ask questions.

The applicant is in Rome, Italy, with plans to move to the District in August. They have agreed to extend the petition deadline to Sept. 17 to allow for community consultation. That decision will necessarily defer the opening, which had been planned for September.

Affordable Housing at Proposed South Capitol Development
Representatives from WC Smith presented a concept for a 13-story residential development at 850 South Capitol Street. The site is oddly-shaped, including a narrow strip extending south to I Street SE,  and extends under the I-395/I-695 highway to the north.

The proposed building would have two interior courtyards, a rooftop pool and three levels of parking above grade surrounding the lobby and amenity spaces on the ground and second floors. Unit numbers have not been finalized, but representatives said that all would be offered at market rate.

The site is zoned D5, for high-density commercial and mixed use, and would require a special design review by the Zoning Commission, in part because of the required viewshed along South Capitol to the Capitol dome.

The property would not be developed for up to five years, around the same time that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will rebuild the interstate ramp.  Corey Holman (6B06) asked representatives if the developer was interested in entitling the project before inclusionary zoning might take effect in the area, as is currently being debated. WC Smith representative Shane Dettman said that advance work is necessary because the application and permitting process is lengthy, requiring up to a year in zoning and design review alone.

The commission decided they would consult with ANC 6D, especially Edward Daniels (6D07), whose Single Member District (SMD) borders the south of the lot, citing that ANC’s extensive experience in dealing with developers on the question of affordable housing. The WC Smith development team is expected to file a design review application prior to the September meetings of the ANCs.

Approval for Two-Story Addition on Tenth St. SE
The commission voted 9-0 with one abstention to a two-story rear addition and raze of an existing carriage house at 232 Tenth St. SE. The project has been subject to months of discussions between the architect, property owner, and neighbors. Initial plans included a third story which was been removed after discussions with the neighbors.

In addition to historic review, the applicant is requesting a special exception to allow for lot occupancy 2.3 percent over what is permitted by right and to permit the building to extend further than 10 feet past the house to the north.

Multiple neighbors spoke in opposition. The focus was on light and air as well as the precedent that a rear addition would set when there are no two-story rear additions on the block, although there is one one-story addition.

In putting forward a motion to support, Commissioner Steve Holtzman (6B05) cited the applicant’s willingness to remove the partial third floor from the design as a compromise to get the two-story rear addition, which they could have done as a matter of right. He noted abutting neighbors were no longer in opposition and have made a promise secured from the applicant not to add a third floor later.

Opposition to DC Circulator Route Change
The ANC voted to oppose changes to the Eastern Market-L’Enfant Plaza Route proposed in the DC Circulator Transit Development Plan (TDP).

The ANC said this route serves both Nationals Stadium and Audi Field with special service on game days and DC Public Schools (DCPS) students living on Capitol Hill who attend Jefferson Academy Middle School.

In the letter, ANC6B opposed the proposed truncation of the route between Eastern Market and L Street SE, arguing this would negatively impact Barracks Row and eliminate “one-seat rides” between Eastern Market and the Riverfront and Wharf and areas in between for business, recreational, and student users. However, the Commission supported the proposed extension between L’Enfant Plaza and Mt. Vernon Square. Additionally, the ANC asked DDOT to study ways to make the turnaround near Eastern Market safer and more efficient.

Support for Advisory Bike Lanes
The ANC voted 9-1 to support two Notice of Intent (NOI) of concept plans for advisory bike lanes on the 100 block of North Carolina Ave. SE and on 12th Street between E and East Capitol Streets SE.

The 12th Street lanes were subject of the least amount of controversy. Commissioner Jennifer Samolyk (6B01) voiced strong opposition to the installation of lanes on North Carolina Ave., saying that area residents were opposed.

The support came with the caveat that the commission see plans for the intersection of 12th Street with Independence Ave., and for the intersection of North Carolina Ave. with First St. SE; Samolyk asked that her opposition as representative of the Single Member District be recorded in the letter of support.

In Other Business
The Commission voted to:

  • Approve an update to the existing Settlement Agreement (SA) with the Ugly Mug (723 Eighth St. SE). The SA limits the hours that the retractable roof can be opened to 11:30 to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday; 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 5 p.m. to midnight Fridays; 11:30 a.m. to midnight Saturdays and noon to 10:30 p.m. Sundays.
  • Support an application for a new Tavern license for DC Ramen, a new ramen restaurant opening at 525 Eighth St. SE. Chefs will come from Osaka in Japan, bringing authentic Consai Ramen with a unique twist to Capitol Hill. The restaurant will have a summer garden, open Sunday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and a sidewalk café open 10 a.m. to midnight Monday to Sunday.
  • Support a Historic Preservation Application (HPA) to add a second story rear addition and windows on the side yard at 507 E St. SE, after seeing drawings of the windows on the main house and their relationship to a new fence.
  • Support letters to DDOT requesting speed humps on the 100 blocks of both 18th and Burke Streets SE.

Appearing were Commissioners Jennifer Samolyk (6B01), Gerald Sroufe (6B02), Brian Ready (6B03), Kirsten Oldenburg (6B04), Steve Holtzman (6B05), Corey Holman (6B06), Edward Ryder (6B07), Peter Wright (6B08), Alison Horn (6B09) and Denise Krepp (6B10).

ANCs and their committees do not meet in August. The next meeting of ANC 6B is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. For the most up-to-date information on meetings and how to join a virtual meeting via Webex, visit

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