Transportation Committee Chair Honored

ANC 6C Report

55

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C set a record for one of their shortest meetings ever, clocking in at only 53 minutes at the Dec. 8, 2021 meeting of the commission. Christine Healey (6C01), Karen Wirt (6C02), Jay Adelstein (6C03), Mark Eckenwiler (6C04), Joel Kelty (6C05) and Drew Courtney (6C06) were in attendance.

Kwan Honored
ANC 6C Chair Karen Wirt (6C02) presented the commission’s Transportation Public Space (TPS) Chair Christy Kwan with a certificate of appreciation for her work and dedication over the years on issues of public safety. “She’s helped the committee and the community so much,” Wirt said.

Commissioners added their appreciation for Kwan’s dedication, including Planning, Zoning and Economic Committee Chair Mark Eckenwiler (6C04) who said, “I know that she has spent an enormous effort. She has really been very dedicated as a committee chair, and we’ve been very fortunate to have her volunteer service.”

“She’s done an amazing job, and a lot of work,” said Drew Courtney (6C06).

The text of the certificate reads: ”Certificate of appreciation awarded to Christy Kwan for your outstanding services as chair of the ANC Transportation & Public Space Committee, and your dedication and tireless efforts to improve the District.”

Historic Concept Approved Despite Parking Concern
The bulk of the December meeting was occupied by a consideration of historic concept approval of a two-story garage and study in the alley behind 732 Third St. NE. The project is by-right project and occupies 450 square feet bringing lot occupancy to 60 percent. There are no known zoning issues.

It was unanimously supported by the ANC. Neighbor Devorah Adler asked that the case be removed from the consent calendar because she objects to the project, citing concerns about its impact on her ability to park. She said she was not recognized to speak at the Planning and Zoning meeting.

Applicant Drury Tallant said his project is on his property and will not change the neighbor’s parking, saying it is difficult not because of any arrangements he might make but because of the fence arrangement at a nearby commercial building. “I don’t quite understand where she is coming from,” he said.

Adler said the way the proposed structure is set up will extend to the end of the lot right to the alley. She said that in conversations with her, Tallant said he was aware that his project creates an issue with her parking, but that he refused to address it.

Commissioner Mark Eckenwiler (6C) said that in a Historic Preservation Application (HPA) such as this one, parking is not considered a related concern by the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB).

Supreme Court Security Concern
Commissioner Christine Healey (6C01) reported on the current Supreme Court security posture. In November, the ANC voted to send a letter to Congresswoman Eleanor Norton (DC-D) and to Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) expressing concerns about the use of a retractable barrier on the 200 block of A Street NE that Healey described as “very loud and very inconvenient for the neighbors who are trying to work from home when they utilize it.”

The Mayor’s Office of Community Relations (MOCR) representative for Ward 6 Kevin Pham said he had talked to the Office of Federal and Regional Affairs which told him that temporary barriers should have been removed around the Supreme Court. Pham clarified for commissioners that District government was not consulted as these barriers were enacted.

Consent Calendar
The commission voted to send a letter to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) on the final design for Dave Thomas Circle. The letter expresses disappointment that the ANC was not consulted on the number of lanes and argues that the design falls short of its potential to enhance safety. It adds that DDOT should reduce lanes and add protected bike lanes as were shown in drafts for the 30 percent design.

The commission also voted to send a letter to DDOT Director Everett Lott stating enthusiasm for the Eighth Street NE Bus Priority Program, which was initiated in December. The Bus Priority Program seeks to improve bus travel speeds and reliability across the District, which includes 70 miles across all eight wards. A concept design will likely be presented in spring 2022 with DDOT looking towards implementation in fiscal year 2023. DDOT is currently seeking input from residents. The letter notes that the ANC looks forward to further engagement on proposals for bus priority corridors in ANC 6C.

Other Meeting Notes
Three years after first introducing legislation, DC has finalized short-term rental regulations. These require licenses and restrictions on short-term rentals, such as those offered through the Air BnB platform.

Basically, short-term rentals, including rooms, basement units and accessory dwelling units must be operated by the owner of the unit living on the property. Hosts with these licenses can admit guests for an unlimited number of nights while they are at home.

There is also a vacation rental license, permitting hosts to rent for a maximum of 90 days while they are out of town. See the full list of rules at: https://www.dcregs.dc.gov/Common/NoticeDetail.aspx?NoticeId=N116540

Mayor’s Office of Community Relations (MOCR) representative for Ward 6 Kevin Pham told commissioners that he is working on a list of properties taxed as residential that are believed to be used commercially. He said the DC Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) is reviewing that list and will conduct a review and, if necessary, change the tax status of properties. Reviews are usually done in January; if a switch is necessary, OTR will connect commercial properties with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) to obtain correct licenses.

Dates for 2022 meetings of ANC 6C are already available online. The Jan. 12, 2022 meeting will be held virtually at 7 p.m. As of December, legislation permitting ANCs to meet virtually had not been extended; ANCs are currently required to meet in-person as of February 2022. Get up to date information on meetings at anc6c.org