ANC 6C Discusses Ward 6 Redistricting Map Drafts

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Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C met on March 9 via WebEx. Commissioners Christine Healey (6C01), Karen Wirt (6C02), Jay Adelstein (6C03), Mark Eckenwiler (6C04), Joel Kelty (6C05) and Drew Courtney (6C06) were in attendance.

Commissioners discussed the ongoing redistricting of Ward 6 and voted unanimously to send a letter to the Ward 6 Task Force stating their opposition to aspects of the current redistricting map.

At the suggestion of Commissioner Jay Adelstein (6C03), the commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter to the Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force and Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (D) expressing their concerns and stating a preference for Commissioner Eckenwiler’s map draft (map 1).

Redistricting Feedback
Commissioners discussed the current redistricting in the District ahead of the April 1 deadline for final maps. Commissioner Mark Eckenwiler (6C04) shared the latest versions of draft maps he created with the other commissioners.

Commissioner Eckenwiler map draft proposal #1, from February 28. Photo: M.Eckenwiler.

Eckenwiler expressed concern about the current task force draft map which allocates about 17,000 people and 9 single member districts (SMDs) to ANC 6E. If ANC 6E has 9 SMDs, they will average below the legal minimum of 1,900 residents per SMD which Eckenwiler said is “profoundly out of balance” and stated concerns about representation issues at the polls.

“Their entire map, I think, is inconsistent with District law,” Eckenwiler said. “And honestly, I think it’s [subject to] legal challenges because it gives overrepresentation to 6E voters.”

Commissioner Eckenwiler’s second map proposal that moves the 6A boundary in NoMa to 6th Street in north east NoMa.

In the current draft map, nearly all of the seven proposed SMDs in ANC 6C are over 2,000 people; one is home to over 2,100. Eckenwiler said that the Ward 6 Redistricting Task Force was “totally uninterested” in his proposed suggestion of moving about 600 people west of the Union Station tracks back into ANC 6B to ameliorate this issue.

Eckenwiler said that despite providing feedback at the Task Force meeting about his concerns, he does not believe that these changes will be taken up.

“My impression is that the task force has made up its mind and that nothing’s going to change regardless of what we or anybody else says to them,” Eckenwiler said. “But that’s just my impression.”

Commissioner Joel Kelty (6C05) spoke about the proposed maps and expressed support for a map that would not shift the boundary between ANC 6A and ANC 6C as it will reduce the ANC 6C influence on the H Street corridor.

“It reduces our sphere of influence on the H Street corridor and, in fact, takes us completely out of the retail subdistrict,” he said. “I’m not sure it’s in the best interest of the ANC,” Kelty said.

Transportation and Public Space Committee (TPS) Chair Michael Upright spoke in support of Kelty’s comments on the H Street corridor.

“I just wanted to weigh in support of Commissioner Kelty’s comments on the H Street corridor, and how important that is to 6C,” Upright said. “DDOT is looking at changing and making improvements along that corridor, and we have the opportunity to weigh in on that now since it goes through 6C, and if we lose that, then we don’t have that opportunity.”

Grant Applications
Victoria Lord, chair of the grants committee, provided a report of grants provided in 2021 and commissioners spoke about the current budget for 2022 grants. A total of 10 projects were reviewed by the committee last year with several ineligible or withdrawn.

The committee is working with two groups on their grant applications. Story of our Schools, an organization that creates permanent, history-based exhibits to promote visible community stories, was awarded a grant of $3,000 in 2021.

Lord emphasized that while applications can take time, she said they are continuing to work with organizations to get ready for primetime and to finalize and clarify budgets with the committee.

Individuals interested in applying for grants are strongly encouraged to contact the committee before completing an application to see if the project is eligible.

Commissioner Kelty told the audience that $27,000 remains in the budget for grants.

Consent Calendar
The ANC commissioners adopted the unanimous committee recommendations and the motion to agree to all items and recommendations on the consent calendar was passed unanimously 6-0:

  • A letter to the NoMA Parks Foundation supporting the name “Swampoodle Terrace” for a new park planned at Third and L Streets NE. Commissioners said the name maintains continuity with the nearby Swampoodle Park.
  • The Planning, Zoning and Economic Development (PZE) Committee discussed several proposals. First, an application to add a second story to an existing one-story rear addition at (103 4th St. NE). The ANC 6C and the committee previously reviewed and supported this project’s application.

Second, an application for special-exception relief to construct a third-story rear addition and penthouse to an existing attached two-story principal dwelling unit at (931 5th St. NE) was unanimously supported. The committee included the recommendation that HVAC equipment be as far removed from the facade as possible, the one caveat to their support.

Third, an application to construct a two-story addition plus roof deck at rear at (634 East Capitol St. NE). The committee passed this recommendation unanimously. The applicant plans to return in another month to seek zoning relief.

  • The TPS Committee unanimously supported the construction permit at (7 New York Ave NE) that requires demolition of an existing building for the construction of a 14-story residential building. The project was previously reviewed by DDOT and resubmitted after changes were made. The committee unanimously opposed the proposal for a loading zone

The TPS committee also discussed the public hearing on the Safe Routes to School, Walk Without Worry, Safer Intersections and Upgrading Tactical Safety Projects legislation. The committee recommended that the ANC submit testimony with several points including recommendations about the speed limit changes, pick up and drop off regulations and several others.

Finally, the TPS committee recommended that the ANC send a letter to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) regarding the addition of a commercial vehicle loading zone at Giant (800 block of 3rd Street NE). The committee, however, expressed concern regarding the impracticality of reconfiguration due to moving van use.

Additional Items

  • The TPS Committee received a request from a resident for a route change for the Eastern Market and L’Enfant Plaza Circulator. Committee chair Michael Upright will reach out to ANC 6B who has previously discussed the issue to follow up regarding the turnaround at D Street.

The ANC 6C typically meets at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month. The next meeting of ANC 6C is scheduled for 7 p.m. on April 13 via Webex. For the most up-to-date information about the commission, visit anc6c.org.

Sarah Payne is a general assignment reporter for Capital Community News. You can reach her at sarahp@hillrag.com.

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