Yards West Development Modified

ANC 6D Report

130

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6D (ANC 6D) met on May 9 over Zoom. Commissioners Dr. Marjorie Lightman (6D01), Jared Weiss (6D02, secretary), Ronald Collins (6D03, treasurer) Andy Litsky (6D04), Fredrica (Rikki) Kramer (6D05, vice chair), Rhonda Hamilton (6D06), Edward Daniels (6D07, chair) were in attendance.

Brookfield Properties briefed the commission on its plans for Yards West, an 18 acre parcel between Nationals Park and the Washington Navy Yard. The developer is requesting modifications to the existing Planned Unit Development (PUD) approved by the DC Zoning Commission over a decade ago. Under consideration are the four parcels currently occupied by DC Water. Brookfield plans mixed-use development that sets aside approximately 30 percent of residential units as affordable. Half will be rented at 30 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) and with the remainder offered at 60 percent.

The proposed development will consist of four components: F1, G1, G2 and G3. F1 is a 95,000 square foot movie theatre with over 300 parking spots, G1 and G2 are mixed residential and retail spaces with 15-20,000 square feet of potential retail space and approximately 250-340,000 square feet of residential living space, respectively. G3 is slated to expand Diamond Teague Park.

Yards West expands Diamond Teague Park, increasing the area’s public green space by about 30 percent. Brookfield envisions the park as a community epicenter. A stage for outdoor community events is under consideration. The project also incorporates a variety of retail uses designed to encourage neighborhood services within the new buildings. They foresee the creation of a “retail incubator” designed to grow small enterprises such as art galleries and children’s bookstores, into thriving businesses equipped to lease larger permanent spaces.

Brookfield plans to file its application for a PUD modification this coming summer in time for Zoning Commission approval in the fall.

The affordable units  are “enormously helpful” to the community, stated Commissioner Litsky. Chair Daniels echoed his sentiments, adding, “Navy Yard could definitely use a lot more cultural spaces.” “We have tons of restaurants, we’ve got the stadiums nearby, but we don’t really have a lot of neighborhood staples that residents can feel are unique to our neighborhood.”

Flooding on Buzzard Point
Due to global warming, more than 600 structures and 10,000 residents in Southwest face dangers from flooding. The existing flood plain runs from the Potomac River up 17th Street NW, down Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues and then takes a turn down Third Street heading south through Buzzard Point. The area is home to many seniors and people with disabilities, who pose a special challenge during any evacuations. Andrea Limauro, an environmental protection specialist from the District Department of Energy and Environment (DDOEE), spoke about the agency’s plan to promote flood resilience on Buzzard Point.

DOEE is studying designs for new infrastructure designed to cope with flood water. In particular, it includes several catchment basins intended to collect water during floods. When one basin fills up, the excess is sent to the next. The main goal is “just keep water away from buildings.”

Limauro said that another aim is the creation of a new network of “sidewalks, streets, parks and open spaces for the Southwest community to enjoy.

“We have a great opportunity to essentially use this strategy to retain control of the public spaces in southwestern Buzzard Point and make them great places for people,” Limauro said.

This project is still in its early stages. The agency is “going to be doing a lot of listening this summer” engaging the community listening sessions and workshops. The first workshop will take place on June 24.

Other Matters
First District Metropolitan Police (MPD) Captain Jonathan Dorrough briefed the commission on public safety. Dorrough reported seven violent crimes, including carjackings and shootings, over the past month in addition to several reported cases of stolen automobiles and other property crime. Commissioners questioned him about juvenile carjacking and the criminal justice process, speaking of the importance of community rehabilitation efforts while working to prevent repeat offenses in the neighborhood.

Andrew Galli updated the commissioners on the status of the DC Water Potomac River Tunnel Project. The Independence Avenue SW portion of the construction is expected to be completed in September. The intersection at 14th Street in next up. Further information will be available closer to the start of that construction.

Commissioners unanimously voted to send a letter to Councilmember and Chair of the Subcommittee on Redistricting Elissa Silvermann (I-At Large), DC Council Chair Phil Mendelson (D), Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (D) and Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White (D) supporting a standalone Single Member District (SMD) ANC for Navy Yard. They spoke in opposition to the cross-river ANC proposed by the Ward 8 Redistricting Taskforce. Secretary Weiss spoke in support, saying it would be a “clean and clear and well-defined neighborhood.”

The ANC voted to protest the license renewals of Boomerang Boat III and Nightingale II. Commissioner Lightman abstained.

The commission voted unanimously to:

  • support a public space application for additional signage at Gallery 64 (64 H St. SW) and the addition of a sidewalk sculpture;
  • support a public space application for Silver Diner, located at Half and N Streets, to relocate their outdoor sidewalk café;
  • authorize Commissioner Hamilton to submit comments collected by other commissioners in time for consideration by DCHA for their moving to work demonstration for FY 23. These comments are due by May 23.
  • approve the cooperative agreement (CA) with Tap 99, 1250 Half Street SE, including an entertainment endorsement, a stipulated license and an extension of hours of operation;
  • approve a CA with Pink Taco, 100 M St SE, decrease its existing sidewalk cafe from 94 to 22 seats as well as the addition of a 60-seat summer garden;
  • agreed to a 20-seat outdoor space at The Green Turtle, 1237 First Street SE;
  • protest the petition the liquor application of Oasis, 658 Wharf St. SE;
  • Support the CA and license for Swizzler, 1259 First St. SE;
  • protest the renewal a liquor license for Thompson Hotel, 221 Tingey St. SE, over concerns about their driveway and nearby bike lanes often blocked by their valet;
  • protest the renewal of the liquor application for Fat Fish Rolls and Twists, 1 Market Sq. SW;
  • supported liquor license renewals for Artechouse, 1238 Maryland Ave. SW; Courtyard Navy Yard, 140 L St. SE; Pho Junkies, 1025 First St. SE; Chopsmith, 11 District Sq. SW; Ilili, 100 District Sq. SW; MOMO, 1001 Fourth St. SW; Scarlet Oak, 909 New Jersey Ave. SW; NaRa-Ya, 88 District Sq. SW; Kruba, 301 Water St. SE; Station 4, 1101 Fourth St. SW; &Pizza, 1210 Half St. SE; Basebowl,1202 Half St. SE; Hampton Inn and Suites, 1265 First St. SE; Del Mar, 791 Ward St. SW; Surfside, 33 District Sq. SW; The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW;

ANC 6D meets at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of every month. The next meeting is June 13, 2022 via Zoom. For more information and links to join ANC meetings, visit www.anc6d.org.

Sarah Payne is a general assignment reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at sarap@hillrag.com.