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DPW Discusses Enforcement, Agency Role With ANC 6B

During the July 13 meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B, a resident identifying himself as Jonathon thanked Acting Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Michael Carter for the increase in booting and towing over the last few months. The resident said he and his son were struck earlier this year by a vehicle that was eligible for towing or booting.

“It’s really the only enforcement with teeth for dangerous driving,” Jonathon said. “I’m just grateful for it, and I urge you to keep increasing that effort.”

Also at the meeting was DPW Parking Enforcement Administrator Johnny Gaither.

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) attended the meeting.

Gaither said that due to the pandemic, DPW has refrained from ticketing infractions besides safety violations. However, as of last summer DPW was now back to enforcement of all violations, including for moving or parking. Gaither said DPW was hiring two additional booting crews and stepping up the booting of vehicles to levels higher than before the pandemic.

Additional crews will be added in the next fiscal year, he said plus tow truck drivers, street sweepers and rush hour parking enforcement.

Carter was especially willing to help commissioners determine which DC agency was responsible for their concerns, sympathizing with challenges commissioners faced in getting the right one to respond.

Carter added that DPW had been short 14 tow truck drivers. After a recent job fair they have accumulated a pool of 20 additional drivers now undergoing training. DPW has also acquired another lot for abandoned vehicles.

Denise Krepp (6B10) asked DPW about the lack of parking enforcement relative to RFK stadium events in the spring. Gaither said signage on the streets needs to be corrected so that emergency signs are not necessary, an issue that DPW has raised with District Department of Transportation (DDOT).

Carter said that DPW shared some of Krepp’s frustration, telling her that in interagency conversations, DDOT has countered that they have insufficient staff and funding to replace signage. Carter said he was interested in a joint meeting of ANC 6B, DDOT and Events DC, which manages RFK Stadium, to discuss events and parking —but declined to organize it. Ward 6 representative from the Mayors Office of Community Relations (MOCR) Jasmine Coilton offered to take the lead on such a meeting.

A New Mural Near Eastern Market
ANC 6B voted unanimously to send a letter in support of a grant application. Eastern Market Main Street (EMMS) is applying for a DC Arts and Humanities grant to support a mural project. EMMS Executive Director Ann Blackwell said the mural is intended to go on the alley side of the building housing Clothes Encounters (202 Seventh St. SE), just across from Eastern Market. The mural is intended to serve as placemaking for the market itself, which lacks large signage. Blackwell said that in the age of selfies, murals have themselves become important economic drivers, pointing to her experience with a murals project in Hollywood, FL.

The art concept is titled “farm to table” and would be about 28 feet by 28 feet, covering nearly the entirety of the wall. The concept centers around the idea of the market as a site of diversity, exchange and local food.

Blackwell hastened to clarify that while EMMS would like to stay within the concept, there is still time to take feedback and discuss content. Business owners on either side of the alley have supported the project, as has the owner of the building in question. EMMS engaged art project management company DC ArtBox which facilitated the search for the artist, settling on art collective 5 Creatives. Art Box representative Tia Kane said the collective was made of four local artists who promote cultural diversity and the use of art to make a difference in the community.

Alcohol License Renewals
Commissioners voted to support a renewal of a restaurant liquor license for Aatish On The Hill (609 Pennsylvania Ave. SE), with an Settlement Agreement (SA) corrected to remove erroneous references to a sidewalk cafe, noting they would be willing to consider support for a sidewalk cafe application from Aatish if owners wished to make one to DDOT’s public space committee in the future.

Alcohol Beverage Committee (ABC) Chair Bryan Ready (6B03) noted that he and Single Member District (SMD) Commissioner Jennifer Samolyk (6B01) were well on their way to reaching a SA for the three restaurants owned by the Mendelson family, which include We the Pizza (305 Pennsylvania Ave. SE); Good Stuff Eatery (303 Pennsylvania Ave. SE); and Santa Rosa Taqueria (301 Pennsylvania Ave. SE).

Kirsten Oldenburg (6B04) said that there had been no movement on the SA with Paraiso (1101 Pennsylvania Ave SE) partially because the major concern is with noise and an expected sound test had not yet taken place. The ANC will protest their liquor license application pending agreement.

In Other Business
Commissioners voted to support a resolution regarding the DC’s role as a safe haven for reproductive health services introduced by Alison Horn (6B09). The resolution asks the District government to support access and affordability for reproductive health care and abortion in DC in light of the Supreme Court decision in the Dobbs case. Several commissioners voted in opposition to the resolution. Some cited an opposition to ANC opinion on “macro” issues. One commissioner cited their personal beliefs. Nonetheless, the resolution was supported by the commission 6-3-0 (Denise Krepp had to leave the meeting).

The ANC voted to support a Historic Preservation Application (HPA) concept for a detached two-story accessory structure at 323 Tenth St. SE. The structure would be landlocked in the backyard and would be set back from the rear of the house along the rear property line. It will be primarily used as a guest or entertaining property to augment the existing home, which is quite small.

The commission also voted to support an HPA for newly drafted plans for a commercial deck addition at The Brig (1007 Eighth St. SE), noting the applicant had responded to the concerns ANC6B had raised after the initial presentation of plans in November 2021. Commissioners then focused on the appearance of the deck and the location of the stairs, asking that the applicant ensure compliance with ADA requirements. The structure is non-contributing to the Historic District, having been built on the site of a parking lot. Oldenburg said Historic Preservation Office (HPO) appeared to have the greatest concern with the composition of the shed’s roof. In comments, commissioners noted that they are not clear why the roof is of such intense interest to HPO.

The commission also voted to support an HPA for a rear addition to 409 East Capitol St. SE, currently home to Sanabria & Co the Shop on the main floor. The project looks to expand the second-floor resident space with a third floor added 34 feet back from the street and improve access to the yard.

Ward 6 ANCs generally do not meet in August. ANC 6B holds their next full meeting Sept. 13, with executive and committee meetings taking place during the two weeks prior. Learn how to attend meetings and connect with the commission by visiting anc6b.org.

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