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ANC 6C: Trash Can Storage Part of Rodent Prevention

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C met Wednesday Nov. 9 via WebEx. Commissioners Christine Healey (6C01), Karen Wirt, Chair (6C02), Jay Adelstein (6C03), Mark Eckenwiler (6C04), Joel Kelty (6C05) and Drew Courtney (6C06) attended the meeting.

At the meeting, Commissioners discussed the District’s increase in the rodent population, specifically in rats. One of the main concerns contributing to this increase are residential garbage collection containers. When trash containers are left in the alley they can be hit, damaged and become not “rat resistant” creating rodent infestation issues in residential alleys and communities.

District law requires individuals to store trash containers on their own property, not in the public alley, and remove them no later than 8 p.m. the day of trash collection.

Commissioner Joel Kelty (6C05) noted the significant increase and reported that the District Department of Public Works (DPW) will soon be implementing “operation clean sweep” to address this. The purpose of this initiative is to educate, monitor and enforce the District’s regulations regarding trash and recycling to mitigate the number of rodents in the District. Educational outreach will include mailed notices and hanging tags on doors. The department will be conducting a 3 week monitoring period after which they will start writing tickets at $150 per violation.

Kelty encouraged residents to get a jump start on collecting their cans and be mindful of the condition of their personal trash containers.

“I would encourage you all to bring your cans on your property when it’s not trash day,” Kelty said. “If your can is damaged you can contact DPW or make a request through the 311 service to have your can either repaired or replaced.”

Chair Karen Wirt (6C02) commented that she had been fined several years ago during a former similar crackdown by District officials.

Commissioner Mark Eckenwiler (6C04) added that there are plans for a multi-agency walk through ANC 6C in late November, noting that “there is going to be some effort to address the particular problem” of rodent infestation. The agencies involved include the Department of Health, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and DPW.

Representative from Mendelson’s Office

Declan Falls, a representative from DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson’s office, spoke about the Chairman’s work in the council and upcoming hearings with a focus on education. The Chairman plans to hold a hearing on Nov. 30 regarding chronic absenteeism and truancy in schools.

Falls was asked about the Chairman’s previously proposed legislation on the I-71 compliant cannabis businesses by Commissioners. Falls said he believes that the Chairman is “still supportive of reeling them in” but did not know of any plans to move forward on the legislation proposed.

“That’s too bad,” Kelty said. “We could really use some help. We have over 16 weed shops in a one mile stretch of H Street right now and again. I’m not necessarily opposed to cannabis, but that’s too many in one spot in the neighborhood and commercial zone.”

Eckenwiler referred Falls to the ANC’s previous testimony when the legislation was first proposed which detailed the nature of the ANC concerns.

The Commission Voted Unanimously to Adopt:

  • the ANC 6C Transportation and Public Space (TPS) committee recommendation to complete the George Washington University electric vehicle charging station survey and recommend recreation centers, libraries, Union Station and grocery stores as potential locations for the vehicle charging sites.
  • the TPS committee recommendation to oppose the School Parking Zone (SPZ) for the Two Rivers Public Charter School (1227 Fourth St. NE) and indicate that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) should provide more logistical data, including the number of parking spaces requested, in future applications.
  • the TPS committee recommendation to reduce the existing 22 foot curb cut to accommodate one car and one truck (in width) at Fedex (300 Maryland Avenue NE).
  • the Planning, Zoning and Economic Development (PZE) committee recommendation to support a board of zoning appeals application at 663 Maryland Ave. NE for a special exception from lot occupancy requirements to construct a two-story rear addition to a three-story dwelling with basement. The ANC previously reviewed this as a Historic Preservation Application (HPA) and supported it at that time.
  • the PZE committee recommendation to oppose the historic preservation application, revised from last month for a full raze of an existing building and the construction of a three-story residential building at 601 Massachusetts Ave. NE. The committee noted this is an improvement from last month’s proposal, but has remaining concerns about several “deficiencies.” The applicant has indicated that they would like to further postpone this application, and the ANC will not oppose the application if the applicant postpones to December.

Other Matters:

  • The Commission supported the position of the ANC 6C Alcohol Beverage Licensing (ABL) Committee, which voted to take no action on the renewal applications for Kelly’s Irish Times (14 F St. NW), Buffalo and Bergen (240 Massachusetts Ave. NW), Red Bear Brewing Company (1140-100 Third St. NE), the Dubliner (4 F St. NW), Hamilton’s Bar and Grill (233 Second St. NE) and Solid State Books (600 H St. NE). 
  • Commissioners voted to protest a renewal application for an alcohol license to the Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) on all three grounds in pursuit of a settlement agreement (SA) for Bar Elena (414 H St.t NE) and for Allure Lounge (711 H St. NE), with Graham Grossman as designated ANC 6C the representative in the latter case.
  • Commissioners voted unanimously to protest the application for license renewal to ABRA for The Big Board (421 H St. NE) on all three grounds, also citing improper public space occupancy. The ANC designated Commissioner Eckenwiler to serve as its representative.
  • Commissioners voted to unanimously to renew opposition to an amended Historic Preservation Application (HPA) concept approval for 616 Lexington Pl NE. The application, a concept approval for rear and attic addition to a two-story row dwelling with attic and cellar, was previously unanimously opposed by the ANC due to material deficiencies from the front facade and landscaping. The applicant has since submitted new materials which are still “materially deficient.”
  • The ANC 6C Grants Committee’s next submission deadline is Nov. 17. These grants will be awarded by the committee in early January 2023. ANC6C seeks grant applications for community projects within the ANC 6C boundaries that demonstrate significant lasting impact on the ANC 6C community. Get more information and an application by visiting anc6c.org/committees/grants-committee

ANC 6C will meet next on Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. via WebEx. You can register to attend the meeting and read more about the commission here.

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

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